Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum banner
1 - 20 of 54 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,956 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ALOT of us mod our FJ's. We all know there are risks, but we still do it. One of the most important pieces of equipment you can stuff in your FJ, in my opinion, is a fire extinguisher.

Whether you've added lights, modified the dome lights, upgraded your system, installed a CB, or even if you carry gas or cooking fuel in/on your FJ, a fire extinguisher is one of those things you don't want to NEED, but if you do, you'll be very glad you had it.

Electrical mods can potentially cause a fire. If done properly the risk is slim, but there is always a RISK. It may not be your fault, it could be a short in your CB that overheats the wires, but when it all boils down to it, YOU installed the CB and you watched your FJ burn down because you didn't have an extinguisher on board. It's not worth the risk of not having one, if you ask me.

Before we get to the extinguishers, there are a few things you should know about fires in general to help understand how an extinguisher works.

FIRES

There are three things needed to cause a fire, often referred to as the "fire triangle."

FUEL, OXYGEN, HEAT. Without one of these things, a fire can not occur.

FUEL: In order for a fire to occur, there must be something available to burn, or oxidize (more on this later). Without fuel, you can have all the heat and oxygen you want, but no fire is going to occur.

OXYGEN: Fire is technically an exothermic reaction (meaning it expells thermal energy). This happens when a combustible material is rapidly oxidized. Oxidization is another way of describing a chemical reaction where oxygen molecules react and join the molecules of the combustible material to form new by products. In the case of fire, this reaction is very fast and lets out alot of heat as by product as well. If you remove the oxygen, the fire goes out (this is the principal most extinguinshers work on). It's hard to oxidize something without oxygen.

(FYI: rust is a slow form of oxidization. In the formation of rust, oxygen reacts with iron to produce iron oxide. This reaction is a much slower process, but is essentially the same sans fire).

HEAT: In order to start the reaction that is fire, a certain amount of energy is required. This is thermal energy, or heat. A common misconception is that an actual spark is required to ignite something. This is not the case. If you get a combustible material hot enough it will burn! Think sunny day with a magnifying glass and some paper on the sidewalk. (Stop replacing paper with ants you big meanie :lol:). Or a hot wire melting it's insulation would do the trick. Not good if it's in your FJ, and I hope it never happens to you.

FIRE EXTINGUISHERS:

The purpose of the fire extinguisher is to remove one of these elements of the fire triangle, in order to stop combustion. Whether it be removing the heat element with water, or removing the oxygen with CO2 as two examples. Be careful though! Water is not suited to an electrical fire, as it conducts electricity, and throwing water on some materials like liquids or burning metals usually only makes the problem worse! This is why it is important to have the correct fire extinguisher for the application.

The following definitions are from this website: Staying Alive: Fire Extinguishers

Class A - This class deals with ordinary combustibles, such as wood, clothe, paper, many plastics, and other common materials that burn easily. This class can be identified as the letter "A" with a green triangle around it. There is also another new symbol.

Class B - Class B deals with flammable liquids, such as gasoline, oil, grease, tar, oil-based paint, lacquer, and flammable gas. The symbol for this class of fire is the letter "B" with a red box around it. There is also a new symbol for this type as well.

Class C - This class is primarily concerned with electrical equipment, such as computers, wiring fuse boxes, circuit breakers, machinery and appliances. The symbol for this class of fire is the letter "C" surrounded by a blue circle. There is also a new symbol.

Class D - This class is very rarely something you will very rarely deal with. It is concerned with combustible metals such as magnesium, aluminum, lithium, and other combustible metals or metal dust. The symbol to indicate this type of fire is the letter "D" and surrounded by a yellow star.

Class K - This class deals with the commercial cooking industry because it is concerned with combustible cooking oils or fats.
I strongly suggest reading the original link if you have the time, as it explains in more detail why you can and can't use certain fire extinguishers on certain types of fires. For example, putting water on a sodium fire (burning metal) will cause an explosion and only make matters worse!!! Some burning metals can even create their own oxygen which is why fireworks continue to burn and bubble under water. In this case a class D must be used. For the most part you don't have fireworks in your FJ, or any other combustible metals, so a D is not normally necessary.

A good all around fire extinguisher is an ABC, and all fire extinguishers are available in different sizes. You should get the largest one you can afford to fit in your FJ (in my case, without upsetting my dog). Almost all fire extinguishers are rechargeable, and they should be recharged immediately after use. Having a discharged fire extinguisher is as bad as not having one. Also, many extinguishers are not designed to be stored with a partial charge, and you should seek professional service even if you didn't use the whole thing!

USING A FIRE EXTINGUISHER:

If you remember one thing, remember this: PASS.

P - Pull
A - Aim
S - Squeeze
S - Sweep

Pull the pin, aim the extinguisher at the BASE of the fire (fighting flames does nothing, it is the source you are after), squeeze the trigger, and sweep at the base of the fire. Unless you have more than one fire to fight, it is advisable to use the whole canister! No cheaping out! Some fires may retain enough heat to re-ignite!!!

I hope this helps, and if you don't have an extinguisher: GET ONE! It may save yours, or somebody elses life. Maybe even your FJ!!!! If you have any questions please post them up. That's what the forum is for.

:cheers:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,950 Posts
Joel thank you for a very important subject and a thorough post about it.

We should have "FJoel's weekly magazine" with posts like that. I have two extinguishers and I thought they were for bopping carjackers on the head
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
365 Posts
don't forget to ground a CO2 cylinder if you use as fire extinguisher!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,956 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Joel thank you for a very important subject and a thorough post about it.

We should have "FJoel's weekly magazine" with posts like that. I have two extinguishers and I thought they were for bopping carjackers on the head
Thanks Todd. I used to teach this stuff in cadets...

:rocker:

Using them as a bopper comes in handy where I live too! :rofl:

don't forget to ground a CO2 cylinder if you use as fire extinguisher!
I often wondered if you could use a PowerTank for that! I'm sitting here mulling this over and I can't seem to figure why it would need to be grounded though. Can you expand on this please?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,779 Posts
I am thinking about getting an ABC to mount in the rear (on the bigger side) and then one of those smaller Tundra ones that i believe use CO2. I would have the Tundra one near me because of the size and the no mess incase their is a fire in the cabin.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,956 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I am thinking about getting an ABC to mount in the rear (on the bigger side) and then one of those smaller Tundra ones that i believe use CO2. I would have the Tundra one near me because of the size and the no mess incase their is a fire in the cabin.
Good call. Do you have a link to the Tundra one? I should likely pick up one of those as well. Excellent point on the no-mess extinguisher, but even if all you had was dry chemical, scrubbing that out beats a fire gutted FJ!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,534 Posts
I'd also recommend only pulling the trigger in short bursts, as needed only. Don't just pull the plug and dump the whole extinguisher. You'd be surprised how short a burst you need if you aim in the right spot. I once put out a 2'x2' pan of burning diesel with a 1-2 second burst. That's all it took. I was lucky, I aimed right. Fires sometimes flare up again and you don't want to be shooting blanks with your empty extinguisher the second time around.

DEWFPO
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,376 Posts
Thank you for the very infomative post.

We are required to take several hours of online training every month at work. Last month was on fire extinguishers and Hazmat. Your information matches what was given in our classes. Well done
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
365 Posts
FJoel... to answer your question about grounding the CO2 bottle... It's a bigger deal if you have a rubber or plastic "horn" like the standard CO2 extinguishers... You build up LOTS of static electricity when the dry CO2 blasts through the nozzle... It's enough to shock the "crap" out of you if it arc's... Not to mention, another "spark" near the fire...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,956 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
FJoel... to answer your question about grounding the CO2 bottle... It's a bigger deal if you have a rubber or plastic "horn" like the standard CO2 extinguishers... You build up LOTS of static electricity when the dry CO2 blasts through the nozzle... It's enough to shock the "crap" out of you if it arc's... Not to mention, another "spark" near the fire...
Ahh that makes sense. Thanks.

I imagine CO2 extinguishers have something built in to prevent this? Insulated hand holds?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
169 Posts
Here's a link to a Halon fire extinguisher that will not leave any residue inside the FJ.

This one comes from Sporty's Pilot Shop and is intended for use in ****pits but I doubt the extinguisher cares if it's used in an FJ or an airplane.

The extinguisher shown is a small one but they have a larger version also. A bit pricey but may be worth it?

Halon Fire Extinguisher (Small) - Sporty's Pilot Shop

Wilkie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,059 Posts
Yea, but be careful with the Halon stuff. Some of it is toxic, depending on the type and concentration.

I think the typical dry chemical fire extinguisher is a somewhat safer option, even with the excessive cleanup.

I've had to put out a fire only once in a vehicle and I used a dry chemical extinguisher. The cleanup was a pain, but it sure was nice to still have the car...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,779 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,479 Posts
Joel, thanks for bringing this up. With the summer months coming up, fire hazards have never been greater. The Tundra looks like a good product to keep around the house or different rooms. 3 year shelf life is great. Portability (camping) and ease of use also make it a logical choice in supplementing the regular collection of extinguishers around the house.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,146 Posts
Great posts on fire extinguishers!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,364 Posts
Here ya go Joel,
First Alert - Tundra Fire Extinguishing Spray

How do i insert a youtube video again. The youtube link is missing

YouTube - Tundra Spray: Deal or Dud?

Only problem, is you have to be a little bit closer to the flame.
PROs? Will spray 4 times as long, longer shelf life, easier to use/store, NO MESSY CLEAN UP
I just bought two of these in addition to my A,B,C dry chemical extinguisher. Thanks for the tip and video!

For what its worth, yesterday, my son and I were driving around in the FJ and AGAIN came upon another pretty serious crash right after it happened. There was some smoke from one of the vehicles - a mini-van - but no fire. Also, everybody extracated themselve on their own - one guy had a pretty messed up lower leg, but everyone else appeared to be alright. I directed traffic for about five minutes until the emergency crews arrived. I went directly from the accident and purchased road flares and the two Tundra extinguishers.
 
1 - 20 of 54 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top