5 Reasons Why You Absolutely Must Have A Fire Extinguisher In Your Car:
1. Cars Can Start On Fire Insanely Easily (Gas & Sparks Don’t Mix):
There are a ton of ways that cars can start on fire. Most of the time fires will be unexpected, and the only way to prepare for it is by making sure you have a good high quality fire extinguisher handy.
You should definitely have on in your garage that is capable of putting out a car fire, as well as one that can be with you in your car. The best fire extinguisher to have in your garage in 2018 is this 5lb ABC Extinguisher (Check Price Amazon Here).
It comes with its own wall mount making it easy to find, and the 5lb charge means it will have enough to make sure the fire is out the first time. Once you have one easily accessible in your garage and clearly visible, its time to buy one for your car.
This extinguisher is made for use in a car (specifically people that race cars) and will not cause damage to the electrical components if used to put out an automotive fire. It is a little more expensive, but worth the money if you want to make sure your car still runs after putting the fire out. Check the price here.
Car Fires Can Be Caused By:
- Fuel leakages
- Short Circuits (This example is in a house, but the same principle applies to cars)
- Car accidents
- Defective Car Batteries, or defective alternators overcharging batteries
How To Avoid Starting A Fire While Working On Cars:
- Try not to use flammable sprays around a hot engine (carb/brake cleaner especially)
- If gasoline spills onto a hot exhaust, make sure you have the fire extinguisher ready
- If the car is overheating pull over and let it cool immediately
- My friends RV overheated on the way back from burning man recently. Being with a group of people who had spent the last week sleep deprived and probably overindulging (so to speak) they decided to keep pushing the RV up the hill. Pretty soon it just started smoking, and they pulled over to the engine bay literally on fire. They had an extinguisher and got the fire out, but the extinguisher was a cheap brand and shocked the electronic components and the RV was totaled due to damage.
2. Cars and Trucks Burn Quickly
When you mix gasoline and fire you get a pretty quick spreading fire. It is essential that car fires be put out immediately or the whole car is going to burn, and it will burn fast.
From the US governments FEMA website directly:
“A vehicle fire can generate heat upward of 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep in mind that water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit and that most foods are cooked at temperatures of less than 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Flames from burning vehicles can often shoot out distances of 10 feet or more.” Source here.
How many people are hurt each year from car fires or killed?
“The dangers of motor vehicle fires often are overlooked. Each year, these fires kill over 300 people and injure 1,250 more“ source here.
Facts and Figures (Source here)
Automobile fires were involved in 10% of reported U.S. fires, 6% of U.S. fire deaths.
- On average, 17 automobile fires were reported per hour. These fires killed an average of four people every week.
Mechanical or electrical failures or malfunctions were factors in roughly two-thirds of the automobile fires.
Collisions and overturns were factors in only 4% of highway vehicle fires, but these incidents accounted for three of every five (60%) automobile fire deaths.
Only 2% of automobile fires began in fuel tanks or fuel lines, but these incidents caused 15% of the automobile fire deaths.
For more car fire safety tips read here.
3. You Can Avoid An Explosion Or Losing Your Whole Car If You Put It Out Quickly
First, make sure everyone in the car is away from the car and safe. Have someone call 911 and report a car fire and your location. Make sure everyone is out of the car and far away. Then you may attempt to put it out.
The above video is a great example of when to just get the heck out as fast as humanely possible!
Your safety and the safety of those around you is worth more than keeping your car alive.
Grab the proper fire extinguisher and quickly put the flames out. For the proper extinguisher to carry in your car click here, and for one to hang on your garage wall click here (both links to amazon).
If the fire is under the hood make sure to start spraying as best as possible under the hood before you even attempt at opening it. Pop it up slowly and keep spraying, the flames will have a tendency to blow out / get huge if the hood is popped up allowing a rush of oxygen. Please be careful with this. To see how fast a car fire can start, and how quickly you can put it out if you’re prepared watch this video from Eric The Car Guy (video cued up to when fire starts).
If you’re at all unsure of whether this rush of oxygen will cause an explosion call 911 and get away from the car. It isn’t worth it. For more information on car fires read here.
4. Don’t Burn Down Your House While Working In The Garage
We all know we value our homes and what is in them. If we are working in the garage on our car and happen to start a fire, it is pretty important to get that fire out as soon as possible. You can’t food around with some junky fire extinguisher when your whole life literally depends on putting a fire out. That is why having a quality professional fire extinguisher both in the car, and easily accessible in the garage is so important.
I have plenty of friends that have started car fires just working on cars. Unburned fuel builds up somewhere, and suddenly you got a fire. Or maybe you just replaced some fuel lines, and forgot to attach the clamp. Or you’re testing the new lights you wired up and forgot to wire in the fuse before testing. Literally the ways you can start a fire in a car or working on a car are endless.
As the video above shows, even after an accident, a car fire can start minutes later!
Please don’t lose your house, or jeopardize the lives of those around you by not being prepared in your garage to fight a car fire.
The two products that are a must have to be more fire safe in your garage are these:
5. Even Experienced Mechanics Start Fires Occasionally
As posted in the video before on YouTube, EricTheCarGuy has 1000’s of hours working on cars professionally. He started a car fire. It was obviously an accident, but his video goes to show you how fast they can happen. Didn’t watch it? Here it is again:
Or This Guy Whose Car Starts On Fire In The Garage & He Doesn’t Have An Extinguisher:
That could have been real bad real fast. Luckily he was able to get that fire out. Did you see that part where he almost went up in flames carrying the gas can out of the garage? Jeez.
You Must Have Fire Extinguishers In Your Garage and Car in 2018
For the love of everyone around you, and even just for yourself please invest in some high-quality fire extinguishers. I hope the videos and the reading were enough to encourage you to splurge a little bit on some fire safety.
With a fire extinguisher handy the fire would be put out fast.
If you’re working on cars and think “that’ll never happen to me,” I hope you’re right. I also hope you have some really good insurance, and that your wife/husband doesn’t care that you burned down the house installing some bigger injectors on your BMW M3. I don’t know about you, but I’ll just put a fire extinguisher on my Christmas wishlist.
Once again here are my two favorite fire extinguishers in 2018 to have in your garage in a car:
1. For your car Click Here
2. For the garage wall Click Here
Both links will open up an Amazon page so you can check the reviews & prices. I stand by those both as high-quality fire extinguishers that will help keep you safe! As always remember to just get far away from a fire if you aren’t ready/prepared to put it out. And please call 911 as soon as you’re safe!
If you want to read more about what the difference is between a clean agent fire extinguisher and a regular dry chemical extinguisher read here. I even called a representative of the clean agent fire extinguisher company and recorded my phone call.