Jump to content

OT - Car Fires - Im carrying a extinguisher now!


Recommended Posts

I do a lot of mileage in my job and usually see something on our network of roads to make me cringe, but today saw a Transit Crew Cab beaver tail on fire on the M1 between Junc 20 and 21 (southbound).

I went by it before the emergency services had got there, and it was scary, massive flames 20' in the air, with the driver trying to get the car off the back of the beaver tail! His passenger dragged him away!

Purely through being forced by MSA regs, all my off roaders are fitted with a 2ltr AFFF extinguisher, but I have never carried one in a "road car".

After today, thats probably going to change! Im religious about extinguishers in a couple of grands worth of off roader, but not in the car that cost £20k + !? Could be a very sad day if it ever happened with the LR on the trailer as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Been there.... :(

I was in the middle of nowhere on the A9 heading to Inverness, pulled out to pass a lorry and all of the dash lights came on then the car started to loose power. Smoke was coming out of the vents in front of the screen and over the top - looked quite impressive in the mirror. Fortunately, the artic driver saw the smoke and braked to let me in then held the queue back a bit.

Bonnet was still cool to touch but I could see flickering flames so I decided to open it and found the insulation on the front of the engine and oil fill tube alight - The only thing I had to put it out with was snow and it was very effective. :lol:

Turned out the alternator wires had chaffed through on the oil fillup pipe (2.0 EFi K Series Engine) and sparked, igniting spilt oil on the insulation.

Lesson rapidly learnt and I bought four extinguishers that day - My car and both my parents. It gives you the chance to assess and tackle small fires before they turn into big ones.

Plus you never know, if you were in a smash and were trapped, an extinguisher nearby could be a lifesaver. :ph34r:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ofcourse the other side of the coin being that armed weith a tiny Argos fire extinguisher you have the false belief that you can tackle any car fire thus pustting yourself in danger. Let's face it, how many of us use a fire extinguisher regularly? Or are familiar with the operation and instructions? (yes, we read them once when we take it out of the box and then never look at again until there are flames around us - a bit like the Fawlty Tower espisode, and being so old, it'll explode in our face, much like what happened to Basil) :o

Oh, I am not saying don't get one but engage the grey matter first when dealing with fires. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've a small extinguisher in the passenger footwell of the 110, but nothing in the van, in which I'm doing all my driving at the moment.

At the time I had all my worldly possessions in the 110 and short of being nicked, the next most likely way of me loosing everything was it burning down. From that point of view I think it's a worthwhile investment.

But, it is just a small co2 bottle and will probably blow away more than put out a fire unless you're in early or are on top of the fire.

Having one is better than not, provided you use your head. Could save someones life, and I should really get one for the van.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Been there.... :(

It gives you the chance to assess and tackle small fires before they turn into big ones.

Plus you never know, if you were in a smash and were trapped, an extinguisher nearby could be a lifesaver. :ph34r:

Yep, my point exactly.

If my truck catches fire I'm not hanging around to point an extinguisher at it...
yeah right, the day my car catches fire its ownership passes to the NFU... bugger hanging around to point a fire extinguisher at it...
That attitude is ok if you have a bog standard motor and you are confident that you will get a full value payout - but thats rarer than a rare thing on national rare day!

All im saying is perhaps it could be worth a £40 extinguisher, little acorns, you could put out a small dash fire and save a lot of heart ache.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The same thing happened to me down near Folkestone.

Screw fire extinguishers. I won't bore you with the details, but after it was on fire (in a mild way :D ), the fire crew opened the bonnet to access the engine bay & spray the fire, and of course in goes the oxygen and BOOM - BIG FIRE!

You might figure you could put it out before you open the bonnet, but afterwards (once you pick yourself up off the floor)? Forget it. Just walk away.

'Interestingly' for me at the time, my insurance company paid me less for my written off car than I'd paid them for that years premium... they're not taking a huge risk, are they? :angry2:

Al.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fire extinguishers are like first aid kits. You carry them and hope you dont need them.

How many first aid kits contents are out of date just like the fire extinguishers people carry?.

I think one type of extinguisher has to be inverted/rotate once a month to prevent settling of contents??

NEVER open a bonnet if engine is on fire! Car carried fire extinguishers are only useful for smaiil fires. (Had to use one once when pan caught fire in small motorhome.)

Serious question though, what is the most suitable/recommended extinguishers to carry?? Also any clues on whether extinguishers have to be carried vertically or ok horizontally

Regards

Leeds

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For motorsport use you have to use AFFF or Zero2000 these days since halon was banned. Zero2000 is much more expensive than AFFF, about 3x, but is apparently more effective, although haven't used it myself. What's best? An old halon one carried out of sight ;) although these are getting a bit far out of date now and they attract a possible big fine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Like many, this is a very emotional subject and we are never all going to agree. In the cold light of day, I was wrong opening the bonnet on mine although I had checked it and it was cold, however with the aid of hindsight, it was a small fire with limited fuel (Spilt oil and insulation). Had it been allowed to continue, it would have grown but it did not have a petrol supply so didn't flare up.

I've done Fire Fighting Training and Fire Appreciation courses where you deliberately use the wrong extinguisher on certain fires to see the effect. Water on a vat of burning oil is spectacular. We also saw camping gas cylinders explode under controlled conditions and it does make you suitably wary.

Leeds - Its the dry powder ones that need shaking or rotating to stop them settling.

I'm not going to suggest the best extingusher because there are many horses for courses and it is all dependent on the type of fire and fuel present. For example, as the most likely fire in a kitchen is a oil fire on the cooker, it is safer to have a fire blanket rather than an extinguisher.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

in the 'good old days' of I.T. I used to have a Cerbera. After a drive during which the exhaust 4 into 1

on one side cracked, I parked it in the garage and started to walk away but noticed some flames licking

out of the bonnet vents - I peered in (carefully!) :ph34r: and saw that the fibreglass below the drivers

footwell was on fire from the heat of the cracked exhaust! :o

Lucky I had a powder extinguisher in there - always useful in a plaggy car - and put it out pretty easily...

as for landys, when camping and cooking with petrol cookers its essential to have some thing to put out the

resultant accidents! :rolleyes:

Tom

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Question - i see above someone said dry powder needs to be shaken - is the shaking from driving about enough? or should it be removed & shaken by hand?

when i shake my dry powder i cant feel anything move inside, does that mean as i suspect that its dead?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Andy,

I would say that powder extinguishers in a car are probably in a bad situation because of vibration. (especially in a Land Rover). you know what it is like with a bag of cement, it just packs down.

The powder is also badly affected by moisture. (Land Rovers again!). If you shake the extinguisher and can't feel the powder moving, I wouldn't take the risk and get a new one. The larger extinguishers can be serviced but I wouldn't recommend trying it yourself. (There is a little CO2 cannister in there that breaks when you charge the cylinder - that provides the pressure to fire the powder.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Question - i see above someone said dry powder needs to be shaken - is the shaking from driving about enough? or should it be removed & shaken by hand?

when i shake my dry powder i cant feel anything move inside, does that mean as i suspect that its dead?

The main problem with powder is it settles - helped by the vibration of the vehicle - especially a LR diesel.

I'm not sure if you should be able to feel or hear the powder moving inside its a very fine powder that almost fills the extinguisher. what I would recommend is a annual inspection by a specialist.

I would suggest talk to the engineer when they visit site (every year) to service your extinguishers at work - the engineer we use gave me two free CO2 extinguishers and gave me his mobile stating anything more I need I can have at cost plus a pint!

For extinguisher types - my preference is

powder for its fight anything capability, its usually quite effective - the disadvantage is it can settle and not work when needed.

Alternatives are

Water - Useless on anything other than paper or wood - unsuitable for a car

Foam - Good for vehicles - does not have any problems with settling - its ideal for contained fuel fires where it forms a layer above the liquid - not so ideal (IMHO) for engine fires where it can run off the engine and allow the fire to restart

CO2 - quite good in enclosed spaces - not very good for vehicle fires as the CO2 gets blown away (the CO2 basically starves the fire of oxygen

Others have been mentioned above and I cannot comment as I have no experience.

The rescue crew chief from 'Calder Rescue' told us - and I have to say I agree;

The fire extinguisher to protect life only - ie to get everyone out or away from the vehicle - if it puts the fire out great - however don't put your self at risk fighting it.

On a event last year a rally car had a vehicle fire, county fire had two fire tenders to put it out - each had to refill twice - now reconsider what you are going to do with your 6kg powder/6l foam/halon... <_<

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not sure if you should be able to feel or hear the powder moving inside its a very fine powder that almost fills the extinguisher. what I would recommend is a annual inspection by a specialist.

All Dry Powder [DP] types should be given a good shake to unpack the powder, you should be able to hear/feel the powder moving, on my 9kg DP I turn it upside down & hold it near my ear so I can feel/hear the contents move, my 9ltr AFFF doesn't need the sme treatment before use, all modern silver or red coloured DP extinguishers are stored pressure types the old cartrdige types are now obsolete, but if i good order would still probably work [got 2 x 11.5kg of these 1 in the house & 1 in my garage]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nope not really,

they're part of my MSA required rally recovery kit, the 2 x 11.5kg DP's are now off the 110 & on standby just in case, can't get them serviced anymore as the CO2 carts are no longer made & mine are well out of date, the 9kg & 9ltr AFFF are the in use always onboard exting's.

so how many haven't you got then :hysterical: probably lots @ work :i-m_so_happy:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What does AFFF stand for in connection with fire extinguishers?

Are they readily available in safety equipment shops?

Regards

Leeds

22nd Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival :D , alternativly Aqueous Film-Forming Foams http://www.reliablefire.com/foamfolder/foamsystems.html its basically a addertive for water that makes it form a layer over a liquid-fueled fire stopping oxygen getting to the fire.

They are very easily avaliable from anywhere that sells fire extinguishers - the smaller 1l and 2l versions are more difficult to get

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What does AFFF stand for in connection with fire extinguishers?

Are they readily available in safety equipment shops?

Regards

Leeds

AFFF = Aqueous Film Forming Foam :i-m_so_happy:

for example Screwfix 6ltr AFFF

found that by doing a UK website search on my Orange homepage search, it found this many 1,324 for 'AFFF' from UK sites.

That poor Discovery, very sad :(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience. By using our website you agree to our Cookie Policy