Car fire safety

Robins firefighters Daniel Zytowski and John Whitson extinguish a car fire during a training exercise Jan. 10. The exercise scenario involved a two-car accident involving one vehicle on fire with an injured person outside of the car and two injured passengers in the second car on Beale Drive near Bldg. 10.(U. S. Air Force photo/Sue Sapp)

(courtesy photo)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- 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, fluid level or ending temperature.