One of the common concerns for car owners is whether it is safe to keep a fire extinguisher in their car.
- Is a car fire extinguisher important?
- Can you use any type?
- Can the cylinder explode and cause damage?
- Where should you keep the cylinder in a car?
So, Should You Keep a Fire Extinguisher in Your Car?
Yes – having a fire extinguisher in your car is safe and necessary. It is essential in preventing a small fire from becoming unmanageable.
Statistics reveal that around 170,000 cars in the U.S. catch fire on highways, resulting in approximately 350 deaths yearly.
Most of these fires occur because of mechanical failures with ignition originating in the engine or the insulation around electrical wires.
Fortunately, a fire extinguisher can easily control most of these fires.
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What Type of Fire Extinguisher Should You Keep in Your Car?
Placing a fire extinguisher in your vehicle is a good choice.
However, you probably wonder about the type of fire extinguisher you should get for your car.
To decide the best type of extinguisher to keep in your car for fast and safe fire extinguishing, let’s look at the different types of fires that can occur in your car.
Class A Fires
These result from igniting solid combustible materials like wood, paper, and upholstery.
They are the easiest to manage fires and can be put out using water-based extinguishers.
Class B Fires
These result from igniting liquids such as alcohol, gasoline, or oil.
They are best put off using foam, carbon dioxide, or powder extinguishers.
Class C Fires
These fires are linked to electrical wires and equipment.
Use foam or carbon dioxide extinguishers to avoid electrocution.
Class D and K Fires
These result from igniting grease, cooking oils, or metal. They hence rarely occur in cars.
With any fire type likely to happen, you don’t want to waste time wondering about the type of fire it is as your car bursts into flames.
To be on the safe side, opt for ABC Dry Powder, as it effectively prevents any fire from occurring in your car.
See Also: Should You Wash Your Car Before A Road Trip?
Can An Extinguisher Blow up in The Car?
A fire extinguisher is a vital device in cars for putting out minor fires.
It can help decrease the damage a fire can cause to your car and also save lives.
Unfortunately, as ironic as it seems, a fire extinguisher can explode in your car if you don’t store, handle and maintain it properly, becoming a threat to the safety of passengers.
So, while it’s improbable, there have been reported fatalities due to the mishandling of fire extinguishers.
If an extinguisher has space to move around, it might be susceptible to receiving bumps and hits.
This shaking can accumulate pressure in the extinguisher and cause it to explode.
As such, purchasing a fire extinguisher with a mounting bracket is essential and ensuring it is securely stored under the seat or in your car trunk.
Secure the cylinder tightly on the mounting rack or its place.
This way, you will ensure the safety pin doesn’t slip out accidentally and causes breakages and leaks.
THREE Ideal Car Fire Extinguisher Storage Places
1. In The Trunk
The trunk is among the safest places to store your fire extinguisher.
However, to some extent, keeping the cylinder in the trunk makes it difficult to access it fast when needed.
This can make you lose some crucial time important in putting out the fire promptly.
2. Under The Drive Seat
Although you could access the fire extinguisher more quickly under your driver’s seat, this may not be the most comfortable location to keep the cylinder.
For instance, the cylinder can roll out of position and get in the way of pedals, making it a road safety hazard.
3. Under The Passenger Seat
Keeping the extinguisher under a passenger seat is a perfect compromise between these two options reviewed above.
The position ensures you can reach it in seconds whenever there is a fire.
More so, in case it rolls out of position, it won’t become a safety hazard.
Ultimately, the choice of where to keep your fire extinguisher will depend on your personal needs and the characteristics of your car.
Other factors to consider include;
- Get an extinguisher with a mounting bracket.
- Ensure the fire extinguisher is well secured.
- Ensure the cylinder has no space to move around freely.
What Is the Ideal Size of a Fire Extinguisher for A Car?
You can just fit a relatively small extinguisher in your vehicle.
However, the precise size of the cylinder you get should fit the features and size of your car.
If you are equipping a van or an SUV with a fire extinguisher, you may require a more significant tool that offers a more prolonged discharge time.
For a standard-sized car, a 1 kg or 2kg fire extinguisher would work best for your car.
If you have a small cylinder, you may try to fight the flames just at the start of the fire.
However, if the flames are spreading through your car or the car is in danger of being completely engulfed by the fire, you should immediately evacuate all the passengers and call the Fire Department.
Fighting a growing fire using a small extinguisher can result in more damage to the vehicle and place you in a possibly dangerous position.
Also, if you can’t get hold of the fire extinguisher in the first few seconds, don’t risk going back in the car to get the cylinder or other personal items.
With this guide, you are ready for a shopping trip to find the ideal fire extinguisher for your car.
Having it will enhance your peace of mind, decrease the potential car damages in an incident of a fire, and aid in keeping the individuals on board secure.
Nevertheless, fire extinguishers shouldn’t replace the need to seek the services of a professional fire authority.