Murdock McCracken

Car fires account fully for 1-7 percent of all documented fires and 13 percent of all civilian fire deaths, according to the National Fire Protection Association. More than two-thirds of car fires result from mechanical or electrical problems or malfunctions, compared to only 3 percent from accidents or rollovers.

More than 1 / 4 million vehicle fires occur every year.

'In 2004, vehicle fires caused more deaths than apartment fires,' mentioned NFPA President James M. Shannon. 'The public must be more alert to this significant fire-safety problem and just take measures to reduce the danger of an episode.'

AAA is urging drivers to get a comprehensive vehicle preservation assessment when they have not had one previously year, and to-be specially alert to damaged wiring and loose electrical connections, worn or blistered fluid lines, leaking connections, severely worn brake parts and damaged heat shields.

'Although people might feel fires occur largely from collisions, this is simply not true. A lot more are caused by failed vehicle components that could have been maintained or repaired just before producing or increasing a fire,' explained AAA President Robert M. Darbelnet.

To reduce the threat of a car fire, AAA recommends the following:

* Have your automobile inspected at least yearly by a professional technician. Like a public service, AAA inspects and approves tens of thousands of repair services in the U.S. and Canada within the AAA Approved Auto Repair pro-gram. Locations and names of AAA-approved restoration organizations can be found at

* Look for wear and tear. Identify more on our favorite partner website - Click here: continue reading. Watch for water leaks under cars, cracked or blistered tubes or wiring that's free, has exposed steel or has cracked insulation. Have any of these problems repaired and inspected when possible.

* Be alert to changes in the way your vehicle looks when running, or to a visible plume of exhaust coming from the tailpipe. A higher than usual exhaust tone, smoke coming from the tailpipe or a backfiring exhaust may mean problems or damage to the exhaust and emission get a handle on system on the car. To compare additional information, please consider glancing at: