Recommend a fire extinguisher?

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Touchwood, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. Touchwood

    Touchwood Funster

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    When we bought our 'van last September it came with an amazingly full inventory (courtesy of the previous owner) and we didn't need to buy anything before our first trip out. It is only recently that I've realised there is one glaring omission, we don't have a fire extinguisher aboard - not even a fire blanket.

    Can anyone recommend a good product? I seem to remember reading a post on here (it may have been elsewhere) to the effect that many of the cheaper products, without pressure gauges, can be useless when you need them due to having lost pressure - is this correct?

    All thoughts and suggestions welcome.

    Mike
     
  2. jaygee

    jaygee Funster

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    Everyone keeping there head down on this one, could get shot down in flames :Rofl1:
    So much on iternet about what to carry
    I carry 2kg CO2, also will soon be adding large dry foam
    Both types have their advantages/disadvantages
    Dry foam is pretty much of an all rounder
    Both starve fire of oxygen but has little cooling effect
    CO2 is clean but hell of a blast
    Then there is AFFF water based
    what ever you chose to carry be sure you know how to use and on what. Also make sure its large enough to actually do the job
    Tony
     
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  3. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    >> Recommend a fire extinguisher?

    The fire brigade.
     
  4. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    not being picky .. but do you mean dry powder ?

    Dry powder is a good all rounder.. but makes a hell of a mess .. but better than fire damage.
    If you have or buy one, make sure to give it a shake every few months as the powder settles down due to the vibration when traveling and can become hard packed. If you can't feel the powder moving it's scrap .. .

    Buy a brand name with a gauge.. 2kg is a good size.. I had this with a fire blanket.

    Dry powder extinguishers are effective on Class A, B, C fire risk involving burning solids, flammable liquids, gases, heating oils and live electrical equipment.

    Not suitable for cooking oils and fats... only use a fire blanket
     
  5. kex66

    kex66 Read Only Funster

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    There is a thread on this subject on RVOC:

    Choose a good quality, general extinguisher suitable for most fire situations and a fire blanket. also the following applies:

    The most important thing when faced with a fire in any confined space is to get out safely. I would only attempt to use a fire extinguisher if faced with a salvageable situation such as a small electrical fire as a result of poor wiring in a socket etc. That is the reason I have changed the Dry Powder extinguisher for a co2 extinguisher - use a dry powder near sensitive electrical items such as computers and televisions and chances are you will end up destroying these items anyway.

    I would never attempt to use an extinguisher to "Make a path" through a fire situation especially a dry powder extinguisher. These dry agent extinguishers reduce visibility and have no post discharge control - in other words they do not cool materials sufficiently to stop them re-igniting quickly. I have installed a fire blanket for this purpose. If trapped, you are far better using a fire blanket as a cloak to protect your face and airway than trying to activate an extinguisher.

    At the end of the day, any extinguisher is better than none at all and a dry powder extinguisher is compact, cheap to buy and can be safely used on most fire situations. The golden rules are- it should be in a place that is visible and easy to access (Near to the greatest fire risk if possible - kitchen area and also as close to the exit as possible). If you decide to use the extinguisher and then the fire develops rapidly (And take it from me it probably will), you want to be close to the exit so you can easily ditch your attempt and get out safely. Having an extinguisher placed away from the exit is a bad idea. Also, make sure the extinguisher is in a serviceable condition - the pressure needle is within the green portion of the pressure guage (If it has one) and the cylinder of the extinguisher is in date (There is a test date stamped on the neck of the extinguisher).

    If these are not OK then get rid and buy a new one. They are so cheap now it doesn't pay to have them re-filled or re-tested. A 1kg dry powder extinguisher should cost you about £15 - £20 tops. Make sure you get one with a wall bracket as your existing bracket may not fit.

    Also if you have a dry powder extinguisher make sure you shake it before use. Dry powder is prone to "Caking" or settling in a lump in the bottom and this will effect it's ability to expell all of the extinguishing media before the expellent gas has run out.

    The AFFF extinguisher I have is in one of the outside storage lockers and would be used for a small fire resulting from discarded BBQ coals etc. Just one final point, never be tempted to use any type of fire extinguisher on a fire involving fats (Chip pan, frying pan etc). The pressure from the extinguisher will simply blow the burning fat everywhere and there will probably be no turning back from that!

    Having now read me rambling on for some time about extinguishers, ask yourself the following questions - when was the last time I checked the extinguisher? is it in a serviceable condition? This might sound stupid but do I know how to get it out of it's bracket and am I familiar with how to pull the safety pin/ disc out in order to us it?

    If you have answered no to any of these, make a point of having a quick look next time you are in the RV. Oh, and while your at it, if you have a battery operated smoke alarm, check that as well:thumb:
     
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