Car/Camper Fire Extinguishers

Submitted: Friday, Feb 21, 2003 at 17:12
ThreadID: 3481 Views:1743 Replies:5 FollowUps:6
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Has anyone had experience using fire extinguishers in a real situation whilst on the road? Anyone ever had extinguishers that have failed to work at all? Or, maybe it worked ok, but the capacity was not enough to extinguish the fire successfully. Example. I have a 1.0kg dry chemical type in the back of my car. It is about 5 year old, and still in the green on the guage. Was wondering if when the time comes, would it be sufficient to do the job.

All the extingushers we use on our ship are taken away for inspection yearly, regardless of type. Leading up to the day we send them off for the inspection, we occasionally let them off as part of fire drills and have had failures. These were foam type, but I assume there would be some failure rate for dry chem and CO2 extinguishers as well.

Any insurance companies still offer discounts for carrying one? I know AIM used to offer 5% discount, but they stopped that a couple of years ago.
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Reply By: ray91 - Friday, Feb 21, 2003 at 18:28

Friday, Feb 21, 2003 at 18:28
Hi I have used several of thr 1kilo car wormald fire extinguishers at work in the past few years.They work fine on small fires, carby,under dash electical ,I say small because the only last 90 seconds or so.You do need to take them out of the clamp and bang them about a bit every now and then , the powder settles and compacts in the bottom.
AnswerID: 13683

Reply By: Gary - Friday, Feb 21, 2003 at 18:58

Friday, Feb 21, 2003 at 18:58
I most strongly agree with the above comments, Dry chem extinguishers must be shaken every so often about every 6 months. The chemicals do settle and compact over time, if you do this every 6 months it will insure the chemical powder will be released with the extinguisher is required.

AnswerID: 13691

Follow Up By: Wazza - Friday, Feb 21, 2003 at 19:07

Friday, Feb 21, 2003 at 19:07
Yes, I agree as well. Mine is mounted in such a way that I have to take it out of the bracket to get to the cd stacker. It gets a good shaking then, I guess about once a month.
FollowupID: 8078

Reply By: ROX - Friday, Feb 21, 2003 at 20:57

Friday, Feb 21, 2003 at 20:57
Hi wazza Did you know that you can use a can of beer?, shake it up first. thanks to Malcolm Duglas I think.
AnswerID: 13702

Follow Up By: Member - Melissa - Friday, Feb 21, 2003 at 23:54

Friday, Feb 21, 2003 at 23:54

Same applies to any fizzy drink...coke, lemonade etc.

:o) Melissa
FollowupID: 8116

Follow Up By: Bruce.H - Monday, Feb 24, 2003 at 14:48

Monday, Feb 24, 2003 at 14:48
i have put out 2fires using a can of beer works realy well not so popular with the police when they see can of beer rolling around on the floor
FollowupID: 8228

Reply By: rickwagupatrol - Saturday, Feb 22, 2003 at 00:08

Saturday, Feb 22, 2003 at 00:08
wazza, 5 years old? the first thing i would do is get it checked to make sure it was still servicable. then buy a new one and keep the old one as a spare.

AnswerID: 13723

Follow Up By: Johnsy - Saturday, Feb 22, 2003 at 00:22

Saturday, Feb 22, 2003 at 00:22
rick most small extinguishers are a 1 use only but i agree 100% after 5 yrs get another and use the old 1 as back up
FollowupID: 8120

Follow Up By: Wazza - Saturday, Feb 22, 2003 at 11:26

Saturday, Feb 22, 2003 at 11:26
Yep, I agree on that one too! Thanks all.
FollowupID: 8133

Reply By: Bob Y. - Saturday, Feb 22, 2003 at 16:05

Saturday, Feb 22, 2003 at 16:05
Wazza, we've got them scattered around here, on all buildings, and in each vehicle. Few times have used them they are very quick and efficient, with almost instant extinguishing of flame. Chubb service them every 12 months, and they use a nylon hammer to bash the case to loosen the powder. On severe corrugations, I'd suggest you might need to do this more readily, say monthly.

Would agree with the others, get a second one. Saw a case near Urandangie, where some people had a front tyre alight, caused by seized wheel brgs, they didn't have an extinguisher so were chucking sand on it. The flame would go out, as the sand hit it, but would flash back, and eventually the whole vehicle, HT Holden, was torched. They didn't have any water either! Hooroo....
AnswerID: 13744

Follow Up By: Tuco69 - Sunday, Mar 02, 2003 at 17:10

Sunday, Mar 02, 2003 at 17:10
Yup - dry powder extinguishers that are carried on any vehicle should be 'serviced' every 3 months. The gauge on the unit only shows that the propellant charge is OK. On any vehicle the vibration packs the dry powder into a solid lump in the bottom of the extinguisher. When you try to use it - only the propellant gas will be discharged and the powder 'blanket' that is used to smother the fire will stay in the can!
Vehicles and equipment used by oil companies or in aviation refuelling usually have the powder removed, sifted (with a flour sifter) and then put back into the container with a funnel.
Inverting and tapping with a rubber or nylon hammer will help, but removal and sifting is best.

FollowupID: 8582

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