Why you need a dry chemical powder fire extinguisher in your vehicle

A dry chemical powder fire extinguisher is regarded as the best multi-purpose fire extinguisher and considered the best type of fire extinguisher for your car, utility, work van 4wd or truck. The multi-purpose description comes from the fact that a dry chemical powder (DCP) is available with either a a Class B and Class E rating or an optional Class A, Class B and Class E rating is also available.

A Dry Chemical Powder ("DCP") fire extinguisher is considered the best multi-purpose use fire extinguisher ideally suited for all types of vehicles including passenger vehicles, utilities (ute's), 4wd, light commercial vehicles and trucks.  In some cases for trucks there are specific laws across Australia that require a fire extinguisher for a placarded load for carrying dangerous goods.

While there are a few different types of fire extinguisher (air-water, foam, carbon dioxide, wet chemical) the best (and in our humble opinion) the only solution for a motor vehicle is the dry chemical powder.

Recently (early 2021) we had a prospective customer contact us to purchase a carbon dioxide fire extinguisher for his passenger vehicle and caravan setup. During the phone call we enquired as to why he wanted carbon dioxide.  His rationale was that he had a neighbour who was a serving member of the local fire brigade who said the dry-chemical powder was messy (if used) and difficult to clean up.

While this rationale is true, it must not be the deciding factor in selecting the best fire extinguisher for your personal requirements. In fact we strongly recommended that he purchase a dry chemical powder and gave him all of the reasons set out in this article.

Why choose a Dry Chemical Powder fire extinguisher for your car

Firewize Dry Chemical Powder Fire Extinguisher Range
  • Multipurpose use for Class B(E) or AB(E) fires;
  • High performance option for for class ABC(E) fires;
  • Great performance to weight & size ratio;
  • Extremely easy to use;
  • Lightweight and heavy duty vehicle mounts available;
  • Available with nozzle or hose.

As we discussed earlier, a Dry Chemical Powder also known by its acronym "DCP" fire extinguisher is the ideal multipurpose solution for a passenger vehicle in the unlikely event it is needed. A DCP has a comprehensive array of advantages, first and foremost being its available for both Class B(E) and Class AB(E) type fires. It's worth pointing out here, that we also have available for sale a high-performance (industry leading) DCP fire extinguisher that is also rated for Class C fires as well.

So what does the term fire class of fire classification mean?  We have a few great articles on this subject but for the sake of keeping you on this one page, let us summarise;

  • Class A — Ordinary Combustibles (such as paper, wood, plastics, etc.)
  • Class B — Flammable and combustible liquids
  • Class C — Flammable gases
  • Class D — Combustible metals
  • Class E — Electrically energised equipment
  • Class F — Cooking oils and fats

For each classification a fire extinguisher is given a relative performance rating. Generally the fire industry sells according the weight (or capacity) of a fire extinguisher instead of more importantly the performance rating of the fire extinguisher.

This is really important because in simple terms our 1.0kg fire extinguisher with hose has the same or even a slightly better performance rating than a 1.5kg (more than 50% more weight by mass) than many of the alternatives (>80%) advertised online in Australia1 .

 

Buy a fire blanket for your vehicle now!

Complete with a 3 year warranty*, our high-performance dry chemical powder fire extinguishers are manufactured to comply to the exacting requirements of Australian Standard AS/NZS 1841. We can supply all of the popular dry chemical powder fire extinguishers suited your requirements for passenger vehicle, utility, 4wd, light commercial vehicle or truck.

Where to install your fire extinguisher in your vehicle

The most common location for the storage of a small fire extinguisher in a passenger vehicle, utility, SUV or 4WD is in in front of the passenger seat in the front of the vehicle.

From this location, the drive has ready access to the quick release mechanism of the mounting bracket of the fire extinguisher.

The fire extinguisher mounting bracket should be carefully fixed to the chassis of the vehicle with a short self drilling (pan head) screw.

NOTE:

  1. Care should be taken when mounting the fire extinguisher bracket to ensure the fixings do not adversely affect the vehicle, wiring or other services that may be concealed behind the vehicle floor coverings;
  2. The vehicle passenger seat will typically be articulated and can move forward. For best results, the fire blanket should be mounted while the seat is at its most forward position.

How to maintain the fire extinguisher if your vehicle

A fire blanket like other types of fire and essential safety measures required routine (six-monthly, yearly and five-yearly) servicing. The requirements for this are set out in Section 10 of Australian Standard AS 1851 — Routine servicing of fire protection systems and equipment.

The routine servicing of a portable fire extinguisher should be conducted by a competent person. A competent person will have completed a combination of education such as the Certificate II in fire protection and relevant experience (typically on the job).

An inspection tag or label shall be affixed to each fire blanket and a record of each inspection in the inspection shall be recorded in accordance with AS 1851.