For those with onboard fire extinguishers: Have you ever used it to suppress a fire? - Page 2 - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
View Poll Results: Has anyone used their fire extinguisher to suppress an engine fire?
yes, successfully...but the damage was beyond repair according to the insurance company 1 1.79%
no, haven't had to....yet! 51 91.07%
yes, unsuccessfully...the entire car burnt to a crisp 0 0%
yes, successfully....the car had minor damage and was repaired 4 7.14%
Voters: 56. You may not vote on this poll

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post #21 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-11-2011, 09:15 PM
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+1 use the extinguisher on my car rather let it burn. I put too much work into the car.

** save ~10 lbs gain 1 hp ** EQ: Y=(190*X) / (1984-X) where Y is (HP) and X is (lbs)

'07 Lotus Exige S310

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post #22 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-11-2011, 09:18 PM
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How about...

No, my car was on fire but the 360 degree spin at 120mph put out the fire before I had a chance to use the extinguisher...
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post #23 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-12-2011, 06:14 AM
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Hand held extinguishers work wonderfully for suppressing fires

See (starts at about 0:55):

That hand held they used is slightly larger than the ones that fit in front of the Elise/Exige passenger seat. He should have saved it for use to help extract a person from a burning car.
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post #24 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-12-2011, 09:57 AM
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I've changed that to reflect my personal opinion a little more .[/QUOTE]

Yes, far more accurate and eloquent than my quote. I do however hope that if I ever do need to stab that red button on my dash that It will turn a potentially large fire event into a smaller one. Not all of us have insurance on our track cars. First and foremost is to get out safely.

2007 Lotus 255 Cup, AP BBK F&R, Innovative mounts, RLS CF Intercooler heat shield, Railer diffuser, Custom hood Pins, gPan, Saikou Michi oil cc, RLS AL Intercooler tubes, Radium FST, 2Bular GT3 8X24, RLS suplemental IC Scoops, APR canards, CF rear wing, CF Scoops, Radium Fuel Rail and AN fuel pump adapter, AN fuel lines, 2bular decat and headers.
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post #25 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-22-2011, 04:22 PM
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I had a handheld Halon 5lb bottle in my RX-7 that I only bought to run in the Advanced run groups with the Shelby Club. Thought it was a lame requirement but I bought it anyway thinking I'd never use it. Then at Laguna Seca I ended up with an engine fire. As I pulled into pit lane and the paddocks smoke started coming out from the hood. I grabbed the extinguisher and was able to put it out pretty quickly. If I didn't have it, I would have been running around yelling to see if anyone else had one for who knows how long while the car burned. Because I had one, there was minimal damage.
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post #26 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-07-2011, 06:56 AM
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The trouble with drychem or CO2 extinguishers on gas/oil fires is that while they starve the fire, they do little/nothing to cool the surrounding metal/plastic/ground below the autoignition temperature of the gas. As a result, you either need a LOT of extinguisher, or to get on the fire really fast before it warms up the surrounding area. Road Dad's right about them being a supressant... they keep fire away from folks so they have time to get away from where the fire is about to be.

One thing I haven't seen in cars is a water system. Converting water into steam takes a lot of energy and it's the main reason fire hoses work so well; just a small blast of water at the ceiling of a room can cool it down significantly... the same should work in a car. While directional water would push and spread an oil/gas fire, dispersed sprays wouldn't, and the worst case for the occupant would be some mild steam burns from a wet suit (thinking of a racing application). At that level, steam burns aren't much worse than a bad sunburn, and it's a lot better than being burnt up in your car!
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post #27 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-03-2011, 08:37 PM
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Sorry, trolling for extinguisher suggestions, and stumbled here.

I have personally put out 4 fires with handheld extinguishers.
1) my '80 Triumph Spitfire caught fire from a leaky valve cover gasket on my drive home from buying it.
2) a neighbor's landscaper's pickup caught fire on our street as I was driving by
3) Same Spitfire years later while driving with friends. Hear on the radio, Karl, your car's on fire. Pull over, lift bonnet pull trigger from handheld mounted on roll bar, extinguisher was dead. Pop boot, pull out 2nd extinguisher and put out a fuel fire (choke screws backed out of zenith stromberg). Needless to say, everyone was speechless that I had two, but when your car's burned in front of you, you learn. After that, I always use ones with gauges.
4) parked on street during forced evacuations when San Diego was on fire. Surfer's pickup had a can of ammonia glass cleaner that exploded from being in the sun and ignited trash in the bed.

In each of these cases a cheap extinguisher saved a car with minimal damage, usually only hoses.

When I was 16 I set my '76 Rabbit on fire adding oil in the dark on a hot engine. Ran inside and got a cup of water. That worked, but I almost burned my car and my friend's '69 Pontiac Firebird 250 convertible.

All cars can catch fire, and folks who know cars well can often safely stop a fire early before the car is engulfed.

Mechanical sympathy makes us better mechanics and better owners. Ducati dry clutches .... I just don't get it.
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