The Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service is reminding drivers to be aware of the dangers of car fires.
Although relatively rare, car fires can and do happen and it is important drivers are prepared. When a vehicle catches fire, it happens very quickly.
Vehicles are very complicated pieces of equipment with lots of electrics and combustible liquids such as fuel, so we ask that all motorists take note of simple safety tips to prevent life threatening incidents.
Usually, the smell of smoke inside a car is the first indication that a fire may have started within the vehicle. If you smell burning, pull over in a safe place, turn the engine off and get out the vehicle. Move a safe distance away and call 999.
Never return to the vehicle to try and put out the flames yourself. Lifting the bonnet of the vehicle is also dangerous as the severity of any flames can quickly increase when exposed to fresh air.
Try to stand upwind from a fire which will help prevent breathing in any fumes from the smoke. When the fire service arrives, explain exactly what happened as this will help when tackling the flames.
Never leave your vehicle running while unattended, especially with a child or other people in the car. Many vehicles have child locks on the rear doors which totally restrict any opening of the doors from the inside, this could have tragic consequences. It is against the law to leave a vehicle unattended and running.
Be aware if your car has recently:
- Had any work done or had newly installed equipment added such as a radio.
- If the vehicle is running differently or breaking down.
- Whether the vehicle needs or has recently had a service.
The above is not exhaustive, but gives examples of the areas all drivers should be aware of when driving