Finding The Best Fire Extinguisher For Your Car: All You Need To Know
Purchasing a fire extinguisher for your home almost seems like a no-brainer. Fires can start from a wide variety of places, so you should always have an extinguisher on hand just in case a fire breaks out in your kitchen or other areas of the house. This is a great practice, but did you know that you should have a dedicated fire extinguisher for your vehicle as well?
Fires can easily break out in your car. These fires can ignite completely without warning and they can be utterly devastating if you don't have any way to control them. Fires can be caused by faulty electrical systems, poorly maintained components, damage from a collision, or simply overheating.
The best fire extinguisher for cars will provide you with a way to quickly put out a fire in your vehicle before it can spread and cause more catastrophic damage.
Top 5 Best Fire Extinguishers For Your Car
- Types Of Fires A Car Fire Extinguisher Can Fight
- What Makes A Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher Best?
- The Most Common Causes Of Vehicle Fires
- Some Considerations
- 5 Best Fire Extinguishers For Car
- Final Thoughts
Types Of Fires A Car Fire Extinguisher Can Fight
There are three types of fires that can occur in your vehicle. For each, a dry chemical fire extinguisher is typically enough to handle them. These types of fires can occur not only in cars, but in trucks or even in RVs:
- Class A. These types of fires occur when solid organic materials catch flame, such as paper, fabrics, or wood. While a water and foam model can typically handle these fires, it's best to always have a dry chemical extinguisher on-hand in your vehicle instead.
- Class B. If there are flammable liquids present, then this is a Class B type of fire. These can include petrol, grease, or paraffin.
- Class C. In a car, there are a plethora of gases that can be released that can make an automobile fire worse. These can include propane, methane, or even butane. If these gases are in play, then a dry chemical extinguisher is your best bet.
What Makes A Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher Best?
As you might have guessed by now, dry chemical fire extinguishers are best for most vehicle fires. This is partially because they can easily handle any of the class A through C fires that commonly occur in a vehicle.
Dry chemical extinguishers have the ability to interrupt the chemical reaction that's happening in the fire. In addition to this reason, dry chemical extinguishers are best because they can have:
- A CONTROLLED DISCHARGE
- A DURABLE CONSTRUCTION
- A LIGHTWEIGHT CONSTRUCTION
- A CLIP OR MOUNT
- AN EASY WAY TO BE SERVICED
Dry chemical extinguishers typically have an even and stable discharge. This means that when you are trying to put out your vehicle fire, a dry chemical product will evenly coat and try to extinguish whatever is burning.
Since dry chemical extinguishers have a tendency to come in metal canisters, these are very durable extinguishers, which is perfect for something that you'll need to have on-hand in your moving vehicle.
In addition to being durable, you'll want your automobile extinguisher to be able to be carried quickly to the source of the fire. With this in mind, seek out an extinguisher that is around two pounds; this should provide more than enough chemical to interrupt the fire triangle that's happening in your car.
Some models of vehicle-specific fire extinguishers have dedicated mounts so that you can easily store the extinguishers in your car. While this isn't a feature that is exclusive to dry chemical extinguishers, most car units are this type and thusly may include a clip or mount.
Dry chemical extinguishers can often be serviced and refilled at a regular fire services company.
The Most Common Causes Of Vehicle Fires
As mentioned before, vehicle fires can be caused by a wide variety of car mishaps. Fires can occur around the catalytic converters, in the brake lines, or in the exhaust manifolds.
Additionally, in garages, where we store our cars, fires can occur. Oftentimes it's the car fire extinguishers that will save the day in these situations because we tend to store some of the very chemicals that can cause the fires that a dry chemical extinguisher is designed to deal with.
Just remember, a spark from a cigarette or even your console's cigarette lighter can quickly cause a fire.
Is Your Extinguisher Easy To Reach?
Your fire extinguisher should be always on hand in case a fire ignites within the confines of your car. A good place to mount a car fire extinguisher is in the foot well of the passenger's side front seat. This is an area that shouldn't have any obstructions and will be easy to access should the need arise.
Are You Using A Car-Specific Fire Extinguisher?
Home extinguishers are nice because they are easy to remove from their brackets and use to fight fires. Unfortunately, being able to quickly remove a car extinguisher would be somewhat problematic. This is because as a car-based unit, it being able to slide out of its mount will mean that it can easily just go rolling after a speed bump.
To avoid this, try to purchase an extinguisher that locks in firmly into a mount so that you can rest assured that it's not rolling around at an inopportune time. Here's a great video on how to install a car-specific model.
Don't Have A Car-specific Extinguisher?
If for whatever reason, you have an extinguisher that isn't designed for a car, you can purchase a universal bracket that should secure your extinguisher safely. These are installable in the same way that dedicated car fire extinguisher is able to be installed.
5 Best Fire Extinguishers For Car
Our first product is the B500 by Amerex. This extinguisher is perfect for car fires because of its design; it's made to fight gasoline, grease, or electrical fires, which are the three chief types of fires that can occur within a vehicle.
It's a car-specific model that can be purchased with a mounting bracket that's designed to keep the extinguisher easily within reach of the driver. The pressure gauge is exceptionally easy to ready so that you can quickly judge whether or not it's time for you to have the unit serviced or replaced.
- The mounting bracket is very secure and easy to use.
- This dry chemical-based product does a great job of smothering the types of fires that can occur in a car.
- First Alert provides a five-year warranty for this extinguisher, which is a very generous amount of time for a warranty.
- The product is nice and lightweight for easy hefting to the ignition site.
- There are no bolts included to secure the mounting bracket.
- The pull ring is made of plastic and can deteriorate over time due to UV exposure.
Amerex B500 Fire Extinguisher is a great small fire extinguisher that fits unobtrusively under a seat so that it can be retrieved easily in the event of a fire. It's nice and small, has a pretty easy usage, and is easy to read, so you can't go wrong.
If you want an extinguisher that will not cost a ton of money, this two-pack of Fire Gone car extinguishers will work perfectly for your needs. They use aqueous film forming foams that are designed to directly smother and fight fires of A, B, and C classes. Amazingly, these fire extinguishers are small enough to be confused with air fresheners, but their capacity to fight smaller fires in your car is very noteworthy.
As single-use units, they are designed to be used to quickly extinguish a fire and to then be easily thrown away; you won't ever have to have them refilled, which is excellent considering how inexpensive they are.
- They are small and easy to use.
- They come in a two pack, which is perfect if you have multiple vehicles.
- They can be purchased with brackets that help you to quickly store them securely.
- You simply pull the tab and squeeze the trigger to activate.
- At only 16 ounces, these don't have a lot of the fire retardant foam inside of them, which means you'll be limited to smaller fires.
- The trigger can easily break, which can be catastrophic during a fire situation.
The Fire Gone system is an excellent system that makes fighting small vehicle fires easy. We also loved the fact that the product comes in a two pack, which makes having a little extra capacity for extinguishing vehicle fires possible.
The Kidde FA110 is a great dry chemical extinguisher that will quickly help you fight any fires that may occur within the confines of your vehicle. In addition to its vehicle uses, the product can also be used in your home.
It has a light 2.5-pound weight and a small form factor that's perfect for placement under car seats. Its discharge is very powdery and has a wide angle of dispersion, which means that you'll be able to get maximum coverage when you are trying to put out a fire.
- This is a very popular product for a reason. It's reliable, compact and has a great dispersion system.
- The pressure gauge is very easy to read and accurate.
- It also has very easy to read instructions printed right on its body.
- The material that makes up the flame retardant inside of the extinguisher gets everywhere, so if a fire does occur, you can expect to need to have your vehicle professionally cleaned.
- Once again, plastic parts make the dispersion system a bit iffy. They can simply crack under certain situations.
This is a quality fire extinguisher that we'd use in our own cars. It has an easy to heft body that makes it quick to take to the fire. Also, we loved how the solution disperses; it'll cover a fire quickly and put it out at the ignition source.
This Kidde fire extinguisher has a dedicated wall mount so that you can quickly install it on your wall. If you want it under your seat, you'll have to purchase an under seat mount so that you can place it conveniently.
This extinguisher has a great method of delivery like the previously reviewed Kidde extinguisher and has a powder coated metal body that's durable and won't dent or scrape. The extinguisher also comes with a great mounting bracket that secures the extinguisher but at the same time doesn't make it too hard to quickly retrieve.
- It has a great-looking red metal design.
- The pressure gauge lets you know exactly which charge level the product is at. It's very easy to read.
- The valve trigger is rust and impact-resistant.
- It's primarily designed for Class B and C fires.
- The product can lose charge over time and sometimes be shipped with a reduced charge level.
This is a great automobile extinguisher that's designed to quickly grant you control of any fire situation that arises. We really liked the ease of use on this unit.
Our final fire extinguisher is a very compact auto fire extinguisher that is a single-use product. It uses dry chemicals that are issued through an aerosol spray to quickly manage Class A, B, and C fires and fits neatly in your glove box because it's so tiny.
The product is also comprised of aluminum, which means that your passengers won't inadvertently damage the extinguisher when it's not in use. In addition to this durability, it has a easy to wipe away formulation for the after-fire cleanup.
- This is a very easy to store product; you can fit it in your glove box.
- It uses a aerosol delivery system for its dry chemical mixture.
- The product looks good aesthetically.
- It's a very durable and reliable extinguisher.
- If you store it in the heat above 120 degrees Fahrenheit the product can fail.
- It only has a single use.
This car fire extinguisher has ease of use that anyone would want. As anyone might expect, having an extinguisher's hardware fail mid-fire could be catastrophic, so it's nice to have a product with great build quality.
For your safety and the safety of your loved ones, a car fire extinguisher should be a requirement. It can simply save you from a much bigger and more dangerous situation by quickly managing small fires before they have a chance to grow out of control.
Out of the products that we reviewed, if we had to pick one as our favorite, we’d pick the Kidde FA110 since it has a great build quality and a reliable design and dispersion system for fighting fires.