Nobody can predict their exact future and what is going to happen next. Similarly, you can’t foresee what wrong may happen while you are out driving your car. For instance, you cannot know beforehand that your car’s tyre will get punctured or the fuel will start leaking, or worse, your car will suddenly catch fire. Although the probability of a car catching fire is less, if it does, it can be fatal.
Don’t worry! Our car has its own ways of telling us that there’s something not right with it and any delay in a trip to the mechanic can lead to a fire.
Before you learn to read these warning signs, you must know what can cause a fire in your car. Take a look at some of the most common reasons for car fire:
When a car is on the verge of catching fire, it will give a few signals to warn you. What is important is that you read these warning signs on time and take immediate steps to prevent your car from getting blazed. Moreover, these signs can help save your life as well as of the people riding with you in the car. Here are some of the warnings signs that suggest that your car is likely to catch fire:
In case you encounter any of these signals in your car, immediately step out of the vehicle and move to a safe distance. Contact your car’s service centre/ mechanic and inform them about the situation.
However, if you get your car serviced regularly, these situations can be tackled at an early stage and a car fire can be avoided. In fact, regular maintenance of the car can help to reduce fuel costs, extend the life of your car and keep the overall cost of owning a car low.
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If your car has caught fire, you will either see the flames coming out of the vehicle or smell smoke. You must know that a car fire does not always break out of the engine. You can also see flames/ smoke coming from near the wheels, under the vehicle, next to the brakes or from inside the car, including the dashboard. In any of the scenarios, it is important to act quick but remain calm. Here’s what you must do if your car catches fire:
As soon as you see smoke or flames coming out of your car, immediately signal to other cars, park the car on the left, turn off the car’s engine and take the keys out. By turning off the car, you will cut off the fuel supply to the engine and drive mechanism of the vehicle lowering the risk of fire spread.
Immediately after turning off the car, vacate the vehicle and move away to a safe distance. In case there was anyone else accompanying you in the car, ask them to leave the vehicle as well and help children and the elderly get out of the car. Make sure to pop the hood of the car before leaving the vehicle.
When you vacate the car, make sure that you and other passengers are at least 100 feet away from the vehicle. By staying at this distance, you will be not be harmed by the flames or toxic smoke coming out of the vehicle. It will also prevent you from getting injured if the vehicle explodes. Also, ensure that no bystanders get too close to the car and get themselves hurt.
Next, you must call up traffic police as well as the fire brigade and inform them about the fire. Make sure to give the exact location of the incident so that they can reach the spot at the earliest. Once you inform the traffic police, they will mostly inform the fire brigade about the fire. However, it is better to inform the fire service yourself to ensure that there is no delay.
Now immediately call up the service centre of your car and inform them about the fire. Your service centre will take your for repair after the fire has been doused off. Moreover, you must also call up your car insurance company and intimate them about the fire in your car. This is important to raise an insurance claim with the company and get the car damages or losses incurred due to the fire recovered. You can find the claim intimation number on the policy document as well as online.
If you see smoke or flames coming out of your car, then don’t let anyone or yourself go near the vehicle to retrieve any personal items. A burning car is always at a risk of exploding and can cause serious injuries. Even the flames and toxic fumes are harmful. You can retrieve your personal items after the fire has been put out by the firefighters and they have pronounced it safe to get near the vehicle.
Unless the firefighters arrive, don’t try to douse the car fire on your own. Doing so can be extremely dangerous as an increase in air supply can result in the spread of fire. Besides, going near the vehicle can put you at the risk of getting burnt and inhaling excess smoke. However, if no flame and only smoke is coming out of the car’s hood, you can use a fire extinguisher.
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The coverage of fire damages depends on the type of car insurance cover you have. If you have comprehensive car insurance or own damage cover, then your car insurance policy will cover the loss or damages caused to your car due to fire. But fire damages are not covered by car insurance offering third party liability cover only.
If you own a comprehensive car insurance policy, make sure to register a claim with your insurance company to get your losses recovered. Here’s how you can raise a fire damage claim under your car insurance policy:
Please note that if your car is completely destroyed in the fire, you will have to raise a reimbursement claim for the total loss of the car.
In case of a car fire, the most important thing is to ensure the safety of the people in and around the car. Make sure that you follow these safety tips and let the firefighters and the police do their job. If you follow these instructions, your car fire will be doused off at the earliest and you will get the losses recovered under your comprehensive car insurance policy.
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