What type of fire extinguisher for my truck carrying dangerous goods?

The legislation across Australia for the type and rating of fire extinguishers for road vehicles including trucks. In certain circumstances multiple fire extinguishers may be required.

General Requirements

According to the Australian Dangerous Goods Code 2020 (Edition 7.7) Every road vehicle transporting a placard load of dangerous goods must be equipped with:

  1. fire extinguishers in accordance with Clause 12.1.2 (below); and
  2. at least three portable warning devices that comply with AS 3790 and are clean and in good condition; and
  3. personal protective equipment and safety equipment in accordance with 12.1.3 (Below).

Safety Equipment for Road Vehicles

Clause Requirement
12.1.1

APPLICATION

Every road vehicle transporting a placard load of dangerous goods must be equipped with:

  1. fire extinguishers in accordance with 12.1.2; and
  2. at least three portable warning devices that comply with AS 3790 and are clean and in good condition; and
  3. personal protective equipment and safety equipment in accordance with 12.1.3.
12.1.2 FIRE EXTINGUISHERS
12.1.2.1 A road vehicle transporting a placard load of dangerous goods must be equipped with a fire extinguisher or fire extinguishers in good working order and in accordance with Table 12.1.
12.1.2.2 On a combination vehicle, each separate unit on which a placard load of dangerous goods is transported must be equipped with fire extinguishers in good working order and in accordance with Table 12.1. (below)
12.1.2.3 A fire extinguisher required by this Section must comply with:
  1. AS/NZS 1841.1 and AS/NZS 1850 and AS1851; and
  2. AS/NZS 1841.4 or 5 as appropriate for the vehicle and load being carried.
12.1.2.4 Each fire extinguisher required by this Section must be mounted securely by means of a quick-release attachment.
12.1.2.5 Extinguisher Location
12.1.2.5.1 Each fire extinguisher required by this Section must be located so as to be readily accessible for use.
12.1.2.5.2 On road tank vehicles, fire extinguishers must be located and stowed in accordance with AS 2809.1.
12.1.2.5.3 Where two or more fire extinguishers are required for the load area of any vehicle, one should be located on the left (near) side towards the rear of the vehicle and, wherever practicable, another should be mounted on the right (off) side towards the front of the vehicle.
12.1.2.5.4

Except in the case of a combination vehicle, if only one fire extinguisher is required for any vehicle, wherever practicable it should be located:

  1. on the discharge side of a road tank vehicle; or
  2. in the cabin for all other vehicles.
12.1.2.5.5 If 12.1.2.5.4 or Table 12.1 requires that a fire extinguisher be located in the cabin, as an alternative to being located in the cabin the fire extinguisher may be located directly behind the cabin or may be mounted on the rear of the cabin.

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Minimum Requirements

The following table illustrates the minimum fire extinguisher requirements for road vehicles transporting a placard load of dangerous goods

Table 12.1 - minimum fire extinguisher requirements for road vehicles transporting a placard load of dangerous goods.
Australian Dangerous Goods Code, 2020, Edition 7.7
Load Required Extinguisher(s)

All type of dangerous goods packed in;

  • packages, drums, overpacks, segregation devices;
  • intermediate bulk containers (IBC's) containing non-flammables (any quantity)
  • IBC's containing flammables with up to (and including) 10,000 L total capacity or containing up to (and including) 10,000 kg in total.
  • 1 x 30B Dry Chemical Powder ("DCP") placed in the cabin in accordance with Clause 12.1.2.5.5 (above)
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Non-flammable goods packed in:

  • pressure drums, tubes, multiple element gas containers (MEGC's), tanks, bulk containers (solids)
  • 1 x 60B Dry Chemical Powder ("DCP"); or
  • 2 x 30B Dry Chemical Powder ("DCP"); and
  • 1 x 10B Dry Chemical Powder ("DCP") in the cabin (see clause 12.1.2.5.5)
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Flammable goods packed in

  • pressure drums, tubes, multiple element gas containers (MEGC's), tanks, bulk containers (solids)
  • intermediate bulk containers (IBC's) containing more than 10,000 litres total capacity or containing > 10,000 kg in total.
  • 2 x 60B Dry Chemical Powder ("DCP"); or
  • 1 x 80B Dry Chemical Powder ("DCP"); and
  • 1 x 20B foam in the load area; and
  • 1 x 10B Dry Chemical Powder ("DCP") in the cabin (see clause 12.1.2.5.5)
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Notes:

  1. In this table "flammable goods" means dangerous goods of Division 2.1, Class 3 or Class 4, or having a subsidiary hazard of 2.1, 3 or 4.
  2. In cases of combination vehicles, these directions apply to every separate trailer transporting a placard load.
  3. If more than one dry powder fire extinguisher is required in the load area, one may be replaced with a foam or water fire extinguisher of at least 9L capacity. If a foam or water fire extinguisher is used it must be suitable for the types of fire scenarios likely to be encountered and selected with the aim of preventing the spread of fire to the load.
  4. A foam or water fire fighting system using compressed air, electric pumps or other means, may be used in place of portable fire extinguishers in the load area. The firefighting system must be operational even when the engine of the vehicle is turned off and must be suitable for the types of fire scenarios likely to be encountered with the aim of preventing the spread of fire to the load.