Car Fire Extinguisher – Buying Guide, Opinions and Analysis
Fire extinguishers designed for cars are smaller versions of their counterparts, mainly to be able to be transported in the vehicle without taking up too much space, in addition to facilitating their handling in small environments. A good purchase alternative, if you need to purchase one, could be the Smartwares FEX-15122 . This car fire extinguisher is suitable for fighting flames of different origin, as well as providing a good amount of dry powder, for your peace of mind. Another option that may interest you is the Faycom RC00001 . This model stands out for having a compact size, being small enough to carry it even in the glove compartment.
In this space you will find a useful guide to buying the best car fire extinguisher, with objective information that could help you choose the model that best suits your needs, and is capable of offering safety by having a tool at hand that could save your life.
Effectiveness against fire
In a comparison of car fire extinguishers, one of the main aspects to be determined is the type of fire that can attack and this is usually limited based on the material that has been stored in the cylinder.
According to the analytical tables, the effectiveness of fire extinguishers can be divided into 4 categories: A, B, C and D, depending on the materials, origins and power of the fire.
In class A we find fire from dry combustible bases such as wood, cardboard, paper, plastic, among others. This type is one of the most common in and out of the car, so it is adaptable to use at home as well.
Evaluating class B, you will come across a fire that has been started using a fossil fuel, that is, gasoline and derivatives, as well as paint or oil. These elements can quickly fuel a fire, in addition to making it aggressive.
Within class C is the fire that has been created with explosions of gases, either butane, propane or those accumulated in cities. These can be very damaging and difficult to control.
Finally, class D, where fires produced by metal fuels such as sodium, magnesium or aluminum powder have been considered.
Type of fire extinguisher for car
One of the most important characteristics to review and that can directly influence how much a car extinguisher costs, is its type itself.
These first aid tools can be divided into 4 types, taking into account the contents of their cylinder, be it water, dust, C02 or for special fires.
The water extinguishers are those determined to fight class A fires, since they are produced by solid fuels. They are capable of expelling water directly at the source of the fire, but you must be vigilant and not use it in environments where it could cause a short circuit.
In the case of powder extinguishers, these are among the most popular products, since they can be used to control class A, B, C and D fires. Inside, these extinguishers have dry chemical powder, which acts on the flames, to decrease their intensity.
Likewise, those that use C02 should also be highlighted, since, considering their content, they are also useful for the 4 classes of fires and, in addition, it is considered a clean extinguishing product, being suitable for putting out fires on electronic equipment.
Reviewing the last type, that is, that of special fires, you should know that these are exclusively designed to deal with class D fires, since they use the smothering of the flames and even absorb heat through cooling.
The capacity of the cylinder in the car fire extinguisher you choose is relevant when choosing a model that you can easily install under the seat or in the trunk, as you prefer, as well as making sure you carry a tool that can be really useful in case of an emergency.
In this category and, especially for cars, there are models with a compact size of 1 kilogram or less, no bigger than a bottle of water, which you can even keep in the glove compartment, so you can easily take them when you need them.
Other higher capacity models may be more effective and reliable, but keep in mind that they will probably need to be installed in the trunk. For example, those that exceed 1.5 or 2 kilograms of extinguishing material. However, do not worry too much, since, if you look carefully, you can find an inexpensive car fire extinguisher and with enough material, to feel safe at all times.
One element that many buyers may take into account when choosing a fire extinguisher to carry in the car is its mount.
Depending on your model, it can include a wall mount or under the seat and you should carefully choose the one that suits you best. Otherwise, you can always purchase it separately or specially designed with compatibility for your vehicle.
Regardless of the situation, it will always be more advisable to have the extinguisher installed in its respective support, attached to any element or anchored to the surface of the wall, in order to keep it safe.
Frequently asked questions
Q1: Where to put a fire extinguisher in the car?
There are arguably 2 recommended places to install a car fire extinguisher: under the seat or in the trunk.
The seat is often the most popular space, keeping the fire extinguisher close at hand and preventing it from taking up useful space inside the car. It can be installed using special brackets, sold separately, which position the fire extinguisher in an upright position and secure it to the lower seat frame. This way, it stays safe at all times.
The trunk, in general, is usually the option of choice when the car fire extinguisher exceeds the dimensions of the space available under the seat. However, in the same way, it is advisable to mount on supports that you can secure to the bodywork or to a fixed element inside the trunk. Likewise, it should be located near the entrance, so that you can take it quickly in case of an emergency.
Q2: How to put out a burning car without fire extinguisher?
To determine the steps to follow, you must first consider some relevant aspects in the situation.
If the fire breaks out inside the vehicle, find a safe place, stop immediately, and turn off the engine, before attempting to resolve the situation. If this is not possible, all the occupants should leave and close the doors and raise the windows, so that the lack of oxygen helps reduce the intensity of the flames.
Otherwise, if it is generated outside, specifically under the hood, it is advisable to keep it closed in order to avoid the spread of flames and the feeding of the fire.
If you don’t have a fire extinguisher handy, you can take sand out of the way and pour it over the area of the flames, thus shutting off the oxygen that fuels the fire. This will eventually turn it off safely. However, if you find yourself in the situation of being in front of a car on fire, it is best to take a safe distance, to avoid being reached by calls in the event of an explosion.
Q3: Do I have to carry a fire extinguisher in the car?
The obligation by law on whether or not to carry a fire extinguisher in the car is determined by the type of vehicle, since models for private use do not necessarily have to carry an extinguisher. However, due to the increase in car accidents, it is practically imperative to have one close by, in case of any eventuality.
The cars that are governed by the law in the use of fire extinguishers inside the car are mainly those for public use and charging. As you can imagine, there are laws that are responsible for the protection of third parties when using services provided by the state, which is why the security mechanisms establish that the size of the fire extinguisher must be proportional to the size and capacity of the vehicle. In this way, it is guaranteed to have on hand a fire extinguisher capable enough to fight a fire, whether accidental or caused.