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Old 01-07-2016, 05:39 AM
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Default Which Fire Extinguisher?

I'm finally putting the finishing touches on the interior and am thinking I should install a fire extinguisher but not sure what kind to go with. I've heard the dry chemical style are very effective and cheap but are corrosive and leave a mess while the Halotron style are clean but expensive and not so effective.

I came across [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click Here To Register...] in a Hemmings article which is a foam system. Supposed to just rinse off but be effective.

Anybody have real world experience with any of these?
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Old 01-07-2016, 12:10 PM
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I don't have any personal experience however, a friend of mine tried to put out an engine fire with one of those small extinguishers you see mounted on the floor or clipped onto a roll bar. He said it sprayed for about 3 seconds.
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Old 01-08-2016, 02:43 AM
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Good subject to bring up.

ABC extinguishers, most typically dry chemical, work on anything by smothering it. But yeah it is a corrosive powder (Monoammonium phosphate) about as fine as talcum powder, and it gets everywhere. You spray it on your car, the 'corollary damage' can be as great or greater than the fire damage.

CO2 extinguishers work on liquids and electrical- once the power is turned off- but not so well on solids because it is a gas which dissipates quickly. Liquid or electrical won't flare up like a solid will when the gas dissipates.
A disadvantage of CO2 is that the spray can conduct electricity. When the high pressure gas in the cylinder at ambient temperature is released, the temperature drops and the moisture in the air it comes in contact with condenses. That is what the fog is, not the gas itself. But this moist air can conduct an electric charge back to the container & user. That is why they have a plastic insulating nozzle on them. (You do not want to spray CO2 onto a live electric panel!) But with CO2 you spray it, put out the fire, and get back to work.

A CO2 bottle small enough to fit in a car would have so little gas in it it would be all but useless, especially in the open atmosphere like the side of the road.

Dry powder extinguishers of the typical small size, 12" tall or so, do have only about 7-10 seconds worth of chemical in them. The shorter ones, 8 or 9" tall like you see in a lot of cars, have probably only 5 seconds worth. That's not much when you're in a near panic situation with your car on fire.

I carry two dry chemical ones in my car, a smaller 9" one clipped to the t-top harness clip bracket between the seats for immediate access and a 12" one in the back.

I like that Halotron one, I hadn't heard of it before. If it is effective in open atmosphere, it would be worth $120 to have one for my car, but I'd still carry a cheap dry chemical one to use on somebody else's car.....(Knock on wood, I've only had to put out fires on other peoples cars & bikes. I got tired of destroying my jackets on carb fires so I took to carrying an extinguisher.)

I will look into those Halotron ones. I see they have a 2 1/2 lb that would work in a car which has a 9 second spray time, and I like that fact that it comes out liquid and then evaporates. I wonder why I have never heard of it before? I will talk with the Fire Marshall across the hall and then go visit Valley Fire Extinguisher this week too.

And yeah, in my garage, I have several dry chemical & one 20 lb CO2 extinguishers. And a fire blanket as well.
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Last edited by JPhil : 11-06-2016 at 03:32 PM.
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Old 01-08-2016, 04:31 AM
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Judging by what my brother-in-law was told by the fire crew; "We usually get here and the thing is burned to the ground - wheels too!"

I left it with him, while off sailing in Mexico. He and his wife were returning from a night out on the town, then the dash sparked and caught on fire at a stop sign.

He ran into a MacDs at the corner - jumped the counter and TOOK their big 20 pounder+. The kids at the counter were screaming, "You can't do that!" His wife called 911, before MacD's could call the cops.

When the fire crew got there only the dash was totaled and some smoke on the windscreen - and a mess from the discharge.

Lucky - I guess, that's the one I'm building (Elvira). My moral of the story - get a big one - or you might just be kidding yourself.
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Old 02-04-2016, 06:10 PM
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Halotron extinguishers would be good for a car. It is a clean agent, that is, it leaves no residue. It comes out as a liquid which makes it much better to use in an open atmosphere, like by the side of the road, than a CO2 or Halon gas.

They are a bit bigger than a comparable dry chemical but not as large as a comparable CO2 unit. Still easily fitable into a car.

It may be harder to find a place to buy one,and re-charge it once expended.

They are more expensive: one with 9 seconds duration is about $125, give or take. If you are going to bitch about the price, well then OK. My car is easily worth a $120 clean agent extinguisher and I shall have one in it when it hits the road this spring. And I'll also keep a dry chemical in it too.

Last edited by JPhil : 07-25-2016 at 05:05 PM.
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Old 02-05-2016, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPhil View Post
Halotron extinguishers would be good for a car. It is a clean agent, that is, it leaves no residue. It comes out as a liquid which makes it much better to use in an open atmosphere, like by the side of the road, than a CO2 gas.

They are a bit bigger than a comparable dry chemical but not as large as a comparable CO2 unit. Still easily fitable into a car.

It may be harder to find a place to buy one,and re-charge it once expended.

They are more expensive: one with 9 seconds duration is about $125, give or take. If you are going to bitch about the price, well then OK. My car is easily worth a $120 clean agent extinguisher and I shall have one in it when it hits the road this spring. And I'll also keep a dry chemical in it too.
How big is the 9 second duration extinguisher?
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Old 02-06-2016, 01:59 AM
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Here's a copy of a copy that Janet at Valley Fire Extinguisher gave me.
The table in the lower left hand corner is hard to read, but there are 3 sizes listed for vehicles that have a 9 second duration.

1.4 lb: shipping weight 3 1/4 lb, height 10", diameter 2 7/8", range 6-8'
2.5 lb: shipping weight 5 1/4 lb, height 15 1/2", diameter 3", range 6-10'
5.0 lb: shipping weight 9 1/2 lb, height 15 1/4", diameter 4 1/4", range 9-15'

Her price is $115 for the 1.4 lb & $135 for the 2.5 lb.

If I discharge it, I will have to go 50 miles to Denver to get it refilled. No problem.



Last edited by JPhil : 02-06-2016 at 02:10 AM.
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Old 02-09-2016, 03:49 PM
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i have two Safecraft 5 lb bottles...
plumbed to the cabin and engine bay

one is a traditional manual pull, the other is a automated release on temp rise in case of unconsciousness

i will check on the specs
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Old 07-25-2016, 04:53 PM
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2 1/2 lb Halotron extinguisher. (The tall skinny one in the brochure above) $135 + $15 for the bracket. Maybe one hour to figure it out and get it mounted.



Plus I have a 2 1/2 lb dry chemical one mounted on the other side--for someone else's car.

Last edited by JPhil : 07-26-2016 at 10:33 PM.
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Old 11-05-2016, 05:44 PM
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Just found out all halon-based extinguishers are being phased out. If you want a halotron one, you better get it soon. And don't count on being able to get it refilled anymore either, which is a bummer.
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