A car fire is one of the scariest things you could ever experience. For 87 year old actor Dick Van Dyke, that was reality earlier this week.

His car caught fire, and subsequently exploded on the 101 Freeway in California. Several of the 911 calls report he was unaware of the fire as his car sat on the side of the road. Luckily, a good samaritan, grabbed Van Dyke from the car right before the  explosion. The actor is fine.

This leads me to tips about car fires, which are very common. They actually cause more deaths than apartment fires!

If the fire happens while moving on the road:

  1. Signal your intentions and move to the right lane.
  2. Get onto the shoulder or breakdown lane.
  3. Stop immediately.
  4. Shut off the engine.
  5. Get yourself and all other persons out of the vehicle.
  6. Get far away from the vehicle and stay away from it. Keep onlookers and others away.
  7. Warn oncoming traffic.
  8. Notify the fire department.
  9. Don’t attempt to try to put out the fire yourself. (The unseen danger is the possible ignition of fuel in the vehicle’s tank.)
While the vehicle is stopped in traffic or parked:
  1. Shut off the engine.
  2. Get far away from the vehicle.
  3. Warn pedestrians and other vehicles to stay away.
  4. Notify the fire department.
  5. Don’t attempt to try to put out the fire yourself. (The unseen danger is the possible ignition of fuel in the vehicle’s tank.)
In all vehicle fire situations, the first thing to think about is personal safety; any vehicle can be replaced—humans cannot. Think and act quickly, in the safest way possible.