According to statistics, every hour on the planet as a result of fires, 8 people die and several dozen remain crippled. By number, fires in transport take the second place after apartments. So, in the USA this indicator is 20% of the total, in the UK – 19%, in Norway – 14%, in Sweden – 12% and in Russia – 11%.
In anticipation of the summer, the season of melting asphalt, boiling cars, vacations and long trips, a fire extinguisher becomes an indispensable item in your car.
REASONS FOR FIRE TRANSPORT
1. Faulty electrical wiring. The greatest danger is sparks that can occur with poor insulation or short circuit. If left on the surface with residues of technical fluids, they may cause a fire..
2. An accident, as a result of which the integrity of the wiring and the tightness of various tubes or containers of the car are violated. As a result, technical fluids or fuel can get on open wires, an exhaust manifold or hot body parts.
3. Smoking drivers while refueling or driving. Not extinguished cigarette butts that are thrown out into the front window can “drag” into the open window of the tailgate. A cigarette butt on the seat can cause decay of the skin and, as a result, a fire.
4. Loose battery. On an uneven road or in the event of a car toppling over, it may close to the body and cause a fire.
5. Use of flammable liquids to remove dirt from the car body. In this case, gasoline or alcohol stains may flash when the body heats up or if a cigarette bull gets in contact with it..
6. Use of open flame (blowtorch) to warm the engine in winter.
Few motorists seriously think about such a seemingly insignificant thing in their new car, like a fire extinguisher. And as in that proverb about thunder and a man, thoughts about the “red thing” in the trunk often arise only with the upcoming technical inspection of the car. In fact, this position is fundamentally wrong, and coupled with the irresponsibility of individual citizens, it can also lead to very unpleasant consequences in special cases.
We are sincerely happy for those drivers who have never encountered using a car fire extinguisher for its intended purpose, however, life, as they say, is unpredictable, and no one can know what fate has prepared for us at the next moment. There is no guarantee that your car will not be tested by fire, so we will fully devote our present material to the problem of choosing a car fire extinguisher.
To begin with, as usual, we will decide on the main types of fire extinguishers for cars.
By the type of fire extinguishing agents that are in the cylinder, fire extinguishers are usually divided into three main types:
Air-foam fire extinguishers, some also call them aerosol, in their principle of operation are somewhat reminiscent of spray cans with shaving foam.
Pressing the button causes the device to spew out a stream of flame-retardant foam. The composition of such a foam usually includes vaporizing halogenated hydrocarbons (ethyl bromide, chladone, a mixture of chladones or a mixture of ethyl bromide with chladones, etc.). However, as practice shows, the advantages of such fire extinguishers are very modest. The reason for such poor performance is the extremely small working volume of such devices. Often, many motorists stop on models with a volume of about a liter, or even half a liter. With the help of such a “tube” it will be very difficult, and sometimes even impossible, to cope with a strong fire in the car, and this can not be taken for granted. Therefore, from the acquisition of something similar to protect your steel friend, if you want to be sure of your safety, I think you should refuse.
The second type of fire extinguisher is powder.
Unlike aerosol, they are more effective for eliminating various fires and fires. Their distinctive feature is that the contents of the container is a fire extinguishing powder, which is under the pressure of one of the inert gases (air, nitrogen or carbon dioxide) injected into the fire extinguisher. The pressure thus reaches the mark of 16 atmospheres. When a button is pressed, all powdery contents begin to be ejected onto a burning surface under the action of pressure inside the container. The chemical composition of the powder acts in such a way that it simply deprives the fire of access to the oxygen necessary for combustion, and thereby stops the fire. The action of such a fire extinguisher in many cases is quite effective, both during fires in the engine compartment and in the cabin. But, there are also disadvantages. After applying a powder fire extinguisher, it is not always possible to remove the same fire extinguishing powder from the surface. In various conditions, for example, at high temperatures and in combination with other chemicals, insurmountable problems may arise in the further resuscitation of the car from the effects of a fire. Therefore, let it not be a surprise to you that the fact that much that was saved from the fire may die from the action of such a fire extinguisher. In addition to the ubiquitous desire to ruin everything, powder fire extinguishers have another significant drawback. Over time, the inner contents of the container tends to turn into a monolithic mass, which, I think, you already guessed, is not suitable for use in any way. And internal high pressure is also subject to the ability to constantly reduce its value. Therefore, it will not be amiss to sometimes look at the expiration date of a fire extinguisher, so that the case does not catch you by surprise.
The third type of fire extinguisher is carbon dioxide.
The contents of such devices are compressed carbon dioxide CO2. The design of these fire extinguishers involves a valve of one type or another, which brings the fire extinguisher into working condition, as well as a bell, in order to direct a stream of carbon dioxide to the source of ignition. The specific chemical properties of the inner contents of a carbon dioxide fire extinguisher allows you to bring down the flame with a powerful stream, and at the same time cool the burning substance to a temperature that is much lower than the combustion threshold. A significant advantage of such devices is that when they are used, only traces of fire and no side traces remain, in comparison with powder fire extinguishers. Therefore, the use of carbon dioxide fire extinguishers is most appropriate if you want to not only stop the fire, but at least somehow save the objects enveloped in the fire. But, as in any rule, there are some exceptions. If in the process of extinguishing the fire, as the fire extinguisher ends, there are still inaccessible areas with an open flame, then there is a possibility of re-ignition. Therefore, when using a carbon dioxide fire extinguisher, one should not forget about the potential for subsequent ignition. In order to avoid this situation, it is necessary to approach fire extinguishing as meticulously as possible and pay proper attention to even the smallest fire. We should not forget that when working with such fire extinguishers, do not touch the exposed parts of the body to the bell of the fire extinguisher. Otherwise, you run the risk of getting an isothermal burn, since when the carbon dioxide exits, the temperature of the socket can drop to -150 degrees Celsius. Just as in the case of powder fire extinguishers, do not forget about the shelf life of the device – over time, the gas tends to disappear.
In addition to devices generally accepted for fire extinguishing, there are also other systems that, due to their characteristics, are less widely used, but this does not mean their lower efficiency.
Fire extinguishers of this kind include automatic fire extinguishing systems designed specifically for automobiles. They are much more effective than manual ones, however, and the cost of such devices is much higher in comparison with manual models. But, as you know, you have to pay for quality. As a result, you get a fully autonomous fire protection system, which can be used even in the most aggressive environments. Undoubtedly, few motorists will want to overpay more than ten times for such a device, which will also clutter up the engine compartment or trunk, because the dimensions of automatic fire extinguishing systems significantly exceed the dimensions of manual fire extinguishers. Therefore, many of us choose something cheaper, naively relying on the usual “maybe”. However, some motorists later bitterly regret their “economical” choice.
If you still find yourself at the counter with various fire extinguishers and have a certain amount in your pocket for the appropriate purchase, then you should follow some basic rules.
Firstly, if your choice fell on two similar devices that differ only in volume, then in no case should you give preference to a smaller instance. It is better to dwell on a larger model, which can play a decisive role in a force majeure situation. You should also ask about the expiration date of the purchased goods. As practice shows, most fire extinguishers are limited to a shelf life of about 1.5-2 years from the date of manufacture, after which it will have to be changed, because it is at least naive and frivolous to hope for its operability after this period. If the question of choice has disappeared, and you settled on a specific model, then you should personally verify how freely a fire extinguisher is brought into working condition, since there will be no time at all to search for pliers at the time of fire. If everything is in order, and without the help of assistive devices you were able to perform the above operation, it remains only to pay for a new purchase and put it in your car. But, many of us, even those who took the issue of choice seriously, are often dismissive of preserving our potential savior. Transportation of a fire extinguisher also has its own nuances. Do not allow direct contact of the fire extinguisher with various sharp and hard objects, since during transportation the plastic case of the fire extinguisher may not withstand persistent blows against something hard and sharp. A surprise may also be the fact that if the storage is unsuccessful, the safety pin may be deformed and in order to bring the device into “combat” readiness, the help of third-party tools will be required.
In addition, many drivers have the habit of simply throwing a red spray can under the seat of a car, without thinking about fixing it. Not rare cases are when a fire extinguisher just flew out from under the seat on the corners and ended up under the pedals, thereby blocking the brake and other levers. I think that at high speed and rough roads, this situation can make even the most seasoned car enthusiast nervous. Therefore, this issue should also be approached with full responsibility, because security is the most important thing in any business..
We wish you good luck in choosing, and also so that your personal experience stops only at the process of choosing, and not using a fire extinguisher.
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