Car Fire Safety
(“Reproduced from NFPA’s website, www.nfpa.org/publiceducation. © NFPA.” )
Cars can catch fire for many reasons. Mechanical or electrical issues are the most common cause. A
car can also catch fire as the result of a bad crash. If you see smoke or flames or smell burning
rubber or plastic, respond immediately.
What to do 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.
How to prevent a car fire
• 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.
Know the danger signs
• Cracked or loose wiring or electrical problems, including a fuse that blows more than once
• Oil or fluid leaks
• Oil cap not on securely
• Rapid changes in fuel or fluid level, or engine temperature
Your Source for SAFETY Information
NFPA Public Education Division • 1 Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02169
Most car fluids are flammable. Heat and electrical sparks plus leaking
fluid are all it takes to start a car fire.
Most crashes do NOT result in fire. In the event of any crash, call 9-1-1. If there is no sign
of fire, wait for emergency assistance to help any injured individuals out of the car.