How to Respond During A Car Fire

Nevada can have temperatures that can be as high as 100 degrees F in the summer and even have gone as high as 120 degrees F. In this extreme heat it is common for a car to overheat and a car fire can result. Other factors that can contribute to car fires include fuel leaks and short circuits. An effective way to reduce the risk of a car fire is to keep the automobile up with proper maintenance.

Some cues that your car is on fire include an orange glow that emanates from under the hood or smoke billowing out of the hood. If you experience a car fire, here are some guidelines to keep in mind.

Keep Calm

For many, a car fire is something new and never experienced before. As such, it can be frightening. The worst thing you can do is overreact and get upset. Try and stay calm, then slowly begin to apply light pressure to your brakes. Get those emergency lights blinking and pull your car off to the side of the road.

Then turn the engine off and exit the vehicle along with any other passengers you may have with you. Remember not to overdo it. If your car is on fire you need to pull it over. The last thing you want to do is prolong driving in the car by continuing on to the next exit or rest stop.

Call 911

After you have exited the car, make sure you put a good distance between you and the vehicle. A rule of thumb is to make sure you are at least 150 feet away from the vehicle. You want to make sure you are not in harm’s way should there be an explosion. Then, call 911 and give the authorities your location. If you are in a location that is not safe, make sure emergency personnel know that.


Every car should have a fire extinguisher that is held inside for just this type of incident. If you are seeing smoke from your engine, it is OK to use the fire extinguisher. If you see flames, though, do not use it. And remember, when opening the hood, only slightly open it, don’t open it the entire way. Doing this allows more oxygen to get in which can cause the fire to accelerate.

It is important to note, if you see flames or smoke from the rear, this is the area where your fuel tank is located. This is extremely dangerous, so when the fire is in the back, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO PUT IT OUT. Exit the car and move far away from it.


Once the fire is safely extinguished and injuries are treated, if they occur, it is time to call your insurance. Take photos just like you would in an accident, and take note of details including:

  • Your location
  • Who was involved
  • Damages

Finding a Burn Attorney in Nevada

If you have had the unfortunate experience of being involved in a car fire and sustained burns, seek medical attention immediately. If the burns resulted in negligence on the part of the owner of the vehicle, you may have a valid claim.

When you are unsure about your experience and if you have a claim, contact the Cottle Firm. We have been successfully assisting burn victims throughout the state of Nevada. Our team of Las Vegas burn attorneys can help put you in contact with the proper resources to get the medical treatment you need for your physical injuries as well as your emotional pain. Call us today at 702-722-6111 and let us help you with your claim.