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Old 09-18-2017, 04:29 PM   #1
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Fire Extinguisher Upgrade

Hi all,
I know we have fire extinguishers in our trailers as Escape has to provide one in each unit. I was wondering if anyone has upgraded their extinguisher to a larger unit?

I ask because I saw a motor home catch fire and man that sucker went up quick. Unfortunately neither myself or anyone else who stopped had a fire extinguisher. Probably half a dozen minutes or less between when I called 911 and when the fire department got there and by then the motor home was fully engulfed. I'm thinking of buying a bigger one for my trailer and another for my truck and car just in case. Was just looking for information on what the forum has done. Thanks
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Old 09-18-2017, 11:32 PM   #2
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As you saw with the motorhome, once a fire gets started it tends to spread like, well, wildfire. If a fire starts in your trailer, unless you are right there, immediately, with a reasonably sized extinguisher of the proper type, that you know how to use, you're probably going to lose. That said, the fire extinguisher included in the trailer is too small to be very useful unless deployed instantly by a skilled user; it's there for legal reasons. I keep a 10 lb extinguisher mounted in the back of our truck, and I do know how to use it. If you need anything bigger than that, it's probably already too late.
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Old 09-18-2017, 11:37 PM   #3
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The only time I've ever used a fire extinguisher it failed (welder on my construction site failed to protect the area around his work). If I didn't have a backup, the building would have gone. I just tossed the one in my kitchen. It was at least 10 years old and when I tried it in the back yard, it coughed and sputtered and might have put out a candle. It doesn't hurt to have an extra and they should be checked or replaced regularly.
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Old 09-18-2017, 11:46 PM   #4
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On the topic of fire extinguishers, I emailed Kidde to ask if the web advice to invert or rap your extinguisher with a rubber mallet once a year, was of any value.
The reply I got was that "it is not necessary".
I responded that I had hoped for more that that, like some sort of reasoning for why it wasn't necessary to agitate the container, but got no response.
So, take notice, that whatshername at Kidde says you don't need to shake it.
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Old 09-18-2017, 11:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davescape View Post
It doesn't hurt to have an extra and they should be checked or replaced regularly.
Yep. They should be inspected monthly and serviced/re-certified annually.
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Old 09-19-2017, 12:06 AM   #6
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Yep. They should be inspected monthly and serviced/re-certified annually.
Would cost more to have the Escape extinguisher re-certified than it costs to buy a new one. I check the gauge and hope it hasn't strayed below the green.
I've only discharged one once, when the hippy era macrame hanging lamp was ignited by a candle on the table. There was at least 18 inches of separation, but it went up like a torch.
I now have five extinguishers around the house, and one in the trailer.
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Old 09-19-2017, 01:11 AM   #7
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Would cost more to have the Escape extinguisher re-certified than it costs to buy a new one. I check the gauge and hope it hasn't strayed below the green.
I've only discharged one once, when the hippy era macrame hanging lamp was ignited by a candle on the table. There was at least 18 inches of separation, but it went up like a torch.
I now have five extinguishers around the house, and one in the trailer.
Glenn and others,
Those are 10 cent gauges on the top of fire extinguishers. Never trust the gauge ... about all they are good for is to indicate weather or not the extinguisher has been fired off or not. Better replace them every year ... perhaps link replacement with an important holiday like many suggest replacing smoke detector batteries.

I used to buy only metal valved fire extinguishers because they could be re-filled ... the plastic topped / valved ones were always throw always. That is no longer true ... at least in my area - your mileage may vary. Now all are more expensive to re-fill than buy new.

I no longer buy the standard 3 pounders like we get in our trailers - they are too small to put out a cigarette. Instead I buy the ones like in Costco (about $25.00) ... a little bigger and have a rubber hose along their side to point at a fire ... still a bit small but with more usable fire stopping power. I don't know their "poundage" but the extinguisher measures about 4 - 3/8" diameter X about 12- 3/4" tall - not including valve.

I have replaced the one in trailer with the larger one described above and have another in my TV. I'd have more but can't find a good place to store them.

Tom
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Old 09-19-2017, 03:01 AM   #8
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Okay ... this topic has hit a nerve in me. Please ignore if you don't want to read more. I have had 3 fires that could have caused injury and / cost me all that I own and witnessed one that did cost a friend everything he owned. Fortunately none of the above for me but that is why this topic hits a nerve .... my wish is that I can help you avoid the same for you.

The way Escape mounts their extinguishers IS the worst possible way to mount a fire extinguisher.... verticle ... in the corner (OK) out of the way avoiding tripping (OK ... I guess). Trailers, boats and vehicles vibrate ... a lot ... and over time the extinguishing powder inside WILL pack down and in the panic of a fire, may or may not fire off as designed or expected. The proper way to mount an extinguisher is in the horizontal position so when (it will) the powder packs down it does so through out the length of the extinguisher and has a much better chance of breaking up inside from a blow just before you pull the pin . ( Always bang the extinguisher hard on some surface to break up the powder inside before pulling the pin and expecting it to do something).

Here is a fire story: A neighbor 2 boats away lived on his boat - heated it with a drip style carburetor oil cook / heat stove. Well, those old style heaters can start to get too hot. The heat made the heat thin the fuel and thus the fuel flowed faster and the stove got hotter and hotter till it started the boat on fire. The owner was in bed and didn't notice until the fire was well under way. When he did notice, he was able to escape out a forward hatch, grab a fire extinguisher and re-enter the boat near the galley and fire. He pulled the pin and squeezed the valve .... gas came out but no smothering powder. The fire continued to burn and soon the boat was burned to the waterline .... total loss. My friend escaped wearing a T shirt and boxer shorts ... all else was lost.

About a week later, all of us neighbors put on a fund raiser party for him ... and quizzed him about what happened. Yep ... his extinguisher was mounted verticle and he had watched it occasionally to see the gauge was still in the green sector. He thought all was good. It was but he never shook up the powder. He didn't know how long he had had that extinguisher.

Lessons: Know how old you extinguishers are and replace after a year, take down out of bracket ( both wife and husband so you are familiar with how bracket works) and bang butt of extinguisher hard on something to break up powder - shake to feel the powder move around .. replace in bracket, mount extinguisher horizontally - under overhead cabinets might be a good place .... you need more than one!!!!

Save your expired extinguishers ... call in the neighbors - especially kids, start a little outdoor ground fire and invite all to try to put out the fire with the extinguishers. Careful where you do this. Hint to put out a fire: start at the base of fire and move up to it. Extinguish the "cause" first. This will be an educational experience.

More to come,

Tom
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Old 09-19-2017, 03:16 AM   #9
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Oooops its mid night on a work night. I'll try to get back here to tell you about my self caused fires tomorrow. Lessons learned.

Tom
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Old 09-19-2017, 06:25 AM   #10
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"Kidde’s disposable fire extinguishers all have a 10 to 12-year warranty."

I feel better now, if it fails I may be able to get my $ back.
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Old 09-19-2017, 07:37 AM   #11
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I had been pondering mounting an extinguisher somewhere in my truck and this thread has now convinced me. When you see car fires it makes you wonder why they aren't mandatory. Will also check the one in the Escape as I'm sure it's time for a (bigger) replacement.

My father doesn't have the best track record with fires - truck and boat engine episodes over the years. Both able to be rebuilt, but scary. I went out on the same boat with my family the other day and brought my own fire extinguisher. My father was laughing.
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Old 09-19-2017, 07:50 AM   #12
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Since learning about Mac the Fire Guy, we dont use dry chemical extinguishers. Even in a small fire, while the dry chemical can extinguish the fire, the powder is toxic. It is also difficult if not impossible to clean up.

We use disposable foam extinguishers. Suitable for Class A and B fires (most common), non toxic and very effective.

http://macthefireguy.com

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Old 09-19-2017, 08:35 AM   #13
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Hi: All... Escape hat on... I have never seen any fire extinguisher mounted vertically!!! Lets not bash the company for the "Worst possible way". The worst possible way would be not having one at all. Escape hat off. Alf
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Old 09-19-2017, 09:10 AM   #14
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With the bouncing our trailers get, vertically makes the best option both for travel and storage. That said a simple turn off at the propane tank and battery disconnect should keep most fires from getting out of hand and help contain with the use of the small extinguisher.
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Old 09-19-2017, 09:46 AM   #15
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I think there's a better chance of having a kitchen fire than just about any other kind... and that goes for sticks 'n brick homes too. The ETI supplied fire extinguisher fills the need to put it out.
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Old 09-19-2017, 10:00 AM   #16
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With the bouncing our trailers get, vertically makes the best option both for travel and storage.
Not really. From Mac the Fire Guy:

"Invert and shake your dry-powder or dry-chemical extinguisher monthly to loosen the powder. The jarring of the coach does not loosen the powder; in fact, it packs the powder, which may make your extinguisher ineffective."
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Old 09-19-2017, 10:10 AM   #17
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I think there's a better chance of having a kitchen fire than just about any other kind... and that goes for sticks 'n brick homes too. The ETI supplied fire extinguisher fills the need to put it out.
We don't smoke, don't light candles in the trailer, or use electrical appliances (toaster, space heaters, hair dryers, etc) that rely on heat. If our propane devices (fridge, stove, hot water heater) are kept in a good state of repair, the remaining primary fire hazards are electrical shorts and cooking fires. I am happy with the fire extinguisher that was provided with the Escape.
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Old 09-19-2017, 10:19 AM   #18
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Who to believe. Some guy on the net or the people that make them.

"It is not necessary to shake or tap the extinguisher".



Kind regards,

Ann Biglow
Kidde Safety
1016 Corporate Park Dr.
Mebane, NC 27302
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Old 09-19-2017, 12:44 PM   #19
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Who to believe. Some guy on the net or the people that make them.
]
Have you changed out your extinguisher since new? It would be interesting to see what would happen if you, or anyone else, did a trial run with an old extinguisher to see how well it works.

Is there an expiry date on them. I have to admit to never really paying attention to them, other than ensuring I have them.

It would be a good idea to put one in the truck too.
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Old 09-19-2017, 01:29 PM   #20
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Kidde (one of the mfrs) is correct: you don't have to shake it.
Our extinguisher, provided by Escape, is a First Alert 1A-5BC disposible (non-refillable) extinguisher. Contents are Sodium Carbonate, aka/washing soda. It is an irritant. It is not classified as toxic. Next ingredient is Magnesium Aluminum Carbonate, which is an anti-caking compound, also used for that purpose in skin-care cosmetics. So, you don't have to shake the extinguisher.
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