Author Topic: Fire Extinguishers  (Read 3697 times)

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Offline Jeff.Saunders

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Fire Extinguishers
« on: November 15, 2008, 07:27:36 pm »
OK, many of us are going to be working on motorcycles in the garage this winter. Make sure you have at least one ABC extinguisher in the garage - and easy to get to.

If you don't already have AT LEAST one in your house, shame on you - get one or two (or more).
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Offline Jeff.Saunders

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Re: Fire Extinguishers
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2008, 07:39:20 pm »
Most extinguishers are either powder (Aluminum Phosphate) or carbon dioxide filled.

They have A, B, C ratings - the higher the rating, the better...

A is for ordinary combustible materials - paper, wood, fabrics - things that are quenched by using water or powder

B is for flammable liquids - gasoline, grease, oil, paint - things that powder or carbon dioxide put out. Never use water.

C is for live electrical - appliances, electrical outlets - use powder or carbon dioxide. Never use water.

Powder is a good all-around extinguisher - the problem is it is very messy. If you use powder on an engine fire, be prepared to spend many hours cleaning the stuff off.
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Offline mrbreeze

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Re: Fire Extinguishers
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2008, 08:02:33 pm »
Good advice Jeff but having an extinguisher doesn't excuse working hap-hazardly.I have heard of some real funny sh!t out there(and some not so funny).Common sense must prevail in the man cave!!!!! ;D ;D
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Offline Bob Wessner

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Re: Fire Extinguishers
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2008, 03:11:20 am »
Also, in the garage in particular, wall mount it within easy reach right next to an exit door... just in case it isn't enough, you are on your way out. ;)
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Offline Jonesy

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Re: Fire Extinguishers
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2008, 06:00:40 am »
Plus, I've seen where CO2 fire extinguishers can be helpful tools in the garage- if you have a distributor on an older car that's stuck, a quick blast from a CO2 extinguisher can help shrink it and break it loose.

Obviously, if you're gonna do this, keep a full extinguisher handy for it's intended purpose!
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Offline Sporkfly

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Re: Fire Extinguishers
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2008, 11:46:51 am »
I made the mistake of not having a fire extinguisher handy when I first got the bike back together. I turned it over and it fired up! I was excited, to be sure.

The only problem is - I had a miss and my #1 carb burst into flames. I screwed up the ignition timing a little bit and must have buggered the float height. My hard work almost went up in flames, literally, as I stood there dumbfounded wondering what to do. The only liquids I had nearby were flammable and the fire was tickling the bottom of the gas tank. I did get it put out... LESSON LEARNED!
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Offline mcuozzo

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Re: Fire Extinguishers
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2008, 05:05:58 pm »
Agree with both points - work safely and have a fire extinguisher handy.

With regards to the fire extinguishers, make sure you check them and maintain them. 

They should be checked at least yearly for the following:

For dry chemical or water extinguishers, you would check the pressure gauges (anywhere in the green is OK) and check their weight.  The correct weight is listed on the label.

For CO2 extinguishers, you only need to weigh them.  Correct weight is either on the label or stamped on the valve or even the neck of the extinguisher.

Also extinguishers need to be hydrostatically tested and rebuilt according to the fire code -
Dry chemical extinguishers need to be hydro tested every 12 years, water and CO2 extinguishers every 5 years.

While most extinguishers pass the hydro test (basically a pressure test of the shell), I've seen extinguishers fail in a number of ways.  Most common is leaking of the extinguishing agent before reaching the end of the hose.  There are numerous seals and points on the hoses that can dry out and leak.  Would really suck to have to use a CO2 extinguisher to put out a fire and wind up getting frost bite on your fingers becaue the hose leaks near the valve.   C02 (dry ice) will freeze a finger pretty quickly.  Don't ask how I know.

I personally have 2 co2 extinguishers in my garage\workshop.  One at the door and one at the point furthest from the door.  I prefer C02 over dry chemical for the mess and if used once, they don't necessarily leak all the way down (thought they should be checked and recharged anyway).  Water extinguishers are not appropriate for a garage\shop environment. In the house there is one in the kitchen and one in the bedroom.

I work in the industry so if anyone has any questions, just let me know.

Offline Johnie

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Re: Fire Extinguishers
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2008, 05:18:33 pm »
And remember those gas vapors seek the lowest point.  I saw a guy blow up his sewer.  He had an open gas can that was emitting vapors for a while.  Those vapors ran to the lowest point which was the sewer drain.  He was using a grinder and a spark found the way to the drain and KAA-BOOM.  Oh, and put those butts out when working around fuel.
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Offline mrbreeze

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Re: Fire Extinguishers
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2008, 05:24:21 pm »
And remember those gas vapors seek the lowest point.  I saw a guy blow up his sewer.  He had an open gas can that was emitting vapors for a while.  Those vapors ran to the lowest point which was the sewer drain.  He was using a grinder and a spark found the way to the drain and KAA-BOOM.  Oh, and put those butts out when working around fuel.
SEE!!!!!!.......This is what I was talking about. Some sh!t is funny!!!!!!.....Stuff getting blown up.......chain reaction type things that break things......stuff like that.The part thats not funny is when somebody gets hurt. :o :o
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Offline Alan F.

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Re: Fire Extinguishers
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2008, 05:59:48 pm »
Besides, you can use a CO2 extinguisher to cool a 6-pack in like 30 seconds

Offline mrbreeze

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Re: Fire Extinguishers
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2008, 06:03:21 pm »
Besides, you can use a CO2 extinguisher to cool a 6-pack in like 30 seconds
Thats what I"M talkin' bout'!!!!!!!
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Offline cb750k7

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Re: Fire Extinguishers
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2008, 08:19:54 pm »
Besides, you can use a CO2 extinguisher to cool a 6-pack in like 30 seconds

A friend of mine is using CO2 extinguishers to catch snakes..
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Offline toycollector10

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Re: Fire Extinguishers
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2008, 12:58:12 am »
I've got one in the kitchen and my wife knows how to use it..and one in the garage next to the workbench....All good!
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Offline XN

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Re: Fire Extinguishers
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2008, 09:28:45 pm »
FYI most dry chem extinguisher agents are corrosive so if you use one get it cleaned up fast!
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Offline Sano

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Re: Maintaining Extinguishers
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2019, 05:54:04 pm »
For dry chemical extinguishers the most common source of failure is from the powder becoming compressed in the bottom of the extinguisher over time.  I learned this when a fire department inspector took all extinguishers off their holders, inverted the extinguishers and tapped the bottom to break up any cakeing of the powder.  Now I do it every 6 months or so.

Offline spotty

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Re: Fire Extinguishers
« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2019, 08:10:07 pm »
when we were looking to buy our current house up in the foresty hills just out of melbourne , an area well known for seriously catastrophic fires, we looked at one house which was old and scruffy, which wasn't a real problem. but the guy who owned it had an extinguisher mounted to the wall in EVERY room in the house

better safe than sorry i guess, and up there you can't be too safe

both the missus and i joined the local volunteer fire brigade after we moved, she's now for certified wild- and structure-fires as well as using BA and is likely to be sent interstate for the out of control fires there which could go for weeks yet, being the useless old cripple i tend to be, i help out with the feeding and catering side of things...every little bit helps i guess

strangely after a high 90's F day yesterday they had a call out last night, someone had set fire to their chimney from having a log fire in the house....did i mention there are some strange people in the hills
It seems I've kicked the Honda habit again...anyone mind if I stick around ?

Offline RAF122S

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Re: Maintaining Extinguishers
« Reply #16 on: September 29, 2020, 10:58:53 am »
For dry chemical extinguishers the most common source of failure is from the powder becoming compressed in the bottom of the extinguisher over time.  I learned this when a fire department inspector took all extinguishers off their holders, inverted the extinguishers and tapped the bottom to break up any cakeing of the powder.  Now I do it every 6 months or so.


How hard do you hit it and what do you use to hit the bottom?
Thanks!
David- back in the desert SW!

Offline RAF122S

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Re: Fire Extinguishers
« Reply #17 on: September 29, 2020, 11:02:49 am »
Chimney sweeps are a dying breed but if you are burning wood the creosote build up in the chimney when it lights off it is like a full blown blow torch or afterburner. Having regular maintenance by a chimney sweep prevent this. About the only thing that will put one out is Halon. Halon will kill you if you aren't careful. You cannot use Halon in room with people, it robs the area of oxygen.
David- back in the desert SW!