Safety Tip


Have your car serviced regularly by a professionally trained mechanic. Read all of NFPA's car fire safety tips and download our free safety tip sheet (PDF, 368 KB).

U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 152,300 automobile fires per year in 2006-2010. These fires caused an average of 209 civilian deaths, 764 civilian injuries, and $536 million in direct property damage.

Facts and Figures
  • Automobile fires were involved in 10% of reported U.S. fires, 6% of U.S. fire deaths.
  • On average, 17 automobile fires were reported per hour. These fires killed an average of four people every week.
  • Mechanical or electrical failures or malfunctions were factors in roughly two-thirds of the automobile fires.
  • Collisions and overturns were factors in only 4% of highway vehicle fires, but these incidents accounted for three of every five (60%) automobile fire deaths.
  • Only 2% of automobile fires began in fuel tanks or fuel lines, but these incidents caused 15% of the automobile fire deaths.

Source: NFPA's "Automobile Fires in the U.S.: 2006-2010 Estimates" report by Marty Ahrens, September 2012.

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Updated: 5/13
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