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Discussion Starter #1
Thoughts on the best fire extinguishers to carry in your car?
 

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My preference is for a true fire suppression system...a bottle behind the seats, with a couple nozzles in the engine compartment. A separate handheld extinguisher could be handy in case there is a fire in the cabin (not likely IMO). I have a mild concern that with the cramped interior, it could be difficult to exit the car quickly after an 'incident', thus I'd want to be able to manage the engine compartment remotely to give me more time to get out.
 

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My fiance' had a fully restored 914/6 burn down on the shoulder of the interstate coming home from an autocross ( the VERY first time he'd had the car out since restoration and motor build). Burned COMPLETELY down...in fact it burned so hot it melted the pavement.


As such, all our cars now have fire extinguishers, carried in a quick release clamp system bolted to the passenger floorboard. As yet Ive not used them other than on OTHER peoples cars in which case I was a hero and saved the day. ;)
 

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I know that it is a pretty helpless feeling to see your car (or someone else's car) catch fire and have no ability to fight it. Even if the possibility is low, I want to be able to put out a minor fire.
 

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Randy Chase said:
I know that it is a pretty helpless feeling to see your car (or someone else's car) catch fire and have no ability to fight it. Even if the possibility is low, I want to be able to put out a minor fire.
Me too. It's not that I have no confidence in Lotus, it's just a general concern I have with a car that I put a lot of time and effort into keeping in top condition. I carry a fire extinguisher in my MR2 for this reason.

The only car fire I've ever had was in a Scirocco I once had. I had installed some gauges, and the lack of proper fusing led to flames and smoke one day while driving (though I was able to extinguish by ripping the gauge panel out and snuffing out the flames).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
 

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Discussion Starter #8
http://www.elises.co.uk/accessories/common/safety/

Fire Extinguisher
It is a good idea to carry on of these in any car just in case, but probably more so in the Elise, simply because it has a compact engine bay with some very hot components in proximity to combustable materials (e.g. oil and exhaust). Being fibre glass a small fire can also do a lot of damage unless put out quickly. Aluminium also has the undesirable property of burning once a high enough temperature has been reached. A serious fire in an Elise will not leave much intact, as the following sites show:

Burnt 160


A small fire extinguisher can be bought for less than £20 and should be mounted in reach of the driver. Drilling into the rear bulkhead is not a good idea since the engine and petrol tank lie behind it. Velcro is not recommended to fix it and bolting it to the foot rest is also not a good idea as it is only held in place by velcro. The only real solution is to mount it infront of the passenger seat. You can drill into the grooved bar in front of the seat but most owners use a special fabricated mounting bracket which utilises the seat mounting bolts to hold it in place. The Lotus service manual recommends the use of Rivnuts into the foot plate (in front of the seat) and shows the precise location required, in order to provide a firm mounting.

Lotus sell a suitable fire extinguisher and also a motorsport item that is plumbed into the engine bay. Some examples of fitting of fire extinguishers can be found on-line:


Adrian Rose

Places that sell them include:

Safety Devices
 

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From Adrian's site-
The simple set-up in my car has done ten track days so far without problems. The footrest is pretty well wedged against the bulkheads for deceleration and lateral cornering forces, but as it is only secured to the floor with Velcro, and the extinguisher a clip fit in the mounting bracket it is possible that a hard rearwards impact or rollover might rip it loose. However, I'm not inclined to test this and if it worries you, then you ought to put a retaining strap on your stereo head unit as well as I'm told these shoot out of the dashboard quite nicely under similar circumstances.

The extinguisher is made by Guardian and is a medium sized BCF type, - 0.8kg? It came from Halfords and cost a massive £12.99. I'm told BCF puts out fires better than AFFF for a given weight but also eats into hot metal and makes a bit of a mess. To be honest, if it did catch fire seriously I think I'd run away rather than try and put it out - in the end personal safety takes priority.

The next step up is a 2.25kg AFFF handheld, which will fit laterally on the ribbed cross member in front of the passenger seat so they can tread on it each time they get in and out. If you get one of these, make sure it has an over-centre clamp to hold it into it's bracket or you can bounce it loose on big kerbs.

However, I suspect the only fire extinguisher than does anything other than keep the scrutineers happy is a fully plumbed system to cockpit, engine bay and front compartment (in case of electrical fires) with an external trigger. One of these is on my long term shopping list, but they take up lots of space in the car, require lots of fixing holes to be drilled and are only really relevant for rallies or on the Nurburgring where help may not be readily to hand.

I have seen one car catch fire at a track day - a Renault Alpine A110. The driver noticed the smoke, pulled smartly up next to a marshall's post and they extinguished it with the proper kit.

In case any lawyers are reading this, I should point out that I am completely unqualified to offer advice on safety related matters and that driving a car of any sort anywhere is a dangerous activity to be undertaken at your own risk.
 

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I recently bought a halon fire extinguisher for the Elise, and would like some guidance on how best to use it in the event of an engine fire. I'm thinking that it might be best to leave the deck lid closed so as to limit the oxygen in the engine bay, and spray the halon thru the vents on the lid. Since halon is heavier than air it should sink thru and extinguish the fire. Does that make sense?

I am also however getting the Lidbone, just in case I do need to lift the lid in an emergency without fumbling for the support rod.
 

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I put out a fire once in a Chevelle and ran the extinguisher empty. I had the fire down to a match size flame and it started up all over. I got a halon that just fits in front of the seat. A smaller one would have fit better but I got the largest that would fit. A fire system would be best.
 

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I have the mini chrome ext from autozone, I think it is ARE or some thing it is a jap tuner product, but it fits perfectly on top of the foot rest, I also have one in my p car. I use my lotus one at sebring to put a porsche out turbo oil line fire, it save his car it cost 50 buck, best 50 I have spent on this car so far. The guy gave the me 50 after I put out his fire, he ran the rest of the day after repair, it could of been a total loss, and bye the way, the car a 944 turbo, the owner did not think it was on fire, but just a radiator over heat, I told him it was, he tried to lift the hood burned his hand, lifted it with a nomex glove and the fire increased due to o2, but in the end the little ext. did the job.
 

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fire extinguishers against fire breathing dragons...

Installing a fire extinguisher is one of the first modifications I did to my car. I saw someone burn to death once and have carried an extinguisher ever since. I think it is more likely to use it on someone else's fire than your own but it is nice to have one just in case.

My criteria for mounting it were simple. Within reach and solidly mounted. I decided to put mine just in front of the passenger seat. I also mounted it using the seat bolts and 1/8 inch aluminium straps. Halon is great and used to be specified for most forms of auto racing. Unfortunatley Halon puts holes in the Ozone layer and is no longer made. You can still buy extinguishers that use recycled Halon.

I like Sector 111's extinguisher mount except for the fact they have a slot in the mounting hole position, making it easier to install. I worried the mount might come loose in an accident, unlikely but I am a safety nut.

I did not want to put it far into the footwell on the passenger side. Too far to reach, especially in an emergency. In practice, few people kick my extinguisher. My kids ride with me frequently and are probably more careless than many people when entering or exiting. Take your kids to soccer practice sometime and watch those cleats! They have rarely hit the extinguisher. It also helps to have the release away from the door and closer to the center of the car.

My install:

http://www.sandsmuseum.com/cars/elise/experience/modifications/fireextinguisher/fireextinguisher.html

Michael
 

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I once had a fire extinguisher explode in my car (not the Lotus) due to high temperatures in the car sitting in the sun. I thought my car was on fire, then realized that it was the extinguisher filling my car with smoke!

The moral of the story is -- make sure it's a really good extinguisher that can sit for long periods in a really hot environment!


:nanner2:
 

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Holy thread resurrection!

I ended up mounting my extinguisher to my harness bar. It uses space behind the passenger seat that it not being used anyway. No worries for me about the passenger kicking the extinguisher or having it get in the way for someone that struggles a little bit getting in and out. And it is easy to reach. I originally had mounted mine to the passenger footrest, which also works well, but I was concerned it was not that accessible when one really needed it.

Just another option-

<img src="http://www.elisetalk.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=15780&stc=1">
 

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I started carrying a fire extinguisher in my car after watching my Miata burn with an underhood fire on the side of the back straight of Road Atlanta. I had to sit and wait for a corner worker to get to me with his extinguisher while the hood bubbled.:(
 

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I think the most accessible place is just ahead of the passenger seat. Anyone can see it, anywhere else is less visible. I don't want things burning while people are hunting for it. The 2.5 lb chrome halon looks decent.

A 5 lb. remote system in front of the passenger footrest spraying the engine compartment would be a nice addition.
 

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There is ozone friendly stuff called Halotron and it is what I carry in my Miata. I have it mounted between the seats in front of the rollbar. Be cautious of the "soda can" sized extinguishers. I have heard that they empty very quickly, often before the fire is out.

Noble
 

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