OB Approved - Overland Safety: Fire Extinguishers | OVERLAND BOUND COMMUNITY

OB Approved Overland Safety: Fire Extinguishers

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Lifestyle Overland

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The next piece of your safety kit should be a quality fire extinguisher. No matter the age of your vehicle, this should be a standard piece of equipment in every overland rig.

I'm going to keep this article short and to the point so let's get started...

Selection

Select a fire extinguisher based on your anticipated needs. A unit that is rated for B & C fires should be a minimum criteria for a vehicle unit. However, if you live in a forest fire potential area you might consider a A-B-C unit since the B & C only units aren't as effective on brush fires. (Note: Stopping or parking in tall grass can start a fire due to the intense heat in your catalytic converter.)

Here are is a list of the different classes and what they're used for:

  • Class A extinguishers are for ordinary combustible materials such as paper, wood, cardboard, and most plastics. The numerical rating on these types of extinguishers indicates the amount of water it holds and the amount of fire it can extinguish. Geometric symbol (green triangle)
  • Class B fires involve flammable or combustible liquids such as gasoline, kerosene, grease and oil. The numerical rating for class B extinguishers indicates the approximate number of square feet of fire it can extinguish. Geometric symbol (red square)
  • Class C fires involve electrical equipment, such as appliances, wiring, circuit breakers and outlets. Never use water to extinguish class C fires - the risk of electrical shock is far too great! Class C extinguishers do not have a numerical rating. The C classification means the extinguishing agent is non-conductive. Geometric symbol (blue circle)
  • Class D fire extinguishers are commonly found in a chemical laboratory. They are for fires that involve combustible metals, such as magnesium, titanium, potassium and sodium. These types of extinguishers also have no numerical rating, nor are they given a multi-purpose rating - they are designed for class D fires only. Geometric symbol (Yellow Decagon)
  • Class K fire extinguishers are for fires that involve cooking oils, trans-fats, or fats in cooking appliances and are typically found in restaurant and cafeteria kitchens. Geometric symbol (black hexagon)
Composition

The type of agent within the unit may be something to consider if you want to minimize clean-up and potential damage to other components.

Excerpt from: http://www.fire-extinguisher101.com/

"Water extinguishers or APW extinguishers (air-pressurized water) are suitable for class A fires only. Never use a water extinguisher on grease fires, electrical fires or class D fires - the flames will spread and make the fire bigger! Water extinguishers are filled with water and are typically pressurized with air. Again - water extinguishers can be very dangerous in the wrong type of situation. Only fight the fire if you're certain it contains ordinary combustible materials only.
Dry chemical extinguishers come in a variety of types and are suitable for a combination of class A, B and C fires. These are filled with foam or powder and pressurized with nitrogen.BC - This is the regular type of dry chemical extinguisher. It is filled with sodium bicarbonate or potassium bicarbonate. The BC variety leaves a mildly corrosive residue which must be cleaned immediately to prevent any damage to materials.
ABC - This is the multipurpose dry chemical extinguisher. The ABC type is filled with monoammonium phosphate, a yellow powder that leaves a sticky residue that may be damaging to electrical appliances such as a computer."

Mounting

A 2.5 pound metal cylinder running free in your luggage compartment or back seat is recipe for potential vehicle damage or personal injury in the event of a collision or rollover. Strap that puppy down. This will not only keep you safe, but ensure you know where it is when you need it most.
Also, ensure you mount it in an accessible location that won't be covered up when your rig is loaded up like the Beverly Hillbillies.


Extinguishing a Car Fire

1) Stop the vehicle and PUT IT IN PARK. It's easy to forget this step in an emergency. The last thing you need is a fireball rolling away from you while you're trying to dig out your extinguisher.

2) Get the passengers out of the vehicle, especially if they're kids. A few seconds hesitation trying to fight the fire before this step, could be a step in the wrong direction with tragic results. I know this goes against instinct but priorities are people, not vehicles. Call 911 at this point if possible.

3) Pull the pin on the extinguisher. Sounds silly, right? You would be surprised what you will forget in a rush. Best to have it in your mind now to help prepare yourself mentally.

4) If the fire is under the hood, pop the latch, but do not open it. Spray the extinguisher through the crack below the hood before attempting to open it all the way. A concealed fire in the engine compartment may be having trouble breathing if there is a lot of smoke. Opening the hood first could cause it to flare.

5) Always aim the extinguisher at the base of the fire. This might be difficult to locate in a tangle of components.

First, how NOT to extinguish a car fire:

Good discussion on car fire extinguishers:

Suggestions


2.5 lb ABC Dry Agent Unit $60 (I own this one)
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/htr-mx250r/overview/


2.5 lb B & C Halotron Unit $135
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/htr-hg250r/overview/

As always, I'm open to questions or comments on this topic.
 

Lifestyle Overland

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Here's a trivia question:

What overland vehicles may need a class D unit?

Hint: They were very popular in the 60's and 70's.
 
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stoney126

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Hmmm does it have anything to with mag wheels?
 

Steve

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I drive an MG. I always have a fire extinguisher. And fire departments carried fire blankets for VW's magnesium engine block. So the overloading vehicle would be the VW Bus.

( True story: I was building one of those metal model kits back in the '60s of a Duesenburg. The body was magnesium, and I ground the flashing off with Dad's bench grinder. Later, the steel axle wouldn't fit in the wheel due to a burr, so I found the end of the axle smooth on the same bench grinder. You can imagine what happened next...)
 
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Robert OB 33/48

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Well done, As Iam a bit, but just a bit, trained with fire and fire fighting, I think it is well done.
Point is, that if you are in panic, things can go wrong.
So, it is good to be prepared to extinguish a fire. Way better is how to prevent a car set on fire. Or for that matter, a camping spot, a tree and even worse a forest/nature.
As you covered all the details around a car, I would like to give some advice to cover the surroundings and possible cuases of a car on fire.

1. Long grass. If you have driven a long time, your engine, exhaust are hot, so hot, they can start a fire. So, take care of parking in long grass. This could start a fire, and that will be under your car.
2. Sparks of your campfire. When windy, the fly just everywhere.
3. Sigarettes.
4. Left alone campfires.
5. Kids and accidents
6. Testostoron.

So, as someone who was more or less involved with fire fighting during his time in the dutch Airforce, I reckon to take care before the fire is there.

Ohw and String number twelve. I do have a VW. But it is from 1987.
 

Lifestyle Overland

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@Robert OB 33/48 Excellent points! Thanks for the input!

I've owned 4 different VWs from '60 to '73 so it was always in the back of my mind. My '71 actually caught on fire once but fortunately didn't ignite the block!
 
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VCeXpedition

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It would be interesting to see how and where people have mounted their extinguishers. These are bulky, awkward, a little delicate at the handle / gauge end and heavy for their size. Most of all, you want quick access to them so typically not kept in the packed kit.
Where have you mounted yours? Permanently or just when you're on adventure?

Pics or it didn't happen.

Dan.
 

Lars

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It would be interesting to see how and where people have mounted their extinguishers. These are bulky, awkward, a little delicate at the handle / gauge end and heavy for their size. Most of all, you want quick access to them so typically not kept in the packed kit.
Where have you mounted yours? Permanently or just when you're on adventure?

Pics or it didn't happen.

Dan.
For a 2.5lb Automotive fire extinguisher with rapid access I think this might be one of the best options. I'm going to order one, and try mounting it on the BACK of the passenger seat, rather than the front.
2.5lb Fire Extinguisher Vehicle Mount

I'm also going to be putting a larger 4 or 5lb ABC unit in the bed of the truck for trips mounted with a Quick Fist Super Fist clamp. I live in Texas where brush fires are a real possibility, and spread quickly. This one will get installed in the bed side mount when I'm setting out on a trip. Normally I'll keep it inside the truck bed tool box to prevent theft.

Also I'll provide Pics of my truck, after UPS delivers the goods :)
 

VCeXpedition

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Nice. I've given consideration to putting it there, footspace is no good though, either in front or behind the seat in the 80. That is the best spot for access though. Interested when you have it mounted to see some pics. That did give me some Ideas as to how I could make a bracket to mount a 2.5 lb to my b-pillar.

I found this one but don't have a good spot for it yet.

uploadfromtaptalk1448131441146.png

Sent from my HTC One_M8 using Tapatalk
 

Overland-Indiana

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Great read....

I had a 97" S10 that i had a friend helping me to try and get running in-15f weather, way to damn cold to be out IMO. But, i told him to use carb cleaner and give a small spray into the throttle body to try and get it to fire.....well....his definition or small spray and mine are 2 very different things i guess. He soaked the whole intake and throttle body in it and caused it to catch fire. Luckily I have ALWAYS kept a ABC extinguisher in all of my vehicles since i first got my license. I was able to put it out and luckily it did not damage anything.
Side Note: We never did get it to start until temps got up to 5f+... Ended up being a weak fuel pump and dirty fuel filter.
 
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toxicity_27

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Still need to get one. They make roll bar mounts for the JK, which is probably the style I'll end up getting.
 

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need advise on which type of fire extinguisher I should get. all purpose us.
 

Lifestyle Overland

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I would pick up one of the ABC types listed on the original post. I have the first one and it's done well... even bouncing around in the back. I know... I should heed my own advice, there's just not many mount locations in the back of the 4Runner. @Cappy410