According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 20 percent of all reported fires are vehicle fires due to short circuits, leaking fluids and faulty fuel delivery systems, to name a few.
Having a fire extinguisher in your car allows you to stop the fire before it spreads. Vehicle fire extinguishers can be purchased at hardware stores, major retail outlets, and from you local fire equipment dealer.
Here are some tips when selecting the right vehicle extinguisher:
- Look for a lightweight unit, typically around 1lb – 2.5lbs.
- The most common type of hand portable fire extinguisher for your vehicle is an All-Purpose ABC Dry Chemical Unit.
- Make sure you purchase the correct mounting hardware that allows you to position the extinguisher in a secure, convenient location within the vehicle.
- Perform monthly inspections to ensure the unit is properly charged and properly located.
If your car is on fire:
- Pull over as quickly as it is safe to do so, be sure to use your signal as you make your way to a safe location off the road such as the breakdown lane or rest stop.
- Once you have stopped, TURN OFF the engine.
- GET everyone out of the car. Never return to a burning car for anything.
- MOVE everyone at least 100 feet from the burning car and well away from traffic.
- CALL 9-1-1.
To prevent a car fire in your own vehicle(s):
- Have your car serviced regularly by a professionally trained mechanic.
- If you spot leaks, your car is not running properly, get it checked. A well maintained car is less likely to have a fire.
- If you must transport gasoline, transport only a small amount in a certified gas can that is sealed. Keep a window open for ventilation. Gas cans and propane cylinders should never be transported in the passenger compartment.
- Never park a car where flammables, such as grass, are touching the catalytic converter.
- Drive safely to avoid an accident.