What to Do if Your Car Catches on Fire

A fire in one's car or other motor vehicle is a frightening situation which can quickly involve great personal danger to vehicle occupants and bystanders. Although every vehicle fire incident will have certain unique factors present at the time, the National Safety Council offers the following step-by-step general suggestions on what to do if your car (or other motor vehicle) catches on fire.

While You are Moving on a Roadway

  1. Signal your intentions and move to the right lane.
  2. Get onto the shoulder or breakdown lane.
  3. Stop immediately.
  4. Shut off the engine.
  5. Get yourself and all other persons out of the vehicle.
  6. Get far away from the vehicle and stay away from it. Keep onlookers and others away.
  7. Warn oncoming traffic.
  8. Notify the fire department.
  9. Don't attempt to try to put out the fire yourself. (The unseen danger is the possible ignition of fuel in the vehicle's tank.)

While the Vehicle is Stopped in Traffic or Parked

  1. Shut off the engine.
  2. Get far away from the vehicle.
  3. Warn pedestrians and other vehicles to stay away.
  4. Notify the fire department.
  5. Don't attempt to try to put out the fire yourself. (The unseen danger is the possible ignition of fuel in the vehicle's tank.)

In all vehicle fire situations, the first thing to think about is personal safety; any vehicle can be replaced-humans cannot. Think and act quickly, in the safest way possible.