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Old 08-26-2012, 09:41 PM
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Do you keep a fire extinguisher in your car? What kind?

Just finishing my '55 Bel Air hardtop and am thinking about buying a fire extinguisher to carry in the trunk.

I've been doing a little research and am seeing horror stories about the damage a dry chemical extinguisher can do because the chemical powder is so caustic. It will basically ruin your interior and inside wiring if you use it there.

Under the hood it will basically eat up aluminum, attack anything plastic, corrode the wiring and ruin the paint unless you get the chemical off immediately. Seems like it would be common that you couldn't clean it immediately since the car may not run due to the fire and need to be towed.

So, I am thinking about a halon (they are still available) or a halotron (only about half as effective as halon per unit of volume). There is no residue thus no damage caused by either of these. The cost of a 5lb halon extinguisher is about $210 and a 5lb halotron is about $175 but the halon will put out twice as much fire.

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Old 08-26-2012, 10:21 PM
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Just a $20 multi purpose ABC drychem extinguisher for now. It's not mounted. it rolls around on the passanger floor, but it's there if I need it. Reason I have that 1 is because Wally World discontinued the marine/ auto 1's with mounts at the store I went to, and there is where I happen to stop for 1 while I was thinking about it.

Going for Halon, when I get some $$. Have a spent extinguisher from my dads old boat. We had a large gas fire on the boat and that extinguisher had it out in seconds. I think Halon units can be recharged and rectified so that's probably what I'll do
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Old 08-26-2012, 10:34 PM
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Yes I do. It's a Halon bottle mounted in the cabin on the firewall. I feel better knowing I have a chance if something bad were to happen.

Keith
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Old 08-27-2012, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt167 View Post
Just a $20 multi purpose ABC drychem extinguisher for now. It's not mounted. it rolls around on the passanger floor, but it's there if I need it. Reason I have that 1 is because Wally World discontinued the marine/ auto 1's with mounts at the store I went to, and there is where I happen to stop for 1 while I was thinking about it.
From what I've read, if you well insured with an "agreed value" policy, you are better off letting the car burn and be a total loss than to try to put out the fire with an ABC dry chemical extinguisher.

Read what this guy has to say. He's had 3 car fires:

Fire Extinguishers
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Old 08-27-2012, 04:14 PM
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I have straight liability on my car, it's not worth enough for any of the agreed value insurance companies to write a policy on it.. And yea, we all know drychem is bad, but when it comes down to it, it is better than nothing. Ammonium phosphate is the corrosive chemical and not all dry chems have it.Halon/ Haltron of course is the best choice.
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Old 08-27-2012, 05:38 PM
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hey guys i am a fire ext tech(fancy for i passed a test so i can recharge, tag and test them)ABC powder can be corrisive that is the reason whenever you take one apart you are supposed to look inside for any bad rust. Halon or halotron should work and alot less mess the only downfall is the cost to buy and the cost to recharge them but probably alot cheaper then replacing and cleaning everything else that the powder gets into and believe me it gets everywhere and it don't take much of it
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Old 08-27-2012, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by jaslong View Post
hey guys i am a fire ext tech(fancy for i passed a test so i can recharge, tag and test them)ABC powder can be corrisive that is the reason whenever you take one apart you are supposed to look inside for any bad rust. Halon or halotron should work and alot less mess the only downfall is the cost to buy and the cost to recharge them but probably alot cheaper then replacing and cleaning everything else that the powder gets into and believe me it gets everywhere and it don't take much of it
Question for you. Possibly you know.

I've been reading about Purple K dry chemical (BC) and they say it is less corrosive than the ABC type and even more effective on fuel fires than the regular ABC type dry chemical is. It doesn't have an A rating which is not a problem with an under hood engine fire.

My question is, how much less corrosive? Say Purple K were used under the hood of a car and couldn't be hosed or pressure washed off for a day or to, would anything be ruined?

My understanding is that if you did this with an ABC dry chemical extinguisher, all electronics and wiring will be toast and aluminum, plastic and paint will be damaged.

Say you were in a minor collision and had an engine fire and your car gets towed off. In that case it may not be possible for you to clean the engine compartment for some period of time.

What I'm thinking is it may make sense to get a 2.5lb halon AND a 2.5lb purple K. Halon for the interior and purple K for under the hood or any fuel fire.
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Old 08-29-2012, 09:16 PM
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Here's a clip from a .pdf file I downloaded from the Amerex company.
Interesting. It looks to me like the Purple K is the best way to go for a fuel or underhood fire.

It's twice as effective as a regular BC sodium bicarbonate extinguisher and it doesn't look like their is a corrosion factor difference between the two.

Now, I just need to decide whether to also get a Halon in case of a fire starting in the interior.


>>>

Sodium Bicarbonate
Sodium bicarbonate dry chemical is also called "regular dry chemical". In addition to
effectiveness on class B and C fires, it will have some effect on the flaming stages of a
class A fire but no effect on the ember or deep seated stages of a class A fire. When
used with common cooking greases it will react with the hot grease to form a thick foam
through a process known as "saponification". The foam created by saponification will act
much like other fire fighting foams but does not have the cooling effect of wet chemical
and is no longer considered effective for use on Class K fires. Sodium bicarbonate dry
chemical is alkaline in nature and will not cause corrosion during normal use.


Potassium Bicarbonate - "Purple-K"
Potassium bicarbonate or "purple-K" dry chemical was developed by the U.S. Naval
Research Lab, precluding the use of the term "Purple-K" as a Trade Name. It was
discovered that the salts of potassium were far more effective on flammable liquid fires
compared with the salts of sodium. Claims of the effectiveness of potassium
bicarbonate agents range from 50% to 100% more effective on flammable liquid fires
when compared to sodium bicarbonate. Potassium bicarbonate is also alkaline in
nature, has similar abilities to saponify when used on hot cooking grease, but like
sodium bicarbonate, it lacks the cooling capability of wet chemical and is no longer the
agent of choice for Class K fires. Purple -K will not cause corrosion under most uses.


Monoammonium Phosphate
Monoammonium Phosphate or "ABC" or "Multi-Purpose" Dry Chemical differs from
potassium bicarbonate or sodium bicarbonate in that it is acidic in nature. In addition to
similar effectiveness on class B and C fires when compared to sodium bicarbonate,
monoammonium phosphate has unique effectiveness on class A fires. When it contacts
the burning surface of an ordinary combustible, a molten residue (metaphosphoric acid)
is formed. This residue coats the burning ember and excludes oxygen. Monoammonium
phosphate will not saponify when used on hot cooking grease and will cause corrosion if
not thoroughly removed from most surfaces.
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