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BigRedDog

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Time to take a look at your fire extinguisher
« on: November 04, 2017, 10:47:06 AM »

This is my 'public service' announcement for fall.  Lots of promotion to check the batteries in your smoke detector when the time 'falls back' and 'springs ahead' but also give some thought to your fire extinguishers. 

A small extinguisher can put out a small fire that in short order can grow to a large fire that may require two or three fire trucks and crews to put out.  In this case small and quick can be as good as big and late ;D ;D ;D

If you have any of these small home or vehicle (boat too) extinguishers now is the time to check them.  If you have any brand of dry chemical extinguishers you should get in the habit of picking it up and shaking it a few times a year, especially if it's in a vehicle where the powder may 'pack' down from vibrations and bumps, etc.

There is no such thing as a 'one size fits all' when it comes to a fire extinguisher.  For the 'typical' home or vehicle a small or medium dry chemical 'ABC' extinguisher is a good start.  If you have additional exposure such as a barn or workshop or a vehicle carrying a larger volume of flammable material then you need to upgrade and maybe even specialize. 

CO2 extinguishers are also great for cooling an object such as a warm six pack of beer...

or even cooling a bearing race when you're working in the shop!

Disclaimer:  I have no interest or involvement with Baker Ace Hardware other than being a regular customer that appreciates the good and personal service they provide. 

I'm sure most of the big box stores around have a display of fire extinguishers but Baker's go a little deeper and have a better selection with some higher quality extinguishers too.  When it's 'you and the extinguisher' against the fire you don't necessarily want the 'cheapest' product although it may or may not be better than anything :-\ :-\ :-\

Anyway, the story below is about some problems with a small but popular extinguisher that are pretty much anywhere. 

I'll go check my own to see if I may have picked one up at some time or another.  Please go check your own too!


https://www.clickondetroit.com/news/national/more-than-40-million-fire-extinguishers-recalled-after-car-fire-death
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BigRedDog

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Re: Time to take a look at your fire extinguisher
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2017, 09:10:57 AM »

I did find one extinguisher so far that seems to fit their description but I ran into issues when I tried to submit an inquiry on their website.  I guess I'll finish checking and then see if I have enough to make it worth going through the hassle.  Interesting that some of these have been recalled before!!! 

Another case of sometimes it's less costly just to spend a few more dollars up front!

Having been a firefighter I've had many 'opportunities' to use various types and styles of extinguishers over the years.  I've never had one fail to discharge when I pulled the lever or button but I've wondered a few times if they were going to work.

One day along 23 up north of 23 I pulled off the road because there was a semi trailer load of pallets on fire.  Right over the right wheels...   caught fire from the brakes apparently.  I was able to knock the pallet fire down but my extinguisher ran out of powder before I could get the brake fire (probably grease from a leaking wheel seal) to go completely out.  It would seem to be out and then just ignite again a few minutes later. 

This was in the days before every driver on the road had a cell phone (or two) and the driver had left to go get some help I would find out later. 

About the time I thought the fire had gone out completely it would ignite again and I'd spray some more powder on it.  The powder worked good to knock out the flame but it wasn't doing anything to cool the iron in the wheel so in a few seconds it would go 'poof' and be burning again.    So I'd give it another shot and it would go out.  When my extinguisher finally died another semi truck stopped and brought me a couple more.  I'd shoot them on the fire and when their extinguishers died they'd take them and get back on the road.  For what seemed like 20 minutes (seems longer when it's actually happening) this went on.

I can never think of the name of the township but they have a fire station right on the access road on the east side of 23...   green something maybe?  Anyway, finally heard sirens and felt a little relief until I realized they were on the access road and had to go past me to get out onto the freeway and then head back south.  That seemed like forever too but it was probably only 4-5 minutes.  Meanwhile I have a steady stream of truckers tossing me fire extinguishers.  One of them left me a big commercial dry chemical one and just took off.  I actually still have it...  figure I'll make a lamp out of it one day.

So, probably 8-10 dry chemical extinguishers later the first fire truck arrived and put some water on the brake drum which started cooling it and that was the end of the fire.  A few of the pallets had some hot spots but they were no match for water. 

Anyway, my point is through all those extinguishers not a single one of them let me down.  Every one of them did it's job. 

I still get a tingle when we drive past that spot on 23 though ;) ;) ;)
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Professor H

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Re: Time to take a look at your fire extinguisher
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2017, 09:51:32 AM »

I'm guessing you got the help via CB's with all the truckers -  makes one wonder if they still use those, as they still allow you to communicate with your "Neighbors"...

The Department you had assist was
Green Oak Twp...      we used to meet my son's friends family there as it was a halfway point after they moved north, and the boys wanted to get together for a weekend.

I am replacing my extinguishers this year - kitchen & upstairs and I feel funny that I've never carried one in my personal vehicle - but will likely add that - just to have it -
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blue2

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Re: Time to take a look at your fire extinguisher
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2017, 10:01:09 AM »

I have one in my garage that is about 18" around and a foot tall.  The last place i had it refilled told me to turn up upside down once in awhile and beat on the bottom with a rubber hammer.
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BigRedDog

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Re: Time to take a look at your fire extinguisher
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2017, 10:08:34 AM »

I'm guessing you got the help via CB's with all the truckers -  makes one wonder if they still use those, as they still allow you to communicate with your "Neighbors"...

The Department you had assist was
Green Oak Twp...      we used to meet my son's friends family there as it was a halfway point after they moved north, and the boys wanted to get together for a weekend.

I am replacing my extinguishers this year - kitchen & upstairs and I feel funny that I've never carried one in my personal vehicle - but will likely add that - just to have it -

Yes, Green Oak Twp...   that's the place!  One of these days I'm going to get off 23 and drive by their station. 

I have one in my garage that is about 18" around and a foot tall.  The last place i had it refilled told me to turn up upside down once in awhile and beat on the bottom with a rubber hammer.


That's a good idea although they're not as likely to 'cake up' if they're just sitting or hanging around.  It's when they're in a boat or on the road and bouncing around all the time. 

Anytime I've ever had to use a dry chemical extinguisher I always turn it upside down and give it a thump on whatever is handy just before I use it.

I can't imagine the sick feeling you'd get if you pulled the trigger and nothing happened! 
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blue2

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Re: Time to take a look at your fire extinguisher
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2017, 10:32:24 AM »

Ha....I missed this comment...
"CO2 extinguishers are also great for cooling an object such as a warm six pack of beer..."

Brings back memories.  I worked in a communications center in the Army when in Germany.  The place was full of fire extinguishers.  We would use them to get our cans of pop cold.  Some of the extinfuishers had a very long snout that would make some noise when used.  We would sneak up on someone sitting on a chair and give their rear a shot..
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Professor H

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Re: Time to take a look at your fire extinguisher
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2017, 11:39:57 AM »

Ha....I missed this comment...
"CO2 extinguishers are also great for cooling an object such as a warm six pack of beer..."

Brings back memories.  I worked in a communications center in the Army when in Germany.  The place was full of fire extinguishers.  We would use them to get our cans of pop cold.  Some of the extinfuishers had a very long snout that would make some noise when used.  We would sneak up on someone sitting on a chair and give their rear a shot..
We used it to slow down a snake one time   :)
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SidecarFlip

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Re: Time to take a look at your fire extinguisher
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2017, 05:06:06 PM »

CO2 extinguishers have a dark use as well.  You can 'freeze' any padlock with one and then smack it with a hammer and it will shatter, like glass.  There isn't a padlock made that can withstand a CO2 fire extinguisher.

I knew everyone needed that bit of information.
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BigRedDog

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Re: Time to take a look at your fire extinguisher
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2017, 08:50:06 AM »

CO2 extinguishers have a dark use as well.  You can 'freeze' any padlock with one and then smack it with a hammer and it will shatter, like glass.  There isn't a padlock made that can withstand a CO2 fire extinguisher.

I knew everyone needed that bit of information.

I think probably most everything has some potential for a 'dark' use!

The question becomes...    does the potential for 'good' outweigh the potential for 'bad'?
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