How to Prevent Vehicle Fires
Vehicle fires cause a surprising number of fatalities and burn injuries each year. Some but not all of them are preventable. Explore the most common reasons for vehicle fires to discover how to stay safer when on the road.
Classification of Burn Injuries
Burns are classified in four categories. The higher the category, the more serious the injury.
- First-degree: This type of burn only affects the skin’s outer layer, called the epidermis. The area affected will be sore, hot and the skin reddened.
- Second-degree: Second-degree burns involve both the outer skin layer and the layer underneath, called the dermis. Redness, blistering, swelling and pain are the symptoms.
- Third-degree: A third-degree burn is much more serious than the first two classes. In addition to damaging the dermis and epidermis, it damages deeper tissue than the first two types. The skin may be numb and appears charred. These types of burns may result in serious infection, heal slowly and may require skin grafts.
- Fourth-degree: This final classification refers to burns that are so serious they can affect the bones and tendons. This type of burn can result in death if more than a small area of the body is affected and may result in amputation or extensive treatment, according to Mayo Clinic.
In 2015, there were 174,000 vehicle fires in the United States. They resulted in 445 deaths and 1,550 burn injuries were reported, according to the National Fire Protection Association. While some injuries caused by burning vehicles are due to direct contact with the fire, others can be caused by escaping steam or hot water or contact with heated metal. Smoke inhalation from a fire can cause serious injuries also.
Reasons for Vehicular Fires
Vehicles can catch fire for a variety of reasons. Some, but not all of them, are preventable. When death occurs due to a vehicle fire caused by a product defect or poor maintenance by a professional, it may result in a wrongful death.
- Poor maintenance: Having an annual inspection helps to prevent vehicular fires. Items that should be inspected include looking for a loose oil cap, fuses that blow more than once and wiring in poor condition. Other potential fire hazards include problems with the electrical system and temperature and fuel and fluid levels that change quickly.
- Use caution when transporting gasoline in a container. Always use a well-sealed container, and carry it in the trunk.
- Product defects are a common cause of motor vehicle fires. This may be caused by a design flaw or manufacturing defect. Stay up-to-date on recall notices, and take the vehicle in for repairs or replacement parts when needed.
- Overheating engines can be dealt with before a fire occurs. Take the vehicle to a mechanic and have the problem corrected.
- Leaking from the fuel system or other leaking fluids causes fires. Check for leaks or the smell of gasoline. Regular maintenance can help spot these problems.
- Electrical system failure is another major cause of fires in vehicles. Once again, a regular inspection and maintenance schedule can help spot problems.
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Wrongful Death Attorney in Elk Grove
I’m Ed Smith, an wrongful death attorney in Elk Grove. If you have suffered a burn injury or have lost a loved one due to negligence, give me a call at (916) 694-0002. I am here to offer you friendly advice free of charge. Outside Elk Grove, call (800) 404-5400 at my toll-free number.
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I am honored to have represented personal injury cases for those from Northern California and Elk Grove for over 35 years. I handle many personal injuries, including wrongful death cases and traumatic injuries or brain injuries.
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Photo Attribution: https://pixabay.com/en/car-accident-fire-street-accident-2789841/
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