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Fire extinguisher and fire blanket

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  • gasgas
    replied
    Originally posted by jayjay View Post
    I have a small red fire extinguisher in my van, which sits in the corner by the door. But these have a date on them, after which you should replace them, and I think mine must be out of date by now!
    I found a well out of date powder extinguisher in my garage so I thought I would see if it still worked. It did, and sprayed the garden with white powder. My conclusion was that if your unit really catches on fire so the blanket is not big enough to extinguish it, then you are looking at an insurance write off anyway so it doesn't matter if you spray it with white powder or not. Other than if you do extinguish the fire, at least your neighbour's unit won't go with it, nor the garden fence! The powder makes such a mess that even if you only end up with say a charred gas hob surround, you will never ever get the white powder out so it will be written off anyway.

    I love the sound of your ICI job Smurf. It reminded me of when I was doing O level chemistry at school. A mischievous chap got fed up with turning lime water milky and went round the chemical shelves taking anything that sounded as if it produced oxygen, or anything he knew would burn. He was grinding it down to a fine powder in a mortar and pestle in one of those recessed ceramic sinks. I was at the other end of the lab. There was a sort of whooshing noise and I looked up to see a 10ft high bunsen flame shooting up to the ceiling. It burned a small hole in the ceiling and removed the chap's eyebrows and half his hair. Very impressive it was. His punishment was to clean up the mortar and pestle (which is the bowl, I can't remember). After several weeks trying in the metal work room with grind stones, he gave up. They then cut the bowl in half and found the heat had fused the glaze into the pottery part.

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  • Caz
    replied
    The fire bucket is, I believe, still a requirement on C & C C rallies. It may well not be suitable for an electrical fire but could be very useful in preventing a fire spreading to other units nearby by damping down dry grass; the idea is that a human chain is formed and fire buckets from units all around are used. They are also good for damping down enthusiastic barbecues when necessary.

    When we used to do a lot of C & C C Rallies the fire bucket was always the first item to be set up, after the caravan was unhitched and levelled. As a young dog, Jazz wouldn't drink out of a dog bowl so the fire bucket was necessary even when not on a C & C C rally, for his use. At one time we also had a couple of ducks in ours.

    If a fire happened in my van I'm afraid I wouldn't be reaching for the fire extinguisher which lives at the side of the front passenger seat. I would be grabbing my dog and getting out quick.
    Last edited by Caz; 21-12-2016, 09:37.

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  • Twolitre
    replied
    Inland Waterways craft (narrow boats and cruisers etc.) need to have a Boat Safety certificate, rather like an MOT.
    But it includes things like ventilation and fire-fighting equipment too. Even down to specific items and extinguisher types/category.
    Motorhomes (and caravans) are not very different in built in equipment to those boats and presumably fire fighting requirements are the same.
    I am sure that the BSC (Boat safety Certificate) requirements must be accessible somewhere on the internet, but I will leave it to more PC savvy than me to investigate if interested.
    Jim.

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  • Dapple
    replied
    I was surprised when taking out my insurance today to be told one of the conditions was to have an extinguisher on board at all times. No specifcs re size, type, or any other approval though.

    My new van already has one but like most I suspect of unknown quality or value. Also likely to be out of date. I think if confronted by anything I didn't fancy tackling with a damp tea towel and I would be getting out.

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  • Flo
    replied
    I have a fire extinguisher but must remember to buy a fire blanket to keep near the cooker as it would be more effective and easier to grab. The fire bucket with water is a requirement for rally camping when often there is no fire equipment available. We have used buckets on one occasion when a BBQ tipped onto the ground and it saved the site owners grass from a large bald patch. One bucket may not be very effective but if everyone has one then it could help put out a tent fire or awning fire as has happened on sites occasionally. This has been reported in the Club magazine.

    The other use for the fire bucket at rallies is of course as boot or gaiter washing container. Essential when there are no other facilities other than a drinking water tap!

    At the end of the day if a van goes up in flames the best option is to get out quickly. It may be though that your and other people's equipment together may help someone else who has had to leave their own van in a hurry and stop it spreading before the fire brigade arrives.

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  • BrianTheSnail
    replied
    I too have a small dry powder one that I think expires this year. I must buy a fire blanket too. I do worry about naked flames in such a small space, especially given just how clumsy/dyspraxic I am.

    Is there a recommended disposal for these things? I have my previous perfectly good, unused, extinquisher with its 2006 expiry date kicking around. After it past its expire date I left it upstairs in my radio room thinking that in the event of an electrical fire (always a possibility when I'm tinkering) it ought be worth a shot, better than nothing even being a year or two out of date. I'm guessing 5 years might be a bit too much although it might be fun just to loose it off and see.

    Thinking about it - I suspect most of us have never had to use a fire extinquisher - maybe a good use for an out of date one might be to just practice using it, no need for a fire but just to figure out what to pull and squeeze and how to aim it. I somehow thinkthat in the event of a real fire sitting down to read the instructions may not be uppermost in my thoughts!

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  • jayjay
    replied
    I have a small red fire extinguisher in my van, which sits in the corner by the door. But these have a date on them, after which you should replace them, and I think mine must be out of date by now!

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  • doog
    replied
    Originally posted by CyberCynth View Post
    Les Barbeux's post reminded me of the Fire Lectures I had to attend, at work! My colleagues and I would be looking at our watches and thinking of all the things we needed to be doing.... were we really supposed to absorb all that stuff in the middle of another frantic working day?

    Is there, nowadays, a truly universal extinguisher that is safe to use on ANY type of fire? Or should I continue with my usual policy of keeping some old towels/blankets in the 'van to smother a fire? God forbid I should ever need to.
    Cynthia.
    several moons ago I attended a fire fighting course near Grantham. after many hours in the class room we were taken out for the practical session. the teacher filled a shallow trough with gas oil. he then proceeded to light the oil with a long handled flare. he carefully and patiently explained the correct method to extinguish the flames. we were all nodding in agreement with his obvious knowledge on the subject. he then picked up a foam extinguisher and aimed it at the far side of the trough, still giving his talk. what happened next is slightly blurred due to the ensuing pandemonium! the foam hit the trough like a pressure washer, and the oil erupted into the sky like a gusher. it rained down on the neighbours wooden fence and within seconds the timber fence was no more! burnt to a crisp. the flames soon engulfed the adjoining fence, whereupon we all pitched in with more extinguishers and saved the day. needless to say the teacher was slightly subdued and not a little embarrassed after this! us pupils on the other hand thought it was hilarious. the fences were duly replaced.

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  • CyberCynth
    replied
    Les Barbeux's post reminded me of the Fire Lectures I had to attend, at work! My colleagues and I would be looking at our watches and thinking of all the things we needed to be doing.... were we really supposed to absorb all that stuff in the middle of another frantic working day?

    Is there, nowadays, a truly universal extinguisher that is safe to use on ANY type of fire? Or should I continue with my usual policy of keeping some old towels/blankets in the 'van to smother a fire? God forbid I should ever need to.
    Cynthia.

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  • Smurfalert
    replied
    Using a CO2 extinguisher on a burning liquid isn't a good idea...

    Years ago, before university, I took a time out and worked for ICI's plant protection division in the quality control chemical lab that analysed the products before bagging and despatch.

    One day when I was the only one in the lab, a reaction vessel of alcohol and sodium metal cracked over a bunsen burner (it happened occasionally) and caught fire. I'd been shown how to deal with it - transfer the burning vessel to a large water bath full of a 50/50 water and alcohol mix - it was supposed to put the fire out whilst allowing the sodium to react harmlessly.

    Something didn't work right.

    As soon as I dropped the blazing vessel into the water bath, the entire thing caught fire. Now, instead of a two foot high flame, it was almost reaching the ceiling in a lab full of flammable chemicals.

    At that point I panicked and grabbed the CO2 extinguisher.

    One squirt and the bath was no longer on fire.

    Instead I had small puddles of blazing liquid with little pieces of sodium fizzing round in them all over the floor and worktops.

    The supervisor came back to find me on my hands and knees putting out the little fires with the fire blanket and collecting up the chunks of sodium.

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  • Les Barbeux
    replied
    I cut and pasted this from an earlier thread.... hope it helps a little if anyone is thinking of installing an extinguisher..... there are different types and using the wrong one can be pointless or at worst even dangerous.




    There is often confusion over which type of fire extinguisher to use/buy, and it is a bit more complex than first meets the eye.

    Some years ago I used to work for a fire extinguisher company (Nu-Swift), so I do have an insight.

    Bear with me, because this isn't easy to simplify.... Firstly, if you think of fire as a chemical reaction it consists of three things, heat, oxygen and fuel... take any one away and the fire goes out.

    Types of fire are classified as,
    A..... Carbonaceous... wood, paper, textiles etc. Principally extinguished by cooling... Water, Multi-purpose powder, foam (to some extent)

    B... Inflammable liquids... Principally extinguished by smothering (excluding oxygen)... Foam, Powder, Co2, even fire blanket... Co2 and powder (the old B & C powders) however, do let the oxygen back in and it will re-ignite. The use of water is EXTREMELY dangerous.

    C... inflammable gasses.... Again, remove the oxygen... Co2, powder, BCF.

    D... Inflammable metals... Magnesium, uranium etc... very rare and extremely difficult.

    E... any of the above, but with electricity involved... therefor for instance, it could be lethal to use water for a class A with electricity involved... hence the advent of multi-purpose powders.

    The first company to produce a powder that will cool a class A fire was the one I worked for (earlier powders did not cool) and it took a number of years for the authorities to accept it, however many companies now produce it...

    So, If you opt for a powder extinguisher then sensible advice is look for one that is for "ABC", not just "BC" as that would be of little use with the presence of carbonaceous materials (the majority of cases).

    As for the mess caused by powder, think of it as a possible life saver.


    Last edited by Les Barbeux; 29-07-2016 at 11:35 AM.

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  • karenw
    replied
    Not for me... As observed, they have limited use for the most likely fires.

    I have a fire extinguisher and fire blanket, but I hope I never have to use either. In a small van, my priority would be to get out - and fast!
    Last edited by karenw; 03-10-2016, 12:29.

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  • Artoo0
    replied
    We have both in the van. The blanket gets hung on the pelmet within arms reach of the hob when that's in use; the extinguisher sits opposite on the sink.

    Though I'm not at all sure I'd spend valuable seconds fumbling for them rather than getting out!

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  • CyberCynth
    replied
    Fire buckets

    Deviating slightly from the main post topic, what do people think of the idea of keeping a fire bucket next to their camping unit? I noticed Graham and Pauline had one out at King's Lynn, complete with family of ducks!

    The thing that always worries me about that is the possibility of making matters worse. Many fires nowadays are caused by electrical faults. Probably the worst thing you could do in that case is throw a bucket of water into the mix! Similarly, an enthusiastic bit of hob use with a pan of hot oil could also get out of control, and again - would be exacerbated big time by the addition of a bucket of water. At the last fire lecture I attended before I retired, (eight years ago now, admittedly) I seem to remember being told foam extinguishers were the safest, all-purpose ones to use. I don't know if that's still the case.

    The only fire extinguisher I have in the Carousel is a pile of old dog blankets/towels on the floor! I figure if I grabbed one or two in the event of a fire I should be able to smother the flames. Not sure if that makes me an optimist or just a tight-a**e!

    Comments/derision/laughter welcome!
    Cynthia.

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  • Twolitre
    replied
    I cannot remember the details now. But I needed a fire extinguisher for my boat, an inland waterways cruiser with pretty well the same internal features and appliances as a motorhome.
    The extinguisher was dictated by the regulations of the necessary Boat Safety Certificate. Perhaps worth consulting if equipping a motorhome?
    I was surprised how many types were not acceptable.
    I am sure the regulations can be found on the 'net if required, though I have never bothered because the gas cylinder on my Romini is external and of course road fuel is not a consideration either.
    Jim.

    P.S. Just looked ot he Boat safety certificate and the extinguisher type (sold and labelled by Wicks) is listed as a "5A-34B", which I believe must cover the category of fires it could deal with.

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