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Fire extinguisher

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Extinguisher: what you need to know

Combustion can occur as a result of a short-circuit in car wiring, road accident or arson. Fire extinguishers will help to liquidate the fire sources. Legislation of many countries obliges car owners to carry this accessory in the car. Its presence allows not only to minimize fire damage but to save human life in some cases.

What are the types of car fire extinguishers

  • Carbon dioxide. They extinguish the flame by cooling it. Carbon dioxide they contain is discharged under its own excessive pressure of about 55 atm. The temperature of the stream lies between -70 and -90 °C. The active substance easily gets into hard-to-reach areas, does not conduct current, and does not damage the car body paint coating.  A disadvantage of these accessories is the risk of carbon dioxide poisoning and getting a frostbite. The air temperature at which the device can work efficiently ranges from -20 to +50 °C.
  • Dry powder. They discharge a fine powder propelled by compressed gas. Covering a surface, the compound cuts off oxygen access thus smothering the fire. An advantage of such devices is their relative safety for humans.  A disadvantage lies in the fact that the powder remains on car parts after extinguishing. The working pressure of the device is 16–24 atm and working temperatures lie between -50 and +50 °C. Powder extinguishers, offered in catalogues are divided into:
    • Stored-pressure. The propellant pressure is provided by a locking device with an indicator, showing the corresponding value. They begin working instantly.
    • Cartridge-operated. When activated, a needle punctures the cartridge and the expellant gas gets out. It takes some time before fire extinguishing starts.

Features of fire extinguishers use

  1. Inspect the tank regularly for damages. Cracks in the reservoir and low values of the inner pressure (if a built-in manometer is installed) are indicating that the device should be replaced. The service life is stamped on the body.
  2. Place the device close to the driver’s seat. This way you will be able to quickly use the accessory in case of a fire. It should be reliably fastened.
  3. Do not place the device under direct sunlight.
  4. Don’t activate the unit closer than 2–3 metres to a fire source. Doing this, avoid standing against the wind.
  5. Extinguish open fire from the base, fire in niches – from the top.
  6. Avoid breathing in the substance from the tank.

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