As car owners, we never want to think of all the bad things that could go wrong while we are on the road. However, we should all be prepared should an emergency arise. According to the Business Insider website about 17 cars catch fire every hour in the United States. That is a scary number when you think about it. Do you know how to handle the situation if your engine should catch fire? Most vehicle fires are not caused by accidents instead they are caused by poor maintenance.

Here are some things to keep in mind to prevent a vehicle fire;

  • Regular maintenance – get your engine checked on a regular basis and double check before you leave the shop to be sure all wires are connected properly. Also, remember to have your belts and hoses checked.
  • Listen to your vehicle – watch for signs of leaks, cracked hoses, smoke, loud exhaust, or sudden changes in the engine temperature. Also check your coolant levels as well as quick fuel or oil loss.
  • Do not smoke in your vehicle – if you do have a fuel or oil leak you could end up igniting the fumes.

If a fire should erupt under your vehicles hood, you need to remember a few things to handle the situation safely;

  • First, remain calm — as scary as it might be, if you are driving you need to remember there are other vehicles on the road with you.
  • Pull over as soon as you can, move your vehicle as far off the road as you can. Once you are pulled over, turn off the engine and get everyone out of the vehicle.
  • Move to a safe distance – get away from the vehicle in case the flames get bigger or the flames reach the gas tank.
  • Once you and your vehicle’s occupants are safely outside and away from the vehicle call 9-1-1.
  • Do not return to the vehicle until emergency crews arrive, as long as all the occupants are out, there is nothing else in the vehicle that is worth putting yourself in danger for.

Remember our tips for good maintenance and be safe while traveling! If you suspect any type of issue with your vehicle get it serviced as soon as you can, it’s better to be safe than sorry.