Fire Extinguishers

Discussion in 'General Preparedness Discussion' started by UncleJoe, Dec 22, 2009.

  1. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

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    How many folks here keep fire extinguishers handy? We have 6 and they all paid for themselves this morning.
    I got a call about 9:00 this morning from someone looking to have a parking lot plowed. I went out at 9:30 and started the truck to let it warm up. It's diesel and doesn't like to run right away when it's this cold. At 9:45 I said good-bye to DW and went out to find smoke coming out from under the hood. As I got closer I found the entire cab filled with thick black smoke. When I opened the door to shut it off, flames erupted from the influx of oxygen. :eek: They were coming from under the dash on the passenger side. I slammed the door shut, RAN back into the house and grabbed one of the 2 extinguishers we keep in the kitchen. RAN back out, opened the passenger door and shot one good blast under the dash. That was all it took. The fire was out. If I would have had to call the fire department, I'm sure I would have lost the truck.
    The next time your out buying preps, put a fire extinguisher or 3 at the top of your list if you don't already have one. They aren't that expensive and it could save your life or your property.
     
  2. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

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    WOW!!! hope the truck can be repaired. Thank God you didn't get burned.
    I'm with you, fire extinguishers(FE) are near every wood stove, inverters, batteries, multiple FE in work shop, each vehicle, can't have too many.
    I found some that are fantastic, keep them attached above electronics in garage and batteries, they have a magnetic base to attach to metal...StoveTop FireStop
    I'm thinking about a Halon FE for my shelter, I know they displace the O2 but they don't put out the cloud of powder that would choke everyone, the Halon would be just flushed outside with the air system.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2009

  3. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

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    Wow .. that musta got your adrenaline really pumping. Is insurance going to take care of the damage to the truck or is it minor enough that you can deal with it yourself?
     
  4. ZoomZoom

    ZoomZoom Rookie Prepper

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    Hope your truck is OK. Any idea where it went wrong to start the fire?

    I'd look into that real close before incorporating. Halon sucks out ALL the oxygen. Unless you have a purge system that can get an appropriate amount of air back in to sustain people within about 30-45 seconds, you may not have to worry about the cloud of powder. I'm in the computer industry and the computer rooms all have halon. The Operators are given a very short alarm window (in seconds) before the halon discharges. They say if you're not out, you better be able to hold your breath for whatever amount is needed since there's nothing to breath after it goes off.
     
  5. Country Living

    Country Living Supporting Member

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    We're pretty much on our own since we're out in the boonies. That's why we make prevention a priority. It helps that our buildings are made from steel. A fire in one building would have a hard time spreading to another building.

    Uncle Joe - you were pretty fast on your feet. It could have been worse - glad to know nothing more than the truck was damaged. Trucks can be replaced.

    We have fire extinguishers in an accessible place in every building. The size of the extinguisher depends on what's in the building. We have large ones in the barn and workshop. Middle size ones in the house and the rest of the buildings.

    When you get ready to buy one, don't go with the cheap mass market ones from your friendly what-ever store. Those have plastic caps that eventually leak. Buy the ones your fire department or large private or public facility departments use.

    For those of you in the country or with little critter friends, look down the hose of your extinguisher on a regular basis. Little critters think that's a right fine place for their little bunker.

    I thought Halon was outlawed. We had to quit using it in our records storage vaults.
     
  6. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

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    Where to start?
    I haven't done anything with it yet except to look over the damaged area. The most charred area I could find is the light socket under the glovebox that comes on when you open the door. The plastic compartment that houses the heater motor is completely melted away and the motor itself fell to the floor and is sort of "welded " there. I'll need a pry bar to break it free. I'm going to pull the glovebox out tomorrow to see how far the damage goes but it seems to be very localized. I don't believe it got to the main wiring harness because it was still running while it was burning. I haven't started the truck yet because I don't want to energize the bare wires but I'm pretty sure it will start right up.
    Vance, Yeah, adrenaline like I haven't felt in a very long time. No, the insurance won't cover it. I only have full coverage on the F700 since it's the workhorse of my little 4 truck fleet. If the damage is as confined as I think, I will pull the dash out and replace the motor and duct work.
    Bob, Actually I did sustain some 2nd degree burns on my left hand. I didn't even know it for about 10 minutes. When I first opened the door there was a small coil of rope laying on the floor burning so I grabbed it and threw it in the snow because it was spreading the fire towards the seat. Once I started calming down the pain and throbbing set in. I cut a few sections of our giant aloe plant off, laid them across my hand and fingers, then wrapped it all up for about 4 hrs. I have a little blistering on 3 of my fingers but it's really not that bad. When I first got into the tree biz 27 years ago, I got a few rope burns that were far worse.
    Quite an experience that I hope I don't have to go through again anytime soon.
     
  7. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

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    Actually I do have a purge system plan, 2 - 300cf 3000psi air cylinders, and an air exchange method in place which is both electrical powered and hand-cranked. The recirc scrubber system will have a O2 high pressure bottle attached to the filter material canister to help in replenishing depleted O2. Look at the CO2 scrubber thread for more photos.
     

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  8. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

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    UncleJoe, somebody was looking out for you. Sounds like you will get through it just fine. Whew!!! close call though.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2009
  9. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to look at it as a trial run on future emergency's. I kept my head and without even thinking about it, assessed and took immediate action in a situation where many others would have panicked.
     
  10. Country Living

    Country Living Supporting Member

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    Excellent! I'm sure one of the main reasons people fail during an emergency is because they don't keep their head and wits about them. Good for you!

    There have been several instances of fires when something was plugged into the cigarette lighter, such as a charger. In most cars, when you turn off the engine the cigarette lighter is still "hot" (pardon the pun). If you had anything plugged in, it might the the source of your ignition. Just a thought.
     
  11. northernontario

    northernontario Well-Known Member

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    Just a thought for people...

    Those small 1-2lb extinguishers are absolutely useless. A 5lb extinguisher (~$30) will give you a few seconds of blast... quite literally 10-20 seconds.

    Having put out an engine fire (hood was up... I had just boosted the engine when a fuel line ruptured on the exhaust... took about a minute for it to get hot enough to ignite), a 5lb extinguisher was just barely enough. And thats only because the ignition system melted and shorted out, stalling the engine, and killing the fuel pump.

    And be careful breathing the stuff. I had a nasty cough for a week after I put out that fire!
     
  12. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

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    Remember that if you have a automobile engine fire, do not lift the hood. You should carry a ABC 'FE' with a hose attachment, this way you can direct the FE through a grill or side wall without adding additional O2. I agree with dtompsett, a 5lbs ABC FE at least.
     
  13. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

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    I didn't even know what size we had. I looked after reading your post this morning. It's 7.5lbs.


    I discovered that today also. :eek:
    I got in there and started pulling out all the melted plastic. As I got down close to the floor and started breaking pieces off it kicked up the dust. WOW! That stuff really irritates the throat and sinuses. I got the leafblower out, opened the doors and stood back while the dust blew everywhere.

    I got most of the debris out. It wasn't a light, it was some type of relay that I saw hanging there yesterday. The fan, which was coated in melted plastic, actually still spins. Not that I'll try to use it again in the truck. I removed all the wiring that was charred or even showed a sign of having been overheated. One of the wires that was melted, supplied power to the door switch that runs the dome light. The light actually still worked but I pulled it out. Once I had things cleaned up as well as possible, I started checking all the accessories. All the lights worked so I turned the key on. The wipers worked. Turn signals and brake lights worked. Radio OK. I sat there for a couple minutes listening and smelling. No problem so far so I fired it up. It started right up. I have no heater but I can still use the truck to plow if I need to.
    Bob, looks like you're right. Somebody was looking out for me. :)
     
  14. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

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    Holy cow, Joe! I just read this whole thread this morning. Sorry to hear about your truck, but like everybody else said, it could have been much worse. Is your hand ok?

    As for us, fire safety (as well as CO safety and cleanliness) is one reason we went with the outside wood furnace. Nothing in my house ever sparks a flame or emits carbon monoxide. Electric appliances and no space heaters. We have a couple good fire extinguishers in the house and the combine has a small one in the cab, but at this point I need some in the barns and other buildings and equipment. Does anybody know if the dry chem or carbon dioxide extinguishers are ok if they are stored in unheated areas over winter?

    Again, Joe...your actions were top notch, sounds like the truck will make it and you'll be ok. Sucks bad that it happened, but your preparedness prevented a much worse outcome. We've all just learned from your experience. Thanks for sharing that.
     
  15. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

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    Hey Jason. Yeah, the hand is healing quickly. Aloe is an amazing plant. The blisters are just barely noticeable and there isn't any pain at all. Quite an experience. One I hope to not go through again any time soon.
     
  16. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

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    I took the truck out on the road today to pick up a couple round bales. Everything works like it always did. Except the heater of course. :rolleyes:
     
  17. Grizz

    Grizz Well-Known Member

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    Re: fire extinguisher

    Just a few helpful tips on fire extinguisher. First off i'm a fire captain just 27 months from retirement. Place your extinguishers near your exit, never near where you will need them. You can cover 50 feet in seconds. That way if you need them as you enter, their right there. But the main reason is if your inside and a fire occurs when you get to the extinguisher and you turn around to use it you may decide it's to much fire and choose to retreat. I have seen to many deaths and a avoidable injuries. Next item, if you do suffer a fire in your car or home any item you choose to wash in the washer throw in 1 cup white vinegar as it will remove most of the smell. The same goes for wiping down all your other items.
     
  18. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

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    Since this came back up I might as well update.

    I ordered the motor and housing from a friend that owns a salvage yard. It turns out that the housing is specific to the 94 and 95 models. Nothing else will fit, so he's keeping an eye out for one. In the meantime I had to find a way to keep the windshield clear while I plowed.

    I got a small 12v heater/fan that plugs into the lighter. It was worthless; very low airflow volume. I looked the situation over and realized the heater core was completely exposed.
    :hmmm: :idea: I got some cardboard and duct tape and built a new housing. Then I went to Radio Shack and got a 350w inverter. Now down the street a little way to Wal-mart and got a 6" diameter fan. Went home, removed the stand from the fan and mounted it in front of the heater core. Plugged in the inverter, plugged in the fan and voila!, warm air and a clean windshield. It doesn't heat the cab enough to roast me out, but it takes the chill off and allows me to see.
    I'll use this setup until Kevin finds the right box.
     
  19. pdx210

    pdx210 Well-Known Member

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    yep, i was behind a guy in a work van that had a blow out on the freeway that ignited the tire he had a 1lb and to get to the fire he has to tilt it sideways to reach the fire with no effect used my 5# had to tilt it a little bit the hose was what made a difference
     
  20. carnut1100

    carnut1100 Well-Known Member

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    I don't have enough of them, or big enough really, but I do have a couple of small ones in the kitchen and a fire blanket also.
    One of my things to do is to get more extinguishers for sure...