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Car and vehicle fires

Will my car catch fire?

Each year we help around 650 people whose vehicle has caught fire. Fires are most likely to start when you're driving which can be a terrifying experience.

To reduce the chance of this happening to you: check your car before you drive and keep up-to-date with your service and MOT.

Leaving hand sanitiser in your car

Hand sanitiser left in your car is not likely to start a fire. There is more information about the fire risk of hand sanitisers on the National Fire Chief Council’s website.

How to prevent a car fire

Keeping up-to-date on your service and MOT will reduce your risk of your car catching on fire. Most fires we attend could have been prevented with regular car maintenance.

You can reduce your risk of having a car fire by making some simple pre-journey checks. Your vehicle manual or a reputable car garage can recommend the little things to look for such as checking oil, tyres and coolant levels. Don’t ignore warning lights – these are early indicators to a potential problem.

What to do if your car catches fire

We hope you never have to experience a car fire but here's what you should do if it happens:

1. Stay calm and don't panic.

2. Put your hazard lights on.

3. Pull over as soon as possible. Try to choose somewhere safe.

4. Turn your wheels to prevent the car rolling away, apply your handbrake and turn off the engine.

5. Release the bonnet using the control in the car. Do not touch the bonnet or lift it up.

6. Get everyone away from the vehicle and move to a safe area. If there is a barrier, stand behind it.

7. Make yourself as visible as possible. Use hi-vis and wave your arms to warn oncoming traffic.

8. Dial 999 and ask for fire. Tell the person on the phone where you are and if your vehicle is a danger to others. Using the What3Words app can help us find specific location.

Useful resources


Highways England – vehicle checks
RAC – vehicle checks

 

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