Fire safety/Fire extinguishers - what to buy etc

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Agent_zed

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The battery thread got me thinking about fire safety (thought a new thread was better than derailing that thread). In the past I had a powder extinguisher for my kitcar but that has de-pressurised.

I don't have anything in the house either so thinking about replacements.

I did a quick look and though this looked interesting https://www.screwfix.com/p/firechief-fae500-foam-aerosol-fire-extinguisher-500ml/784kj as it's a foam rather than powder.
I don't think I'd want to set a powder extinguisher off in my house as apart from the mess I'm not sure the powder would be good to breathe in.

Anyone used a foam extinguisher? looks like it could be a good thing to have in the house.

I'm not sure it would be big enough for a car fire though, although not sure what would be best as powder extinguishers can settle over time from the vibrations and not work properly when you need it.

Fire blanket might be useful for the house/workshop but I'd see this as an addition rather than only protection as can't potentially get it over the entire thing on fire e.g TV on a wall.

any thoughts?
 
Each type of extinguisher is aimed at a different type of fire, one of the best used to be Halon until it was banned as it is an anti-oxidant and not good if used incorrectly. CO2 is good on electrical and petrol / diesel but not a chip pan where a damp towel is better. Powder is messy but a good all rounder, for in the home use water providing it is not electrical or chip pan so if your settee is burning get the garden hose on it.

If you want a fire extinguisher then buy from a reputable outlet and ensure it is always in date, much more important than a fire extinguisher are fire detection systems using the correct detectors for a given location as they are your first line of defence, you cannot use an extinguisher if you are unconcious.
 
I suspect electrical fires and kitchen fires are the biggest risk for most of us.

That for me means CO2 is the priority and will cause least damage. I have one in the workshop. Should probably have one at each end.

Fire blanket by all means.

Beyond that, I suspect I could grab a bucket and the garden tap nearly as fast as I could get a powder or foam extinguisher to wherever it's needed.
 
I have a sturdy wooden shed with no mains power, half of it is motorbike storage and the other half is workshop so I really don't want to be dealing with a fire. For me I have a car/caravan foam extinguisher by the small door of my shed, and one of them cheap aerosol style ones by the large door at the other end, and a few liters of water which are mainly in case I spill something like paint, but could be poured on a fire. Im considering a full size foam extinguisher as well.
I don't keep power tool batteries in there and anything that risks making sparks is done outside. Anything flammable is kept away from the bike side, and away from anything sharp that could damage the bottles.
My thoughts are anything small can be dealt with using what i keep in the shed, anything bigger and its 999 and the garden hose.
 
friend put out a bad fire with their powder extinguisher, but powder every where in house & v diff to clean up - was recommended the new gen of water mist ext using de-ionised water which, surprisingly, are safe for electricals
 
I too have heard powder makes a heck of a mess, but it's what I have. I should probably look to change.

There's caveats to "safe for electricals" - always read the instructions.
 
I have always liked the idea of the 'ball' extinguisher, that you hang and it automatically goes off if a fire is detected underneath it.
I feel like I should get one and put it over where I store my batteries and paint

e.g. https://www.fireprotectionshop.co.u...wder-automatic-fire-suppression-system-map-90
that's really interesting, I didn't know they exist (at least not affordable DIY install systems).

I've got a linked heat alarm in my garage (attached to the side of my house) and 2 heat and 2 smoke detectors in my house, so I'm pretty covered in terms of being made aware a fire is raging in my garage but one of these would be great to have to hopefully knock a fire down a bit at least before the fire brigade can arrive.

thanks
 
In a home, if it is just a family home.
1 x 2kg powder.
1 x 1m fire blanket.

If you have a workshop.
1 x 2kgco2
1 x 6lt foam.

If welding on a car etc, 1x 4kgDry powder.

That is as a minimum.

If you contact your insurance they will be able to advise if you can get a reduction following a risk assement.

The above extinguishers are what we would advise as a minium.
 
We've just had our annual fire extinguisher inspection and the engineer said that foam is being phased out due to the chemicals in it, fortunately we only have 2 so not an issue to replace.
 
I have always liked the idea of the 'ball' extinguisher, that you hang and it automatically goes off if a fire is detected underneath it.
I feel like I should get one and put it over where I store my batteries and paint

e.g. https://www.fireprotectionshop.co.u...wder-automatic-fire-suppression-system-map-90

When I was working, we had some automatic extinguishing systems that had to be locked-off before anyone could enter the protected area. It was even set up so the door couldn’t be unlocked until this was done.
These ball extinguishers look great for unattended areas but in a workshop you may like to risk assess effects of accidental discharge with someone underneath. It may be a wallop with a piece of wood you are manoeuvring will be enough. 😉
 
I have always liked the idea of the 'ball' extinguisher, that you hang and it automatically goes off if a fire is detected underneath it.
I feel like I should get one and put it over where I store my batteries and paint

e.g. https://www.fireprotectionshop.co.u...wder-automatic-fire-suppression-system-map-90
The ceiling mounted unit has a glass phial that seals the extinguishing medium in the unit. The phial needs nake flame to break it. So, although 'automatic' the fire is usually fairly advanced before the unit activates. Positioning close to the potential source of a fire is critical. These units are available in powder, foam or Co2.
 
When I was working, we had some automatic extinguishing systems that had to be locked-off before anyone could enter the protected area. It was even set up so the door couldn’t be unlocked until this was done.
Back in the day our electronics development labs had many millions of pounds worth of prototype equipment and several full installations used for testing and fault finding. We had halon fire suppression that was turned on when the labs were unattended just as you describe. It displaces oxygen so any fire is quickly put out, but it will asphyxiate anyone in the room too !
 
We've just had our annual fire extinguisher inspection and the engineer said that foam is being phased out due to the chemicals in it, fortunately we only have 2 so not an issue to replace.
Interesting to hear they want to discontinue foam. Must be some unique make to be a chemicall threat. Foam extinguishment is simply (soap-like) bubbles filled with Co2.
Very very effective, low collateral damage and very easy to clean up after the event.
 
Back in the day our electronics development labs had many millions of pounds worth of prototype equipment and several full installations used for testing and fault finding. We had halon fire suppression that was turned on when the labs were unattended just as you describe. It displaces oxygen so any fire is quickly put out, but it will asphyxiate anyone in the room too !

We had Halon too. It was protecting power electronics switching 26kV dc at 25A!
 
Halon is nasty stuff and the concentration required to supress fire is only some 10-15% lower than that for life. Where I worked it was stored in liquid form and could lift concrete filled raised flooring tiles within the datacenter halls.
Once after an unexpected discharge we found vertical cast-iron discharge pipes bent away from the structural concrete pillars - due to an oversite some were missing the cast aluminium deflectors designed to fan out the gas and the discharge pressure was such that the pressure of the gas hitting the ceiling above was enough to bend the pipework...
 
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