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Old 10-17-2009, 11:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Fire Extinguishers

What do you keep in your expedition rigs?
How many?
What type?
What weight?

Have you had to use them?

What would you do differently?

-Todd
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Old 10-18-2009, 04:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
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2x 2.5lb BC rated

the water you carry will handle the A rated fires.
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Old 10-18-2009, 11:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Your normal ammonium nitrate (dry chemical) fire extinguisher in the 5lb variety can handle quit a blaze but will make a huge mess. Bigger is better but is not really practical. This is the cheapest and most commonly available type of extinguisher in America. If possible, get one with a metal handle with a proper gauge. This type should be refillable and will basically last forever until needed. They technically need to be "serviced" every year and hydro tested every few years but that is really not necessary for personal use. Before rides or monthly check to make sure the gauge shows the needle is still in the green and every once in a while flip the can upside down a few times to make sure the powder does not cake. In the event of use... refilling should actually be pretty cheap. Good for ABC

For Engine fires where any kind of mess or residue should be avoided, a CO2 or halon extinguisher is better. Halon is nice because the container will be lighter than CO2 but CO2 can also be cool because you could theoretically use it as a backup for OBA with the right connections(theoretically halon could too but I am not sure I would want to fill my tires with it). These will both be more expensive than a dry chemical extinguisher but will not have the mess. Good for AB

Those will help with 95% of fires... If you have magnesium components, you should theoretically carry a class D extinguisher for those if they go up but it is not realistic as D extinguishers are huge and expensive and if you are really in a situation where you have magnesium components burning... just watch the show as the rest of your rig is likely gone already. Multible ABC extinguishers focused at one target D fire can put it out but do not count on it.

The last type of fire is K... no worries for us unless you brought a deep fryer and managed to set that on fire. Also unrealistic.

I would say for most rigs 3 extinguishers is a little overkill but that can be good for safety. 1 ABC and one BC w/in the driver's reach. Concept being that you grab the ABC where you can make a mess and a BC when you cannot. Also having another ABC in the cargo area is good for general campsite stuff.

You can get by with only one or 2 but make sure you have AT LEAST 5 pounds of agent. Also learn to use it. Aim at the base of the flame... the stuff that is burning. Look around locally there may be free extinguisher training where you can actually use one. If not, get a cheap plastic one and put out your own fire.

Yeah I do some fire prevention work... sorry for the long winded response.
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Old 10-19-2009, 01:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
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i carry a dry chemical fire extinguisher strapped to the rail on both sides of the bench seat. i also used to carry a couple of 2.5 gallon water fire extinguishers. i really like these because they can be refilled in the field or at home allowing you to use them for small tasks like putting out a camp fire or a water fight they also don't keep losing pressure if you use it for a quick squirt. i've never been able to get my hands on any but you can put some coldfire in them and supposedly that stuff is really good on a and b fires. the water by itself is only meant for class a fires though it has been used on class b with some degree of success. has anyone ever used coldfire? where did you get it and how well did it really work?
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Old 10-19-2009, 01:22 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Is there a reason to have something for a gas fire or once gas lights in/on a vehicle is all hope lost what would be the best combo to get for this ?
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Old 10-19-2009, 09:31 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Is there a reason to have something for a gas fire or once gas lights in/on a vehicle is all hope lost what would be the best combo to get for this ?
Gas burns basically instantly... usually what happens in vehicle fires is that gas lights and either keeps burning because there is still a supply of fuel- the fuel pump is not killed... or the heat from the initial gas fire has heated all the rubber hoses and wire insulation to the point where they burn. The most important thing is to have a fuel cutoff that really cuts off the supply... after supply is cutoff, you just have a normal A/B fire. If the fire has a chance at the main fuel tank you are likely better just running. One way to look at it is if the fire is small enough for you to approach within ~10 ft of it without your face melting off, you can likely put it out pretty easily. Also keep the extinguisher at the ready even after the fire is out because there will be hot spots that have potential for re-ignition.

Concerning the water extinguishers... they can be handy but are not really worth their weight IMO. Unless you have a lot of extra payload, for the same size/weight you can get a lot more extinguishing out of chemicals. I have dealt with some funny nozzles but not that agent mentioned. Brush fires will be a little easier to get out with water but unless you do not carry much drinking water, I would still stick to chemicals.
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Old 11-16-2009, 10:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Great info thanks.
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Old 11-17-2009, 07:26 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm totally ignorant to what the different letters represent.
Can someone provide a quick 'n dirty breakdown please?
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Old 11-17-2009, 08:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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we use Cold fire suppresant in all the WEROCK extinguishers and onboard the buggy....

but I carry 2
1 ABC 2.5lb
1 ABC 5lb...cus sometimes the 2.5 doesnt get it all out...and an extra one is alway BETTER than watchin yer rig burn...
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Old 11-17-2009, 10:38 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Dry Chemical extinguishers put fires out by cutting of the oxygen from the fuel (rubber, wood, wiring, and exc.) by melting around the fuel. Very messy and not safe for electronics or electrical equipment.
Halon puts the fire out by displacing the oxygen. Works best in an enclosed space. Safe for electronics or electrical equipment.
CO2 extinguishers put fires out by displacing oxygen and cooling the fuel below its flash point. Works better in an enclosed space. Safe for electronics or electrical equipment.
With any thing that is electronic or electrical I would suggest a Purple K extinguisher. It puts the fire out by disrupting the chemical reaction of the fire. It is a powder, but not as messy as Dry Chem. It is also safe on electronics or electrical equipment. Plus if you are in an enclosed space you will not suffocate like you would with the Halon or CO2 extinguishers.
So FWIW I would run with a couple of 5 pounder Dry Chemical extinguishers for ABC fire and 2 2 pound Purple K (close to the driver/co-driver) extinguishers for engine bay fires so you can save as much of the electrical system as possible.
Just my .02


Here is your basic extinguisher classes:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Old 11-17-2009, 11:27 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I think anything is better than nothing... personally the large rig fires I've seen pics of I doubt they cared about saving the electrical, more about saving a % of the rig... maybe I`m wrong here but seems electrical is gonna burn up first.
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Old 11-18-2009, 08:43 AM   #12 (permalink)
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i like cold fire pressurized extinguishers - the more rig or stuff - the more fire suppression needed. dry chemical is hard to clean up and is corrosive.
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Old 11-18-2009, 09:05 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I think anything is better than nothing... personally the large rig fires I've seen pics of I doubt they cared about saving the electrical, more about saving a % of the rig... maybe I`m wrong here but seems electrical is gonna burn up first.
That is true. There comes a point were you have to save what you can. But if you catch a fire soon enough and get it out without to much damage, you may need to get back to civilization. Like Tom Campbell said, Dry Chem. is corrosive and might destroy or compromise any of the electronics that survived the fire. It is easier to replace some wiring instead of the entire wiring harness, fusses, relays, and CPU.
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Old 11-18-2009, 09:16 AM   #14 (permalink)
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That is true. There comes a point were you have to save what you can. But if you catch a fire soon enough and get it out without to much damage, you may need to get back to civilization. Like Tom Campbell said, Dry Chem. is corrosive and might destroy or compromise any of the electronics that survived the fire. It is easier to replace some wiring instead of the entire wiring harness, fusses, relays, and CPU.
it also irritates the lungs/throat/eyes/skin...
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Old 11-18-2009, 12:48 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Thanks for the breakdown BrotherGrim!
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Old 11-18-2009, 12:52 PM   #16 (permalink)
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2 ABC 5 pounders at the rear drivers and pass sides fixed to the roll hoop, 1 BC little buddy next to the drivers seat, 5 gal piss pump(Indian style backpack pump) waiting to get mounted on the new bumper when that project gets off the ground. I also have been toying with switching out the Pump for a 2.5 gal pressurized water can but i'm diggin the full 5 gal. great for campfire's little hotline work and water fights you don't need to sit next to the compressor to recharge it. 0.02c
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