Fire Extinguishers

Discussion in 'Shop Safety' started by timgr, Aug 25, 2013.

  1. Aug 25, 2013
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Messages:
    18,208
    Ok, so I have the requisite dry chemical extinguishers in my garage and in my house.

    The main problem I see with these is they make a terrible mess when you use them. And they can be very damaging to the vehicle, in the event of a car fire.

    We had a post over on FSJ Network about Halon and Halotron fire extinguishers. Halon is banned now, and Halotron is somewhat less effective. They leave no residue. The main problem with these is they are wildly expensive.

    I asked about 1) CO2 extinguishers and 2) foam extinguishers. The welding guys like CO2 for nuisance fires - no residue, cheap to refill, multiple uses prior to refilling. But it seems their initial cost is rather high, esp. when you can't depend on it for anything more than a small-scale fire.

    The foam extinguishers seem ideal for the garage - http://www.firedot.com/mall/AR_AFFF.htm - they are good for both class A (wood and paper) and class B (flammable liquids). So you could use them on either the building or a car fire. And they seem reasonably priced (ie $100-200 for a large one).

    Anyone here know anything about these?
     
  2. Aug 25, 2013
    Mike S

    Mike S Sponsor Sponsor

    Cameron Park Ca.
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2009
    Messages:
    815
    These are just the old standard 2 1/2 gallon PW (pressurized water) extinguishers reborn with the addition of AFFF----(aqueous film forming foam) to make them work on class B fires.

    We were doing that 35 years ago when I worked at the airport crash station in Orange County CA. It made the extinguisher much more effective on class A fires also, but the valve would leak down in a week or two from the AFFF.

    I suspect they have gotten the leakage of the valve seals taken care of, so that this is a reliable setup nowadays.

    I would not hesitate to use one in my garage------in fact I have an old PW in my hangar for emergencies. I can refill it and pressurize it myself. If you can get a supply of AFFF concentrate, you could probably service the unit yourself.

    You might check with the manufacture and see if there are any corrosion issues on aluminum or other metals. As I recall, the AFFF was corrosive back when I was using it----could be the formula has been changed by now.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2013

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