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The Safety Tools You Need to Survive a Car Fire


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10/13/2014
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After a four-hour trek home from seeing your in-laws—and countless hours of driving around New Orleans—you and your family are finally almost home. You can almost feel your soft bed as you see the mile marker for your exit. As you approach your turn off, you notice an SUV coming up really fast behind you. You try to maintain your speed as it gets closer and closer. Finally, you swerve as it slams into your back bumper, causing you to spin 180 degrees and collide into the other car. Your door is now crumpled up against the other car, trapping you inside. Suddenly, your engine starts to smoke.

You turn off your engine and attempt to unbuckle your seat belt in order to check on your family—but your belt is stuck. You can see the start of small flames creeping up your windshield. Your wife manages to unbuckle herself and tries to help you with your seat belt to no avail. You tell her to get the kids out, but as she goes to open her door, a semi—who apparently lost control because of the accident—skids to a halt, ripping her door off but trapping her inside as well.

The flames are growing and your children are starting to scream in horror.

What do you do? How can you get out? Is there anything in the car that can help?

Tools That Could Save Your Life in a Fire

Although car fires have drastically decreased over the past decade, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), estimates that over 200,000 fires still occur in, around, and as a result of vehicle accidents. According to data taken from a 2012 NFPA statistics report, nearly 400 vehicles ignite and potentially trapping hundreds of drivers and families within its flames.

These statistics aren’t only alarming, but they give definite credence to how important it is to be prepared for the possibility of such events. In addition to proper driving safety and awareness, every car owning family should possess—and keep accessible—the following vehicle safety tools:

  • Wool or flame resistant blanket. If you absolutely are unable to make a fast and safe escape from a fire, a wool or flame retardant blanket can help shield you from burns. Remember, getting away from the fire is always the safest option, staying with the blanket should only be considered after all other options have been exhausted.
  • Window breaker. A car’s windows can be difficult to break when you need an escape. Due to the special shatter-proof design, it can be tougher than regular glass, and will take a special amount of force to break. However, when your door is jammed, your next best option for escape is the window. Therefore, a specifically designed tool called a window breaker, which has a diamond tipped edge, can help you create the escape route that you direly need.
  • Sharp knife or seat belt cutter. In certain situations your seat belt can become mangled or stuck, preventing you from making an escape. In extreme cases, the force of the stuck restraint can also cut off circulation to your chest and abdomen—making it nearly impossible to breathe. However, a seat belt cutter or knife can be used to sever the strap above the belt to set you free. A sharp durable knife can also be used to cut away obstructive debris, clothing, and upholstery—to gain access to the trunk. 
  • Multi-purpose car tool. For a convenient safety kit, a multi-purpose car tool can be used in various emergency situations. It is an all-in-one safety tool which includes a belt cutter, window breaker, flashlight, and sometimes even a rechargeable radio and phone adapter.

What to Do If Your Tools Aren’t Fast Enough to Avoid Injury

Unfortunately, even the most prepared and cautious drivers can become injured in car accident fires. If you or your family have suffered severe or permanent injuries and scars as a result of an automobile accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Call us today to receive experienced advice and information about your rights for an auto accident injury claim. We’ll help you fight to get the settlement you need and the treatment you deserve.

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Category: Auto Accidents

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