No announcement yet.

Fire Extinguishers

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Fire Extinguishers

    A while ago someone asked what fire extinguishers they should have on a mobile welding vehicle. I asked our fireman at work, who is a professional fireman, and he said that two ABC types are good. The water type and CO2 type. The dry chem will put out a fire, but you will have a real mess on your hands after.

    He also mentioned the Halon type is the best. We have on all our gas cutting rigs and field welding units a water type extinguisher. and in the shop there's both types available. Also must have a sign with an arrow pointing to the extinguisher that can be easily seen in an emergency.

    in my shop at home , I have a Halon and several CO2 the event I ever had to use one, I'd grab the Halon first. No mess. As with any fire extinguisher...aim at the base of the fire. Be safe out there!

  • #2
    If I'm not mistaken halon consumes all the available oxygen that it can so it is advised not to use it in a confined area. then again I guess you really shouldn't be welding in a confined area. Just a thought.


    • #3

      As a Federal Firefighter full time, welder on off day. Your right about the Halon, other than the oxygen depletion, it is the best all araund extinguisher.
      Todd Eldridge
      [email protected]
      Newbie Hobby Welder


      • #4
        Here are a few more useful tidbits about fire extinghuishers...

        Pressurized water cans are SO useful. They can be used for a multitude of tasks from putting out burning ordinary combustibles (class a), to cooling down something hot, to rinsing off something dirty if you don't have a hose. Lets not forget a really fun water fight. :-) The best part about water cans are their cost. Once the initial purchase has been made, you can refill them for free. All you need is water and a air compressor (gas station if you don't have one).

        Halon can no longer be purchased for consumer use. It is very harmful to the atmosphere. So, the only way you can get one is used or if you super secret access to the military cache.

        Carbon Dioxide is also dangerous if you are using it in a confined space. It will displace the oxygen just like halon. Carbon dioxide differs from halon in the fact that it smothers the fire by taking away the oxygen, while halon inhibits the chemical chain reaction (the 4th part in the fire tetrahedron). Carbon dioxide extinguishers don't have a gauge on them to measure their fullness. Therefore, unless you have the ability (and patience) to weigh it periodically, you never have the assurance that it's full.

        Now to the types no one has discussed yet.

        Dry chemical are probably the most common ABC (good an almost everything) type extinguishers. Unfortunately, they make a very big mess (corrosive too) once discharged. One note, if you are planning on purchasing one of these, get a 5lb or bigger. It's worth the extra buck.

        Dry powder extinguishers (not to be confused with dry chem) are used on metal fires (Class D). Metals such as magnesium when exposed to high temperatures for a prolonged period of time can ignite. They extinguish the fire by smothering. It is necessary to form a layer of this powder over the fire in order to stop the burning process. These extingushers are sometimes metal specific and are very costly. A good alternative it a shovel and dirt or sand. If you cover the fire with enough dirt, it will serve the same purpose and take away the oxygen. :-)

        So..... With that in mind, what do I have in my shop? A 20lb dry chem, a pressurized water can, and a shovel.


        • #5
          Great thread!! I'm glad you firefighters came out of the woodwork to share some crucial information that every dude with a stinger in his hand ought to know. I didn't know ya can't get Halon any more...we have banks of Halon in the pits under our heavy hydraulic presses. I knew you shoudn't use Halon in a confined space, but I'm glad you folks brought it out clearer.

          Fore-warned is fore-armed!


          • #6

            Another thing to mention about the halon (since there still are some of them out there ) dont put one on your rig for use out doors, any breeze at all will render them usless. Halon was designed for indoor use only, it can be used in an office full of computors and not do any damage to them unlike the other options.
            doin the best I can with what I got


            • #7
              I might be wrong here, but I believe a reformulated Halon is still available, at a much higher cost. The original Halon fell victim to the Great Freon Conspiricy, led by the inventor of the internet, at the behest of Dow because their worldwide patents on Freon expired.
              There is absolutely no relationship between the expiration of those patents and Freon 12 becoming hazardous to the upper atmousphere, Algore told me so. Of course, there is also no way in **** to release chlorine from Freon 12 without extreme heat and pressure, neither of witch exist in the upper atmousphere.
              Algore would NOT have lied to us.


              • #8
                After doing a little more research I have some additional information on halon.

                In 1994 the federal gov't banned the production of of halon. However, recycled halon still is available to the general consumer. It is however quite expensive. The cheapest place I found online was $90 for a reconditioned 2.5 lb extinguisher and reused halon.

                The other option that Franz mentioned that I was unaware of is a halon alternative. It's listed as a 'clean agent', meaning it is non crossive and leaves no reidue. One of the trade names it's going by is Halotron. The price seems a little less, compered to halon. I found a new 2.5lb unit for $85.

                Also, it seems the halon and halotron both have a good shelf life. Since they are both in liquid form, the 'caking' that occurs with the dry chem is not an issue.


                • #9
                  Halatron is available now, it replaced Halon.

                  As far as using dirt or sand on a metal fire, don't. Dirt has water in it and it will cause a violent reaction. The chemical in the metal extinguishers are "dry".
                  Todd Eldridge
                  [email protected]
                  Newbie Hobby Welder


                  • #10
                    Algore?? do we have 'dittoheads' on the forum??? (besides me)


                    • #11
                      Of course we do.... we're everywhere : )



                      • #12
                        Re: Mega-ditto-head weldors

                        Originally posted by aweaver

                        I thought we'd covered this one before. You'll rarely see me post during 12-3 EST due to the fact that I'm listening intently to my 24/7 subscription. I will say that often I think he (Rush) goes off the deep end, but I think he does it to make a point. I believe he calls it "illustrating absurdity".

                        It must be tied to welding somehow....I don't ever remember meeting a liberal weldor.

                        BTW, thanks for the new avatar...looks kinda like Rush

                        Watching your previous avatar bashing his brains out on the computer desk was giving ME a headache!


                        • #13
                          People seem to be concerned about the mess and potential corrosive effects of dry chemical extinguishers but I can tell you that every time I have used one, there wouldn't have been anything left to corrode if I hadn't put out the fire! And the mess and clean up after the fire would have been much worse than cleaning up a little dry chem. Not to mention millions of $ in damage and potential loss of life. So, I have no qualms about carrying and using a couple of 20 lbs. dry chem types, and I've got 3 water types that we pressurize with Oxygen in the field. And when outside the previously mentioned shovel is the first line of defense. Of course it's better to not start them in the first place, but we do start a lot of fires, and we put them all out too. The long term drought in the western states makes brush and forest fires a bigger hazard than normal. With extinguishers I follow the bigger is better philosophy, a 20 lb'er, used properly, will put out a pretty big fire, same with the water type.



                          • #14
                            Slight correction...DuPont held all the Freon patents, not Dow Chemical.


                            • #15
                              Dammit, that'll teach me to post without fully engaging the brain and properly phasing it to the line. (excuse I was headed to the chyropractor)
                              DuPont, a fine French company, you are absolutely right. They are also the fine company who make Teflon, and have offered to sue **** out of anyone who uses the word Teflon relative to an oil enhancing product such as Slick 50, even though they sell Teflon to Slick 50 by the traincar load.
                              It was only a coincidence those patents expired just as Freon became hazardous. I am the Pope.