Limo fire that killed five leaves many wondering how many people die in auto fires

Blog Post created by ryan.quinn Employee on May 6, 2013


Five women were tragically killed Saturday evening in a limousine fire that happened on a bridge above the San Francisco Bay, according to news reports.  The limo passengers were a bride-to-be and her friends out for a bachelorette party to celebrate an upcoming wedding. We have had many people reach out to us today for information on automobile fires. Does this incident leave you wondering about how often automobile fires happen and how many people die because of them?  


NFPA’s Fire Analysis & Research Division tracks vehicle fire statistics and estimates that on average, 17 automobile fires were reported per hour and these fires killed an average of four people every week in 2006-2010.  During the same period, 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. The top causal factor in automobile fires was “mechanical failure or malfunction” at 45 percent and leading the list for automobile fire deaths was “collision or overturn” at 60 percent.

Do you know what steps you can take to prevent a car fire or what to do if your car is on fire?  Visit www.nfpa.org/vehicles to check out our tip sheet and find out.  

Have you experienced a car fire?