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Fire extinguishers, etc.

Discussion in 'Survival/Preparedness Forum' started by bdcochran, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. bdcochran


    Sep 23, 2005
    Los Angeles
    When I was a teenager, we had a kitchen fire. About $10,000 worth of damage in the early 1960s.

    Fast forward.

    I have fire extinguishers throughout my house. They are routinely recharged. Once, I had to use one when there was an oven fire. A mess to clean up, but fortunately, no damage.

    I have the routine fire/carbon monoxide detectors at different places in the house. Probably have headed off potential fires when I have been distracted.

    Finally, I had my handyman do rooftop manual water systems for the house and garage.

    The trees are also routinely trimmed and old files tossed.

    Whether you live in Maine in the woods, New York City in a high rise, or in a ranch style house, the danger from fire, before, during and after shtf is probably much higher attacking hordes of Zombies, a mugging at the automatic teller or a burglary. The danger is also present if your area is subject to hurricanes, tornadoes, being snowed in during the winter.

    Do your own check. In my area, if you live within 50 yards of a fire hydrant, have the fire hydrant tool and fire house, you may be able to cope if shtf, the water pressure is there and the fire department is elsewhere. Of course, I don't advocate breaking the law if the law prevents you from hooking up in an emergency.:whistling:
  2. TangoFoxtrot

    TangoFoxtrot OIF 04-05

    Sep 10, 2008
    Nowhereville, USA
    Fire extinguishers make great long distance targets. Seriously I agree. I keep a few 10lb ABC dry chem ones around my place as well. Ya never know.

  3. Carry16


    Sep 7, 2004
    SW Missouri
    I'm a fire extinguisher fanatic. I have two water based extinguishers in my shop in case I have a wood/paper fire. I have many 5-10 lb ABC extinguishers; every vehicle, kitchen, each exit, etc. I also have two halon extinguishers I picked up for a good price on eBay. These are not as destructive as ABC extinguishers. Anything you spray with an ABC extinguisher is pretty much trash even if you put the fire out. You might watch ebay for something like this (although this sure isn't a bargain price);
  4. jellis11

    jellis11 Yippee-ki-yay

    Jul 27, 2011
    South Kakalaki
    I have a few in our house too. I'm a firefighter and have seen first hand what a little help from the homeowner can prevent. We had a fire the other day and a guy noticed, got his family out then grabbed the garden hose and hit what he could from outside. He probably saved his house by doing it. Soon as we get a house I am going to install a sprinkler system.

    kudos to you all for having them. I know too many people who don't even care to think about this stuff!
  5. Carry16


    Sep 7, 2004
    SW Missouri
    There are often some real bargains on eBay. I bought an empty 10 lb ABC at a garage sale for $1 and had it filled locallly for less than $30 IIRC. I like Ansul or Amerex rather than the Kiddie or other junk out there. It's really pretty cheap insurance. If you can spend $500 or more on a pistol you should be able to spend a couple hundred on extinguishers which can also save your life in an emergency. I also carry a 10 pounder in all of my vehicles, along with a good first aid kit. I will admit though that I wasn't so prepared when I was a young fella.
  6. quake

    quake Millennium Member

    Aug 4, 1999
    Arkansas, USA
    And if not, $12+shipping can remedy that...

    I don't own one, for two reasons. First, I don't think there's a fire hydrant within 3 miles of my house; and second, I suspect (but can't confirm) that a regular pipe wrench and some elbow grease would likely work in a pinch. :whistling:
  7. RED64CJ5


    Jul 7, 2003
    I never have enough of them.

    Need to put more in the living areas.
  8. BC Dan

    BC Dan

    May 23, 2008
    Here's a thought for you...

    When you are in smoke, you should crawl low (that's what we teach the kids, anyway.) You are also supposed to have an exit plan, if the smoke detector goes off in the middle of the night, everyone gets out safely.

    That's the plan. The reality is, mom goes for the kids, dad goes to find the fire. We are predictable creatures. So.. plan for it. I put a 5 lb fire extinguisher underneath each bed, along with an LED flashlight. So when this "dad" hears the smoke detector going off, he will roll out on the floor (where we should be anyway, right?) and have a few minimal tools to find and FIGHT the fire. 5 lbs goes a long way when used appropriately.

    To go along with that, my two sons were trained at an early age on how to use a fire extinguisher. Being a firefighter has it's advantages when it comes to cool props! :D

    Remember PASS

    Pull the pin.
    Aim at the base of the flame
    Squeeze the handle
    Sweep side to side.

    I agree with Carry16, Ansul or Amerex make great extinguishers. If it has a plastic nozzle, it can't be refilled, and it is very likely to bleed the pressure off over time. Spend the bucks, protect your family, put me out of business. I dare ya ;)
  9. Commander_Zero


    Sep 3, 2007
    Years ago, a buddy of mine was totally redoing his bathroom and while he had the walls opened he ran a pipe into his hall closet and added a hose bib and ball valve. Figured that with a small spool of flat hose he could get the jump on any fires that arose. At the time I thought it was strange, now I think it was brilliant.
  10. UtahIrishman

    UtahIrishman BLR Silver Member

    Nov 11, 2001
    One time while sweating copper on a water pipe in the wall with a propane torch I accidentally caught the insulation on fire. :faint:

    Thinking ahead I had a fire extinguisher right next to me and had it out in 5 seconds. The house would've probably gone up if I hadn't.

    I believe in fire extinguishers and have one on each floor of our house and one in the kitchen. Need one for the garage too. That's next.
  11. kirgi08

    kirgi08 Watcher. Silver Member

    Jun 4, 2007
    Acme proving grounds.
    Every room has one.'08.
  12. Raiden

    Raiden C&R Fun!

    Carry16 mentioned a great tip, someone shared with me a few years back. You can grab empties cheap online on eBay or Craigslist, and get 'em refilled locally to save a few bucks. I've been able to snag some awesome deals, that way.

    As part of my duties, with clients, I'm pretty good about having suitable fire extinguishers throughout my workplaces, home and car. Something I've since added, are those smaller spray cans with fire suppressant (First Alert Tundra, Fire-Gone, etc.) alongside most of my extinguishers. They're surprisingly effective, given their size and low price. I've used two of them at my workbench, and snuffed the fires quickly. While they will never replace a full sized extinguisher for bigger fires, they're suitable for small fires where it isn't necessary to fill a room with dry chemical or foam.
  13. Carry16


    Sep 7, 2004
    SW Missouri
    I forgot to mention - I picked up 4 of these on Woot a few months back. I was impressed with the Youtube video : [ame=""]Fire Fighting Mini-Foamer.wmv - YouTube[/ame]

    I put one in the kitchen and asked the wife to use it first if she ever has a stove fire. Any of our firemen here know about these things? Please watch video all the way to end. I'm not affiliated with the company in any way.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2012
  14. Bilbo Bagins

    Bilbo Bagins Slacked jawed

    Sep 16, 2008
    +1 on the First Alert Tundra. I had a grease fire start in a outdoor grill, and I hit it with a standard extinguisher. It got totally ruined because the dry chemicals clogged and caked inside the gas vents. Now I keep one of these near the grill, in the kitchen and at my workbench. This way if its a small fire, you can put it out with this and not make too much of a mess. I still have a full size one as a backup/serious work.

    [ame=""]Tundra Spray: Deal or Dud? - YouTube[/ame]

    Even though its usually overlooked on S&P, I think fire is probably the most common SHTF event that could happen, everyone should have working smoke detectors, a fire extinguisher and a fire plan.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2012
  15. 2 in garage, 1 by work bench 1 by main door. 2 in basement, 1 by sliding glass doors, 1 at bottom of stairs. 1 large one in front closet, 1 mounted next to stove, 1 large one in master bedroom. 1 large one near wood stove. 1 in each vehicle.
  16. quake

    quake Millennium Member

    Aug 4, 1999
    Arkansas, USA
    +1 on fire preps; good topic. Extinguishers and fire-resistant construction are both important facets. (They used to waterproof circus tents by coating them with kerosene; oy.)

    I'm borderline pyrophobic - I hate fire in most scenarios. Partly it's my nature, and partly due to being in the fire-alarm & life-safety industry for such a long time. Anything other than a campfire, trash-burning fire, etc, intentional fire is usually a poor choice of options imo. Candles & oil lamps for emergency lights; those kind of things, fire is just an unnecessary hazard when compared to other options.

    Fire extinguishers are like defensive firearms to me. We can hope to go our entire lives without genuinely "needing" them, but when you need one, you need it 'right now', you need it close at hand, and there's not a lot of good alternatives to having the real thing. Only way to do that is to have them on hand & in place before you need them; it's one of those things where you have to address the need before the need actually arises. Also like firearms (while it's better to have a mediocre one than to have none), cheaping out merely for the sake of cheaping out is usually a mistake. We're a lot more likely to need that fire extinguisher to protect our home than need our glock to protect our home, so we should really plan & purchase accordingly.
  17. racerford


    Apr 22, 2003
    DFW area
    I had a whole house sprinkler system put in when the house was built, including the garage. Not that expensive ($1.69 a square ft IIRC). It gives me peace of mind.
  18. garyjandfamily


    Dec 11, 2007
    Check with your homeowner's insurance, mine gave me a pretty substantial discount on my premiums when I put a 10-pound ABC in my garage, right outside the kitchen door. :supergrin:
  19. 2@low8


    Sep 18, 2009
    Question for you - many of us on these forums reload ammo and have supplies (or massive quantities) of powder. In the event of fire would the pressure of the extinguisher distribute burning powder and make a bigger problem?

    My reloading room is strategically located beneath two bathrooms with the PVS water supply running in a "U" shape directly over the three loading benches. In the event of a fire (if I am there), I plan to reach up and hang on the pope till it breaks and allow the water to flood the area. At some future date I have considered installing sprinkler heads above the loading bench.

    Anyway, back to my initial observation - should you use an ABC type extinguisher on a fun powder fire or should you let the powder burn out and then use the extinguisher to put out the resulting wood/materials fire?