Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login

Site Notices
Posted: 10/20/2013 2:15:34 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/20/2013 2:17:22 PM EST by shaggy]
Got one (or more) in your home/garage - what do you recommend?

Wife and I are buying a house, and she wants a fire extinguisher on each floor of the house - bedroom, kitchen/fireplace, and lower level. I think its a damned good idea too, especially since we'll be a good 10-20 minutes from the nearest FD. Seems like there's a lot of different types, sizes, and prices range all over the place. Educate me - any recommendations?

Link Posted: 10/20/2013 2:21:38 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/20/2013 2:23:13 PM EST by 13starsinax]
5LB ABC type my suggestion.

3LB ABC type would be fine to keep in a kitchen type area.
Link Posted: 10/20/2013 2:29:06 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 13starsinax:
5LB ABC type my suggestion.

3LB ABC type would be fine to keep in a kitchen type area.
View Quote


5-pounders run from about $30 to over $300 each - trying to figure out whats the difference. I get ABC, but what do the numbers mean (10-A 80-BC, 20-A 120-BC, 1-A 10-BC, etc)?
Link Posted: 10/20/2013 2:35:56 PM EST
I have the larger commercial ABC's in my kitchen, bedroom, basement, and garage. And I have spares in the pile.

Last winter we had a chimney fire and it seriously saved the day!

About 10 years back a neighbor interrupted sunday dinner over at my parents...the front landscape had caught fire and already engulfed two trees. I grabbed the extinguisher in their kitchen and nailed it before it moved on to the house/garage. By the time the truck arrived I was just saturating everything with the hose.

That is why I have so many. Two is one...

-Emt1581
Link Posted: 10/20/2013 2:38:07 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Emt1581:
I have the larger commercial ABC's in my kitchen, bedroom, basement, and garage. And I have spares in the pile.

Last winter we had a chimney fire and it seriously saved the day!

About 10 years back a neighbor interrupted sunday dinner over at my parents...the front landscape had caught fire and already engulfed two trees. I grabbed the extinguisher in their kitchen and nailed it before it moved on to the house/garage. By the time the truck arrived I was just saturating everything with the hose.

That is why I have so many. Two is one...

-Emt1581
View Quote


That right there is a big reason why. The idea of a chimney fire scares the everloving shit outta me.

Link Posted: 10/20/2013 2:41:16 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By shaggy:

That right there is a big reason why. The idea of a chimney fire scares the everloving shit outta me.

View Quote


Yup.

My mistake was trusting my wood guy that I was using for years. Last season he threw in some oak...turns out it wasn't seasoned near enough and slowly built up creosote in the chimney. I usually moisture test all my stuff but I had stopped because all his stuff was good to go. I'll be breaking out the meter again next week.

-Emt1581
Link Posted: 10/20/2013 2:42:56 PM EST
The numbers and letters relate to how large of each kind of fire the extinguisher can put out. You can find descriptions online, but for example a 10B unit can put out a 25 sq foot pan of flammable liquid with 31 gallons in it. Not sure how useful that kind of information really is, given that you can probably just infer bigger is going to put out a bigger fire.

I got a few halon 1211 units because apparently they work great and don't leave white powder everywhere. They are not cheap, but between being very effective and no clean-up, I was sold.
Link Posted: 10/20/2013 2:51:47 PM EST
Go to the UL ratings guide at Fire Extinguisher depot. Lot of info there.
Myself, I keep a 5lb type ABC in my kitchen. If you can't knock it down
with a 5 or 10 pounder you'd better have someone on the line with 911.
My really big extinguisher is kept a mile up the road in a heated garage.
Link Posted: 10/20/2013 2:56:34 PM EST
Just make sure the valves are steel. The plastic crap from Home Depot is just that (Crap)

People will suggest plenty of things, but just get a couple of 5LB ABC's and you will be fine, unless you operate some commercial cooking appliances. The most important thing is to know how far away to shoot the extinguisher from, and when to drop that thing and run like hell
Link Posted: 10/20/2013 2:59:06 PM EST
I put out our kitchen with 2 3lb ABC extinguishers in June. The stove shorted out while we were gone and the control panel caught fire and it spread to the microwave/hood and cabinets above. I walked in on the smoke filled house, It was less than 10 minutes from blowing out the windows and taking out everything. The fire flamed up when I went in, so I could see where it was at and I used 2 3lb 'ers on it. Now, we have a 5 lb in the kitchen, a 3 lb outside every entrance and 3 lb'ers scattered throughout.
Link Posted: 10/20/2013 3:45:53 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/20/2013 3:46:27 PM EST by oldrock]
Fire extinguishers are great but they are not all created equal. What I have is a 10lb commercial unit in the garage and workshop where flammables are stored. Then a 5lb unit in the kitchen and small units in each car.
Link Posted: 10/20/2013 4:04:15 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/20/2013 4:05:38 PM EST by jchewie1]
I'm going to recommend a 5 lb mounted in or near the kitchen, and 10 lb extinguishers mounted at the top of the stairs, another in the basement, one in your bedroom, and one or more in the garage.

Mount them on the wall, or make a designated spot for them that absolutely will be kept clear of stuff.

Teach your kids how to use them, and that if they can't put it out with one, to get the hell out and call 911 from a neighbor's house.

I haven't had a problem with plastic valved extinguishers. If you partially discharge one, either metal or plastic, consider it done, the powder will prevent the seal from fully seating and it will leak pressure down slowly. Metal valved extinguishers could be recharged. I don't think plastic could.




For stove top fires another good tip is to open a large baking soda box, then close it right back up and never use it unless there is a stove top fire. Set it in the front of the cupboard immediately off to the side of the stove and don't pile other stuff in front of it.


Familiarize your kids when they are old enough.
Link Posted: 10/20/2013 5:37:00 PM EST
Thoughts on a fire blanket?
Link Posted: 10/20/2013 6:16:17 PM EST
I'll break the pattern and suggest a 2 1/2 gal. pressurized water extinguisher. Sure the ABC dry chemical units are good for grease and hydrocarbon fires, but look at what your house is full of. Fabrics, wood, paper goods, clothes, etc. If you want to put these out and have them not reignite, water is the best agent. A garden hose if great, but not as portable in th first moments when you still have a chance to stop the fire.

Small dry chem in the kitchen and one in the garage, then water for everything else.
Link Posted: 10/20/2013 7:06:34 PM EST
I have an halon in the kitchen . Ex gf used it and put out the stove when a burner failed and melted . I have a big 20 pound dry chemical in my living room away from my wood burning stove .I worked at a place that used all CO2 after seeing the reduction in clean up . I see why .

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 10/20/2013 7:08:18 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/20/2013 10:05:04 PM EST by Gamma762]
Originally Posted By palmetto:
I'll break the pattern and suggest a 2 1/2 gal. pressurized water extinguisher. Sure the ABC dry chemical units are good for grease and hydrocarbon fires, but look at what your house is full of. Fabrics, wood, paper goods, clothes, etc. If you want to put these out and have them not reignite, water is the best agent. A garden hose if great, but not as portable in th first moments when you still have a chance to stop the fire.

Small dry chem in the kitchen and one in the garage, then water for everything else.
View Quote

Not a bad plan, similar to my own, although I've almost become "all of the above".

I've posted this before. For all those recommending the cookie cutter ABC dry chemical extinguisher approach, you should consider what you're going to have to clean up if you ever have to use one. The problem with the ABC powder is that the powder is a somewhat nasty and corrosive chemical that sticks to everything, pretty much ruins everything it touches, makes a huge cloud of very fine dust which goes everywhere, and is not very water soluble so very tough to clean up. If you wear contact lenses, it sticks to the lenses and ruins them. ABC powder is "non toxic" so it won't kill you, but that doesn't mean it will be fun to deal with the aftermath of using one if it's avoidable.

My approach is to put small, low-impact extinguishers very close to where common fire hazards are. Then back those up with larger units.

I'd suggest a small (2 - 2 1/2 lb size) BC (not ABC) dry chemical for the kitchen, garage, workshop, any similar location. Inexpensive BC dry chemical are sodium bicarbonate (aka baking soda), which is not a big corrosion or cleanup problem. If you have a deep fryer or do cooking with lots of oil, there are some cheap kitchen extinguishers made with a special liquid agent that works on oil fires. Long ago I would have suggested Halon, but modern "clean agent" extinguishers are very expensive. There are even some aerosol can type foam extinguishers that would probably work fine for small kitchen fires.

I also have 10lb ABC extinguishers near the exits and at a strategic location in the house, to deal with any bigger problems. Going to an exit to get the big extinguishers serves two purposes, first, to consider whether you should just take the exit, and second, if you go from the exit to fight the fire, you'd have a much better chance of being able to get back to that exit should the fire get out of control and you have to get out.

Something that is pretty handy in both a typical usage as well as a survival standpoint is I also have a couple of the 2 1/2 gallon water extinguishers. They are self-refillable if you have a source of 100psi air via a car tire type valve, and are water after all so if you have a minor problem like a trash can fire, yard waste fire that got a little out of hand, something like that, you don't have any hesitation to use it as far as cost or cleanup reasons. In a survival context, the easy self-maintainable quality could make them very useful if you had any kind of long term situation. Another plus is that since you refill it yourself for nothing, you can take it out and "test fire" it in the yard or whatever, see how it works, teach your family how to use them, etc. Testing would also help you understand one of the quirks of the water extinguishers... they typically have a stream nozzle, and can reach out to 40+ feet on initial discharge... so you need to be aware to stand far enough back when you use them. The same applies to other kinds of extinguishers as well, the larger the unit, the further back from the fire you need to be generally.... other reason for a small extinguisher in the kitchen or other high-hazard area. The 2 1/2 gallon water extinguishers are pretty heavy and may be hard to handle, especially smaller stature women or youth. There are some 1 1/2 gallon ones on the market. I recommend water extinguishers to be filled with distilled water to minimize internal corrosion and mineral buildups, or the free way is I use water out of my dehumidifier. One trick that increases the effectiveness of water extinguishers, at the risk of increased impact from their use, is to add a wetting agent to the water - dawn dishwashing detergent or similar. In a previous thread one of the experts gave us the figure of 1/5 cup of detergent in a 2 1/2 gallon extinguisher... in my limited testing that seems to be a reasonable concentration. You will have a soapy mess if you use it though.

I know a lot of folks in survival forum have fuel storage to some degree. If you are storing any kind of quantity of fuel I would give thought to one or both of a couple of specialty units, positioned so as to be useful in case of a fuel fire or spill. One of those would be a 2 1/2 gallon foam extinguisher... those are similar to the water types, but are filled with a firefighting foam and have a foam nozzle. The great advantage to foam is the ability to apply it to a spill as a preventative measure, another option for a preventative would be just a simple bucket with a lid with foam inside. The other would be a larger (10lb probably) BC agent extinguisher, sodium bicarbonate is ok but the best on fuel fires is something called Purple-K which is potassium bicarbonate. Purple K you'll have to get from a pro fire extinguisher company, won't find those at a retail store... get a good brand like Amerex, Badger, or Ansul/Sentry.

If you have someplace available, get yourself some practice however minimal to familiarize yourself with extinguishers if you've never used one. The 2 1/2lb size BC powder cheapies at Wal Mart are just over $15, get one and blast it out in the yard or something just for the familiarization... try out the water one also if you get one of those.

Originally Posted By shaggy:
Originally Posted By 13starsinax:
5LB ABC type my suggestion.

3LB ABC type would be fine to keep in a kitchen type area.
View Quote


5-pounders run from about $30 to over $300 each - trying to figure out whats the difference. I get ABC, but what do the numbers mean (10-A 80-BC, 20-A 120-BC, 1-A 10-BC, etc)?
View Quote

A is for typical dry combustibles like wood, paper, fabrics
B is flammable liquids and gasses
C is it's ok for energized electrical equipment.

The numbers are ratings, for how much fire it can put out.
The "A" rating is for a wood box, I forget how large exactly but IIRC it's something about like two wood pallets completely on fire. A 2A puts out twice as much as a 1A.
The "B" rating is the number of square feet of burning liquid heptane that can be extinguished.
"C" is just a "yes" for ok to use on energized electrical equipment. Turn the power off and you generally just have an "A" fire.

There are some new or specialty ratings:
"D" are combustible metals like magnesium, sodium, etc. Those are usually specialty units set up for whatever specific materials are in use.
"K" is a new class for cooking oils in depth (deep fryers).

There is some caution in the standard in that they presume that someone clueless is using the extinguisher so they downgrade the results... a reasonable competent user should be able to put out quite a bit more than what the rating is. Plus many manufacturers create nozzle designs and discharge rates to "game" the test and get a higher numerical rating, when in reality their configuration is probably less effective on real world fires, so take the numerical ratings with a grain of salt.

Anyone not in the US should look up the rating info for their country... for example, in the UK "B" rating is flammable liquids and "C" is flammable gasses, and the numbers are very different than in the US.

Very expensive ones are probably "clean agent" extinguishers, specialty chemicals which require no cleanup and don't cause damage to sensitive items. In the post-Halon world they tend to be less effective pound for pound than more common products, but don't create problems. Aircraft still carry Halon instead of any of the new alternatives if that tells you anything.
Link Posted: 10/21/2013 4:49:25 AM EST
One time I asked here about what would be best in a power failure if you had a problem with candles or a heater.

Someone recommended on of the large metal ones with just pressurized water instead of an ABC for the candles. Still have stumbled across one of those yet.

I get a 5lb ABC out into the living room anytime I get the black out gear out.
Link Posted: 10/21/2013 5:21:06 AM EST
For those using or considering water based extinguishers for the house... please remember that when using a water based extinguisher you must not get the spray anywhere around an electrical source. You accidentally spray the water into an outlet that isn't GFCI protected or an appliance that is plugged in and you could be in for a shock (literally). There is a reason fire fighters have to wear all that insulated gear when using water hoses to fight fires. With all the powered equipment in your typical home... I'd personally recommend against water based extinguishers. Another option for small fires is a new product called Tundra. I have no ties to it but the stuff works pretty good and what I like about it is they are very small. I use them in all my cars now since they are so easy to store. Might want to check it out... I get mine at home depot but I think they are sold many places these days.
Link Posted: 10/21/2013 12:56:22 PM EST
I forgot... You should buy yourself 'STOVETOP FIRESTOP'

It just hooks on with a magnet, and isn't pressurized, so it doesn't make much of a mess. It might save your ass if you nod off with something cooking though.
Link Posted: 10/21/2013 2:18:10 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By oldrock:
For those using or considering water based extinguishers for the house... please remember that when using a water based extinguisher you must not get the spray anywhere around an electrical source. You accidentally spray the water into an outlet that isn't GFCI protected or an appliance that is plugged in and you could be in for a shock (literally). There is a reason fire fighters have to wear all that insulated gear when using water hoses to fight fires. With all the powered equipment in your typical home... I'd personally recommend against water based extinguishers. Another option for small fires is a new product called Tundra. I have no ties to it but the stuff works pretty good and what I like about it is they are very small. I use them in all my cars now since they are so easy to store. Might want to check it out... I get mine at home depot but I think they are sold many places these days.
View Quote


Never been a firefighter, huh? The insulated gear is for, wait for it, fighting fire, an exothermic reaction that produces heat. It is also intended to prevent hypothermia, offer some physical protection, and resist bloodborne pathogens.

The odd of getting more then a tingle from a water fire extinguisher are minimal. Despite what you have heard, tap water is a poor conductor of electricity, and pure water isn't a conductor. The big danger of applying water to a fire is getting it in a higher current/voltage switch gear and getting an arc flash- That can and will kill you.

During research in college, neither our state fire school, nor the USFA were aware of any fatilities resulted from conducted electricity. Using data on tapwater conductivity from 70 municipal water systems (including one in Limestone county), none would expose the user to an potentially fatal current when used from 3'away with residential voltage levels (120 VTG) and it was still below fatal limits at 277 VTG, This is based on the stream, hose (nozzle is insulated), wet hand on the extngusher, wet foot on ground.

If there is a danger to firefighters, its with hose streams, not fire extingushers. There is a report of accidentaiily shooting a deck gun into overhead 115 kV lines, creating an arc flash, but no injuries.
Link Posted: 10/21/2013 3:51:28 PM EST
For anyone with pressurized water extinguishers, a squirt of dawn dishwashing detergent in the water makes the extinguisher much more effective. The detergent breaks the surface tension of the water and lets it penetrate rather than bead and roll off the fuel surface. If you have a fire in a pile of fabric, or on upholstery, that little squirt of detergent can mean the difference between cold out and still smoldering when the water runs out.
Link Posted: 10/21/2013 4:24:09 PM EST
You got your answer above. Also remember to P.A.S.S. point aim squeeze sweep method.




Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By shaggy:


5-pounders run from about $30 to over $300 each - trying to figure out whats the difference. I get ABC, but what do the numbers mean (10-A 80-BC, 20-A 120-BC, 1-A 10-BC, etc)?
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By shaggy:
Originally Posted By 13starsinax:
5LB ABC type my suggestion.

3LB ABC type would be fine to keep in a kitchen type area.


5-pounders run from about $30 to over $300 each - trying to figure out whats the difference. I get ABC, but what do the numbers mean (10-A 80-BC, 20-A 120-BC, 1-A 10-BC, etc)?

Link Posted: 10/21/2013 5:34:51 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By oldrock:
For those using or considering water based extinguishers for the house... please remember that when using a water based extinguisher you must not get the spray anywhere around an electrical source. You accidentally spray the water into an outlet that isn't GFCI protected or an appliance that is plugged in and you could be in for a shock (literally). There is a reason fire fighters have to wear all that insulated gear when using water hoses to fight fires. With all the powered equipment in your typical home... I'd personally recommend against water based extinguishers. Another option for small fires is a new product called Tundra. I have no ties to it but the stuff works pretty good and what I like about it is they are very small. I use them in all my cars now since they are so easy to store. Might want to check it out... I get mine at home depot but I think they are sold many places these days.
View Quote


Never happened to me in 35+ years of service.

Dry chem will often do more damage than the fire itself, BTW. I've seen not a few people blow fire all over the room with an ABC extinguisher.

Water and water based agents are best and cheapest for firefighting except in select circumstances.
Link Posted: 10/21/2013 5:46:00 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Gamma762:

snip

Very expensive ones are probably "clean agent" extinguishers, specialty chemicals which require no cleanup and don't cause damage to sensitive items. In the post-Halon world they tend to be less effective pound for pound than more common products, but don't create problems. Aircraft still carry Halon instead of any of the new alternatives if that tells you anything.
View Quote


We're not really "post-Halon," you can still buy new Halon 1211 units -- they're just pricey. They're not producing more halon for fire extinguishers, but apparently it turns out that the best way to dispose of halon is via its intended use, and it gets recycled from old systems.
Link Posted: 10/22/2013 11:43:11 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Nunya:


We're not really "post-Halon," you can still buy new Halon 1211 units -- they're just pricey. They're not producing more halon for fire extinguishers, but apparently it turns out that the best way to dispose of halon is via its intended use, and it gets recycled from old systems.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Nunya:
Originally Posted By Gamma762:

snip

Very expensive ones are probably "clean agent" extinguishers, specialty chemicals which require no cleanup and don't cause damage to sensitive items. In the post-Halon world they tend to be less effective pound for pound than more common products, but don't create problems. Aircraft still carry Halon instead of any of the new alternatives if that tells you anything.


We're not really "post-Halon," you can still buy new Halon 1211 units -- they're just pricey. They're not producing more halon for fire extinguishers, but apparently it turns out that the best way to dispose of halon is via its intended use, and it gets recycled from old systems.


No, we could dispose of it. The intended use is just as bad a releasing it all into the atmosphere. The expectation is it is priced high enough that it won't be used for general use (when the extingushers come up for hydro they will be replaced with another clean agent (CO2, water mist, Inergen, FM-300, etc) The recyclers can make a huge profit by buying them up, and selling the halon to Airlines and DOD who are effectively required to use halon. So far, the FAA and USAF haven't found a replacement that doesn't come with a huge weight penalty.

We had an idiot compliance manager in NC who directed that all halon extinguisher be removed from service and disposed off (and replaced with ABC dry chem, since it's very hard to meet minimum fire code requirements with anything else). I ended up hauling 3 truckloads of extingushers to a recycler after "donating" them to the ARC. ARC got a check for over $10k. Local managers were estatic just to get rid of the things (extra fire extingushers don't store well, and the compliance officer had designated them as hazardous waste.
Link Posted: 10/22/2013 6:54:05 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Country_Boy:


No, we could dispose of it. The intended use is just as bad a releasing it all into the atmosphere. The expectation is it is priced high enough that it won't be used for general use (when the extingushers come up for hydro they will be replaced with another clean agent (CO2, water mist, Inergen, FM-300, etc) The recyclers can make a huge profit by buying them up, and selling the halon to Airlines and DOD who are effectively required to use halon. So far, the FAA and USAF haven't found a replacement that doesn't come with a huge weight penalty.

We had an idiot compliance manager in NC who directed that all halon extinguisher be removed from service and disposed off (and replaced with ABC dry chem, since it's very hard to meet minimum fire code requirements with anything else). I ended up hauling 3 truckloads of extingushers to a recycler after "donating" them to the ARC. ARC got a check for over $10k. Local managers were estatic just to get rid of the things (extra fire extingushers don't store well, and the compliance officer had designated them as hazardous waste.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Country_Boy:
Originally Posted By Nunya:
Originally Posted By Gamma762:

snip

Very expensive ones are probably "clean agent" extinguishers, specialty chemicals which require no cleanup and don't cause damage to sensitive items. In the post-Halon world they tend to be less effective pound for pound than more common products, but don't create problems. Aircraft still carry Halon instead of any of the new alternatives if that tells you anything.


We're not really "post-Halon," you can still buy new Halon 1211 units -- they're just pricey. They're not producing more halon for fire extinguishers, but apparently it turns out that the best way to dispose of halon is via its intended use, and it gets recycled from old systems.


No, we could dispose of it. The intended use is just as bad a releasing it all into the atmosphere. The expectation is it is priced high enough that it won't be used for general use (when the extingushers come up for hydro they will be replaced with another clean agent (CO2, water mist, Inergen, FM-300, etc) The recyclers can make a huge profit by buying them up, and selling the halon to Airlines and DOD who are effectively required to use halon. So far, the FAA and USAF haven't found a replacement that doesn't come with a huge weight penalty.

We had an idiot compliance manager in NC who directed that all halon extinguisher be removed from service and disposed off (and replaced with ABC dry chem, since it's very hard to meet minimum fire code requirements with anything else). I ended up hauling 3 truckloads of extingushers to a recycler after "donating" them to the ARC. ARC got a check for over $10k. Local managers were estatic just to get rid of the things (extra fire extingushers don't store well, and the compliance officer had designated them as hazardous waste.


By "best way" I meant that apparently there isn't a cost effective way to dispose of it, and so it gets recycled into fire extinguishers. I guess the assumption is that halon is not widely used or often deployed, and so recycling makes more economic sense than disposing of it. That's what I read, anyway.
Link Posted: 10/22/2013 7:24:15 PM EST
I wish there were smaller size water mist extinguishers available in the USA. The "A" rating scale is ridiculously compressed, and a small extinguisher probably couldn't get to "1A", so they're essentially unratable and wouldn't meet any building codes, so companies don't make them. Water mist with deionized water can get a "C" rating for electrical safety so would be pretty handy around the house, low cost and low impact. With proper nozzle design they can even get a "B" rating for flammable liquids, albeit a small rating.

The europeans use a different scale for "A" hazards and have water mist extinguishers down to 1 liter sizes.

Get NFPA to allow a 1/2A or 1/4A rating

Here's one of the euro smaller water mist extinguishers:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G67B1gMs8EQ
Link Posted: 10/22/2013 7:38:43 PM EST
From time to time, there are nice Halon extinguishers available on ebay.

Bought a bunch years ago and have them stationed in critical areas with dry chem and CO2 [also from ebay].

Halon has the advantage that you can spray an outlet and don't have to wear an insulated firemens' to keep from being 'lectrocuted.


Link Posted: 10/22/2013 8:34:51 PM EST
Why are foam AFFF extinguishers so common in Europe so hard to find in the US?
Link Posted: 10/22/2013 8:43:49 PM EST
I just got issued a cold fire extinguisher for work. The thing is freaking huge but is supposed to be awesome at almost everything.
Link Posted: 10/22/2013 8:57:52 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/22/2013 8:59:03 PM EST by txgp17]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By shaggy:
The idea of a chimney fire scares the everloving shit outta me.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By shaggy:
The idea of a chimney fire scares the everloving shit outta me.
A better means of extinguishing a chimney fire is to expell the dry chemical agent into a thick plastic bag, like a gallon size ziplock freezer bag, and then drop the bag down the chimney. The bag keeps the agent together until it reaches hot temperatures, which melt the bag and release the agent only where it's hot and down.

I recommend getting the largest size ABC extinguisher you can handle. I have three in my home. The one in the garage weighs about 40 pounds.
Originally Posted By Chickenspigscows:
Just make sure the valves are steel. The plastic crap from Home Depot is just that (Crap)
Excellent advice.
Link Posted: 10/23/2013 5:10:02 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/23/2013 5:34:45 AM EST by 45stops-em-quick]
1 4A-80BC 10 pounder(commercial) on each floor in addition to a 3A-40BC 5 pounder in the kitchen, 1A-20BC 3pounders in the basement stairwell, basement, and my car.

Yes, fire worries me alot more than some guy kicking in my door at 3AM, and yes I'm equally prepared for that as well. As for suggestions, buy what you can afford within reason, prior to getting the 10#'s for basically free, I was comfortable with the 5# in the kitchen and a 3# in the locations above in addition to my bedroom so I could get to the kids rooms if I had to.

Funny fire extinguisher story.

As a teenager I worked in a chophouse kind of restaurant with giant 1800 degree broilers with a grill drawer and drip pan to broil the steaks, chops, etc. This place had a kitchen in the dining room in addition to the back and the owner was usually in the back while we manned the one in the dining room. The owner was beyond cheap with maintenance, commercial cleaning, even our hours, leaving little time to really clean the equipment and as such had a huge buildup of meat grease drippings creosote on the drip trays. About once a month the drip trays would light up into a massive grease fire that spewed flames out of the broiler and up into exhaust hoods which would would then suck the flames up. Whenever someone called out for a fire, the race would begin between us with one of the ABC extinguishers and the old man with his giant CO2 extinguisher to get to the fire first. We wanted to get there first, knowing that if we hit it with the ABC, the kitchen would have to be broken down and cleaned properly, he wanted to gas the fire so things could just keep on going without missing a beat. He could never yell at us for the ABC because if the fire getting sucked up into the hoods set off the ANSUL system(automatic fire extinguisher system found in all commercial kitchens), he knew that he'd have to close the whole restaurant instead of just one kitchen, as the ANSUL is hooked up to everything that has an open flame in the kitchen and when one goes off, it's not pretty.
Link Posted: 10/23/2013 6:09:06 PM EST
I've played one time with a water mist, and it is no compairson to a stream- Great for liquids, fine for electrical fires, and great at forming a shield between the user and fire, but it lacks penetration for somethign like a couch, or the ability to put out a serious un confined class A fire. Or to summerize a female manager- My husband's dick will put out a campfire faster (probally a true statement.) I thought it resembled a CO2 extingusher with better cooling, but less knockdown.

BTW, I could use water or a 20 lb dry chem at 30' while the mist range was probally 7'max. But it made it easy to approach.
Link Posted: 10/23/2013 6:37:01 PM EST

Anybody got advice on CO2 or other types of extinguishers for use around sensitive optics and electronics (but not really intended for electrical fires)?

I have a CNC laser engraver I'd like to buy an extinguisher for. We have conventional home and kitchen dry chemical extinguishers, but if I discharge one of those into the engraver I'll almost certainly have to replace a bunch of optics. The engraver itself is mostly made from steel sheet, aluminum sheer, and aluminum extrusions so the only flammable material inside is the engraving/cutting work piece. I don't expect any large conflagration, but do want to be prepared.
Link Posted: 10/24/2013 1:05:32 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By red_on_black:

Anybody got advice on CO2 or other types of extinguishers for use around sensitive optics and electronics (but not really intended for electrical fires)?

I have a CNC laser engraver I'd like to buy an extinguisher for. We have conventional home and kitchen dry chemical extinguishers, but if I discharge one of those into the engraver I'll almost certainly have to replace a bunch of optics. The engraver itself is mostly made from steel sheet, aluminum sheer, and aluminum extrusions so the only flammable material inside is the engraving/cutting work piece. I don't expect any large conflagration, but do want to be prepared.
View Quote


Here toy go
Link Posted: 10/24/2013 4:44:51 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By red_on_black:

Anybody got advice on CO2 or other types of extinguishers for use around sensitive optics and electronics (but not really intended for electrical fires)?

I have a CNC laser engraver I'd like to buy an extinguisher for. We have conventional home and kitchen dry chemical extinguishers, but if I discharge one of those into the engraver I'll almost certainly have to replace a bunch of optics. The engraver itself is mostly made from steel sheet, aluminum sheer, and aluminum extrusions so the only flammable material inside is the engraving/cutting work piece. I don't expect any large conflagration, but do want to be prepared.
View Quote


Arround electronics, or inside control pannels, CO2 is questionable- the extreme colld (the snow you see is dry ice) will cause condensation which will short stuff out. On electrical equipment/machinery (except switchgear) not that big of a deal, it's not that much water.

Also I'm from the south- in AZ, the same situation would cause a lot less condensation, absent the use of swamp coolers.

For some residential/garage CNC engraver, I'd buy the smallest clean agent (ie FM-200, Halatrol) extingusher I could find.
Link Posted: 10/24/2013 5:26:16 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Country_Boy:

Arround electronics, or inside control pannels, CO2 is questionable- the extreme colld (the snow you see is dry ice) will cause condensation which will short stuff out. On electrical equipment/machinery (except switchgear) not that big of a deal, it's not that much water.

Also I'm from the south- in AZ, the same situation would cause a lot less condensation, absent the use of swamp coolers.

For some residential/garage CNC engraver, I'd buy the smallest clean agent (ie FM-200, Halatrol) extingusher I could find.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Country_Boy:

Arround electronics, or inside control pannels, CO2 is questionable- the extreme colld (the snow you see is dry ice) will cause condensation which will short stuff out. On electrical equipment/machinery (except switchgear) not that big of a deal, it's not that much water.

Also I'm from the south- in AZ, the same situation would cause a lot less condensation, absent the use of swamp coolers.

For some residential/garage CNC engraver, I'd buy the smallest clean agent (ie FM-200, Halatrol) extingusher I could find.



Thanks. I've thought about adding CO2 shield gas (at low pressure, low flow) to our cutting head for working with plywoods. (The glue between plies tends to make them scorch during cutting.) The cutter/engraver is operated under full-time climate control with reasonably low humidity, but you're right about getting things too cool. I've seen condensation if I run the laser's cooling system too cool and that's nowhere near as cold as CO2 would get it.


Originally Posted By Chickenspigscows:

Here toy go


Thanks for the link, but that would be overkill for our little system.

Link Posted: 10/24/2013 2:35:04 PM EST
Costco has a fairly stout (10lb?) model for $20 iirc.. I have 3 or 4 of them..
Link Posted: 10/24/2013 6:15:33 PM EST
Just so you know, CO2 as a shielding gas would be vapor withdrawal, and not have the temp issues associated with liquid withdrawl. I use CO2 all the time to run impact wrenches and air nailers. The regulator gets below 32 deg but at the end of the hose, it's just cool, if that.
Link Posted: 10/24/2013 9:09:01 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Wight_Hat:
For anyone with pressurized water extinguishers, a squirt of dawn dishwashing detergent in the water makes the extinguisher much more effective. The detergent breaks the surface tension of the water and lets it penetrate rather than bead and roll off the fuel surface. If you have a fire in a pile of fabric, or on upholstery, that little squirt of detergent can mean the difference between cold out and still smoldering when the water runs out.
View Quote



I've used a garden sprayer with soapy water to put out fires many times.

You are right! I found out by accident: The soap makes a big difference in the effectiveness.
Link Posted: 10/25/2013 10:59:35 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By red_on_black:

Anybody got advice on CO2 or other types of extinguishers for use around sensitive optics and electronics (but not really intended for electrical fires)?

I have a CNC laser engraver I'd like to buy an extinguisher for. We have conventional home and kitchen dry chemical extinguishers, but if I discharge one of those into the engraver I'll almost certainly have to replace a bunch of optics. The engraver itself is mostly made from steel sheet, aluminum sheer, and aluminum extrusions so the only flammable material inside is the engraving/cutting work piece. I don't expect any large conflagration, but do want to be prepared.
View Quote

You are looking for a "clean agent" extinguisher.

Up until the mid 90s the world standard was Halon 1211, which was low cost, low toxicity, and highly effective. In 1994, production of Halon was banned as it's claimed that Halon and similar chemicals like Freon were hazards to the stratospheric ozone layer. Halon is still available, as it's been conserved and recycled, but is now expensive as it's a scarce resource. Few fire extinguisher dealers will sell or service them anymore.

There are numerous alternative "clean agent" extinguishing agents now on the market. Some of these are Halotron, FE-36, FE-200, and Novec 1230. Halotron IIRC is on a phaseout schedule so it will be obsolete and unsupported at some point. There was a working group on halon alternatives, which included several US and UK government, military, and industry participants and they came up with an agent that seemed to be pretty effective (bromotrifluoropropene), but it's never appeared on the market so may not be able to be manufactured at a practical cost. Novec 1230 isn't yet available in hand portable extinguishers in the US, but is in some other countries. I don't have experience with any of them, but from the current production agents I'd probably pick FE-36 which I think is marketed by Ansul as "Clean Guard". Or if you could find an old Halon unit with the understanding that it's probably unsupportable. I'm not sure why Novec 1230 isn't available in portable extinguishers as it would seem like a good choice in agents.

Another alternative as a pseudo-clean agent is a water mist extinguisher using deionized water. Amerex sells 1.5 and 2.5 gallon sizes. Not sure how that would work out with your particular application though.
Link Posted: 10/25/2013 7:23:36 PM EST
So where would be the best places to buy these to assure good quality non-plastic parts.

Also how does the upkeep/maintenance compare amongst the different types of extinguishers?
Link Posted: 10/25/2013 8:31:41 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By bchance1:
So where would be the best places to buy these to assure good quality non-plastic parts.
View Quote

Yellow pages under "fire extinguishers". Or just shop on ebay, amazon, online searches, etc. Kidde is really the only company that makes the low cost plastic valve body disposable extinguishers. Amerex, Ansul/Sentry, Badger, Buckeye, a couple of others are all better quality units.

I really don't disparage the low cost plastic valve Kidde units for small extinguishers for the kitchen, workshop, car, etc. If they're somewhere handy and you can visually check the pressure gauge every month or so they'll be fine. The cost of a disposable 2 1/2 lb extinguisher is less than a recharge, plus you get 3 or 4 extinguishers for the cost of a single better quality model. Yes it's not unusual that they start losing pressure after say 10 years or more... they're still less expensive in the long run.

Where you get quality is a large extinguisher, 10lbs or larger, which aren't really available in the cheapies anyway.
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 8:08:46 AM EST
I have 3 or 4 of the 2 liter sized fire extinguishers with plastic heads. It was relatively cheap and let me get a decent start on things. One for kitchen, one for bedroom, one by winter heat source, and one someplace else that was a high traffic area or to take to garage when working on stuff and leave in garage.

As time goes on get the metal ones that are worth having checked out and what not.

At some point play with your fire extinguishers.

I remember burning stuff one day and using the garden hose to see how well it could help put out the fire. If there is a bit of wind using the wind to blow the mist in will help a lot. As mentioned the soap can be a big deal as well.

And as much as I say play, what I mean is try out some stuff to see what works and what does not. Read directions on the stuff and give it a shot. Play on youtube and see if the videos are correct or modified.

A big box of baking soda in the kitchen is by the stove and waiting for a grease fire or something else it can be used on.

Seeing this thread and making this post reminds me that it is time to do batteries in the co alarms and smoke alarms.
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 12:32:31 PM EST
I have 3 smoke alarms, and 4, 3 pound 1A-10BC Kiddie and First alert type extinguishers in my home. One is in my bedroom, two in the kitchen, one just outside my reloading room.
Link Posted: 10/28/2013 9:29:14 AM EST
If you are really interested get a copy of NFPA-10 Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers.

It’ll cost you $58 for a nonmember but it covers portables completely.

Personally, I keep a 20-pound CO2 extinguisher in the kitchen and a 2-1/2-gallon pressurized water extinguisher near the woodstove. In my truck I carry a 10-pound ABC. The last thing I want to do is use an ABC extinguisher in the house (horrific mess).

It’s hard to beat a garden hose. I keep one of those handy as well.
Top Top