Vehicle fires are very dangerous but somewhat common – thankfully fire extinguishers can help minimise the risk.
Fire extinguishers aren’t only for buildings, they’re also a very important safety feature to have in your car, van or truck. As far as your vehicle is concerned, this small piece of safety equipment could mean the difference between a minor incident and a major life-threatening catastrophe. Here are some crucial considerations when shopping around for a fire extinguisher for your vehicle:
What are your vehicle’s ignition risks?
Fires in regular or commercial cars and trucks are most likely to be ignited by the following sorts of risk materials:
Class A fire – Fires involving materials such as wood, paper, cloth and textiles, plastics or rubber
Class B Fires – Fires involving combustible liquids, such as petrol, oil paint and solvents
Class E Fires – Fires where the ignition source contains electrical equipment such as motors, switchboards and electrical appliances.
While fires in vehicles tend to be caused by Classes A, B and E, if you think your vehicle is at risk of having any flammable gases, metals or cooking fats present, you may require a different or additional kind of extinguisher. Chat to us today about your vehicle and its risks to learn more.
What type of extinguisher do you need?
As fires caused by Classes A, B and E tend to be the most common for vehicles, the Dry Chemical ABE fire extinguisher is the most suitable type for use in modern vehicles. ABE extinguishers work by discharging a powder that absorbs the fuel directly from the fire source, which can promptly starve a blaze of oxygen. Due to its versatile nature, the ABE fire extinguisher is suitable for a number of different fires and can be effective in many situations, both in and outside of your vehicle.
What size fire extinguisher should you buy?
Another important consideration when buying a fire extinguisher for a vehicle is size. Vehicles come in all shapes and sizes, and will therefore need different fire equipment. As a rule of thumb, larger vehicles will require larger equipment, but this may also depend on the unique risks present. Remember that the larger the extinguisher is, the more powerful it will be, but the heavier and more difficult it will be to use. For this reason, we recommend only buying a 2.5kg, 4.5kg or larger extinguisher if you have a medium to large truck where more dangerous fires are at risk of occuring. Smaller extinguishers require the least training to use and are suitable for most vehicles. Generally an ordinary 1kg or 1.5kg extinguisher will be suitable for an everyday car.
Is your vehicle’s fire extinguisher secure?
There’s no point in having a fire extinguisher in your car if it’s not accessible when you need it. That’s why all vehicle fire extinguishers should be safely secured using metal straps. These are critical as they position the fire extinguisher within easy reach of the driver. They can be located either on the driver-side door or on the floor in front or behind the driver’s seat, depending on the sort of vehicle you drive.
Important: Do you have any flammable or dangerous goods?
If you drive a commercial vehicle that transports flammable or dangerous goods, or drive a very large truck, your legal requirements and fire safety responsibilities will differ from those of everyday vehicles. Be sure to do your research and always check your legal requirements before purchasing any fire equipment. If you’re unsure where to locate this information, or need more information about choosing or installing your fire equipment, contact our team.
Want to learn more about fire extinguishers for your vehicle? Fire Equipment Online is here to help. Our team of highly-qualified experts will help find the most affordable and most suitable solution for you, no matter how unique your requirements may be. Contact us today for more information.