Controlling a Car Fire Enough to Make Your Escape

You are on your way home after picking up your kids from school, when all of a sudden your engine starts to smoke. You don’t want to worry your children, so you slowly pull over to the side of the road. However, before you can put the car in park, your hood explodes into the air, and dozens of sparks fly out of the engine compartment.

Your children start to scream as you turn off the engine and unbuckle yourself. As you turn to calm your babies down, the engine smoke starts to funnel in through the vents. In a matter of seconds you can barely see anything.

What do you do? Your children are sobbing between violent coughs, your eyes are watering from the smoke, and you can feel the heat of the fire getting closer and closer to your back. How do you get yourself and your family to safety?

Vital Safety Tips to Use When Trapped in a Car Fire

Throughout the United States, nearly 300,000 vehicle fires are reported annually, according to the National Fire Protection Association. These fires, caused by various types of accidents, account for over 400 roadway deaths, and an estimated 1,500 civilian injuries every year. This is why it is extremely important for you to not only know your car fire risks, but also how to protect yourself if you become trapped within your burning vehicle.

By following the below checklist, you can help prevent a car fire tragedy:

  • Turn off your engine. Fumes, an overheated engine, and sparks can help feed a fire.
  • Ventilate smoke. If your car is filling up with smoke, open a window to introduce fresh air and prevent yourself from passing out. However, before opening the window, be wary of any flames within the car—as excess oxygen could cause a flare up.
  • Unbuckle yourself first, then help passengers. Even though your immediate reaction may be to save your family, you can’t properly do so if you are still restrained. Free yourself first, then attend to your family.
  • Exit the car as quickly as possible and help your passengers do the same. If for some reason the doors are stuck or blocked, break the window furthest away from the fire and exit that way.
  • Get as far away from the car as possible. Fumes, gasoline, and upholstery can ignite very quickly and cause explosive results. Don’t attempt to go back for anything, and keep your family and bystanders away as well.
  • Call emergency services. An ambulance may be required for smoke inhalation or burn injuries, and fire fighters are equipped to properly extinguish the fire’s threat—never assume that your injuries aren’t severe enough to require medical attention, nor try to control the fire yourself.

Protecting Yourself After the Fact

Getting yourself and your family safely away from a car fire is only the first step in protecting them. How did the fire begin? Whose actions put your family at risk? How will you pay for any sustained injuries? You have questions—and we have answers. Contact us today for a free consultation and review of your case. We can help you understand your rights, file an injury claim, and get the answers and justice you seek. You survived the fire, now get the help you need to survive the aftermath.

Do you want to protect your friends and family from a car fire tragedy? Use your social media connections to keep your loved ones safe by sharing this page on your Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus profiles.

Preventing a Fiery Disaster With Basic Vehicle Safety Tools

After a four-hour trek home from seeing your in-laws—and countless hours of driving around New Orleans—you and your family are finally almost home. You can almost feel your soft bed as you see the mile marker for your exit. As you approach your turn off, you notice an SUV coming up really fast behind you. You try to maintain your speed as it gets closer and closer. Finally, you swerve as it slams into your back bumper, causing you to spin 180 degrees and collide into the other car. Your door is now crumpled up against the other car, trapping you inside. Suddenly, your engine starts to smoke.

You turn off your engine and attempt to unbuckle your seat belt in order to check on your family—but your belt is stuck. You can see the start of small flames creeping up your windshield. Your wife manages to unbuckle herself and tries to help you with your seat belt to no avail. You tell her to get the kids out, but as she goes to open her door, a semi—who apparently lost control because of the accident—skids to a halt, ripping her door off but trapping her inside as well.

The flames are growing and your children are starting to scream in horror.

What do you do? How can you get out? Is there anything in the car that can help?

Tools That Could Save Your Life in a Fire

Although car fires have drastically decreased over the past decade, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), estimates that over 200,000 fires still occur in, around, and as a result of vehicle accidents. According to data taken from a 2012 NFPA statistics report, nearly 400 vehicles ignite and potentially trapping hundreds of drivers and families within its flames.

These statistics aren’t only alarming, but they give definite credence to how important it is to be prepared for the possibility of such events. In addition to proper driving safety and awareness, every car owning family should possess—and keep accessible—the following vehicle safety tools:

  • Wool or flame resistant blanket. If you absolutely are unable to make a fast and safe escape from a fire, a wool or flame retardant blanket can help shield you from burns. Remember, getting away from the fire is always the safest option, staying with the blanket should only be considered after all other options have been exhausted.
  • Window breaker. A car’s windows can be difficult to break when you need an escape. Due to the special shatter-proof design, it can be tougher than regular glass, and will take a special amount of force to break. However, when your door is jammed, your next best option for escape is the window. Therefore, a specifically designed tool called a window breaker, which has a diamond tipped edge, can help you create the escape route that you direly need.
  • Sharp knife or seat belt cutter. In certain situations your seat belt can become mangled or stuck, preventing you from making an escape. In extreme cases, the force of the stuck restraint can also cut off circulation to your chest and abdomen—making it nearly impossible to breathe. However, a seat belt cutter or knife can be used to sever the strap above the belt to set you free. A sharp durable knife can also be used to cut away obstructive debris, clothing, and upholstery—to gain access to the trunk.
  • Multi-purpose car tool. For a convenient safety kit, a multi-purpose car tool can be used in various emergency situations. It is an all-in-one safety tool which includes a belt cutter, window breaker, flashlight, and sometimes even a rechargeable radio and phone adapter.

What to Do If Your Tools Aren’t Fast Enough to Avoid Injury

Unfortunately, even the most prepared and cautious drivers can become injured in car accident fires. If you or your family have suffered severe or permanent injuries and scars as a result of an automobile accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Call us today to receive experienced advice and information about your rights for an auto accident injury claim. We’ll help you fight to get the settlement you need and the treatment you deserve.

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