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Author Topic: Is it okay to horizontally mount a fire extinguisher?  (Read 4617 times)
makemineatwostroke
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« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2008, 10:33:56 AM »

Is any one using halon in their rig ,and if so who supplies the system?

         Tanks.Van
 Anyone in there right mind would not use that in a bus if they value life if the fire don't get you the Halon will.At Stewart and Stevenson we had 2 die from testing it in a vehicle for the military
« Last Edit: August 28, 2008, 11:04:06 AM by makemineatwostroke » Logged
Nusa
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« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2008, 10:35:57 AM »

If I remember correctly, new Halon systems were banned for civilian use back in the mid-90's due to its effects on the Ozone layer. Existing systems can be maintained, however.
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van
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« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2008, 10:43:01 AM »

Sorry to hear about that ,thats a terrible to hear that and would never consider using it inside the vehicle other than externals like engine compart ment fuel tank area
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JackConrad
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« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2008, 10:57:09 AM »

Can I safely assume that any air pressure type water extinguisher can be charged with the cold fire solution?  Yes I am looking for a cheap way out!  John


I can't think of any reason it would not work.  We add the Cold Fire liquid to the water before pressurizing.  You would reduce the amount of water by the amount of Cold Fire you add.  When filling, be sure to add the water first!   If you add the Cold Fire first, it will suds up so much you will not be able to get all the water in.  Jack
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Bob Gil
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« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2008, 10:58:53 AM »

Years ago in the late 70's I worked for a fire extinguisher company.

You want to turn all of the power ones up at least once a year, more so when they are mounted on a vehicle.  The powder will settle on any of them.  It is best to turn one upside down and bump it against some ting or bounce it on the ground lightly when you need to use it to make sure the powder will be lose enough to come out.  Many times I have had to refill one that they tried to use the the pressure blow out and not much of the powder came out.

If you use any anti freeze make sure it has a little water in it.  Pure antifreeze will freeze warmer than you want it too.  

I can't say I have ever delt with "Cold Fire" stuff before.
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Fort Worth, Texas where GOD is so close you don't even need a phone!

1968 GM Bus of unknown model 6V53 engine (aftermarket) converted with house hold items.

Had small engine fire and had no 12 volt system at time of purchase. 
Coach is all 110 w 14KW diesel genrator
rv_safetyman
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Jim Shepherd


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« Reply #20 on: August 28, 2008, 12:56:23 PM »

Hi Guys.  Sorry to be a bit slow to respond.  We are currently in Austria goofing around and seeing some wonderful scenery.

Lets discuss horizontal first since that was the original question.  It is fine to store the unit horizontally, IF the unit does not see freezing temperatures or is freeze proofed.  My concern is that fluid could enter the gage and freezing could damage it.

Next, lets talk about freeze proofing.  By far, the recommended method is to add potassium acetate.  However, it takes a lot of the powder and it is not cheap.  It is also not easy to find.  Ansel sells a freeze proof package using another potassium compound and it is well over $50 for the box of powder (takes a 2.5 gallon extinguisher down to  minus 72 as I recall). 

The second best is the RV antifreeze.  As I have told most people, if you download enough MSDA sheets you will find that some manufacturers state that it is mildly flammable.  My competitor recommends the RV antifreeze.  I have tested it for flammability using straight RV mixture and spraying a very fine spray into a weed burner and I can't see any issue that I would be concerned about.  As has been said, I would be a bit concerned about temperatures below minus 10, but I don't think there would be any damage to the extinguisher.

Next to the question about using an existing 2.5 gallon unit.  Almost all of them are intended to be used with water.  The nozzle has a straight bore.  The units I sell have an aeration nozzle.  That nozzle would be the best, but, the straight bore nozzle should work fine. Cold Fire is such a powerful suppression material and, as such, it is pretty forgiving of how it is applied.

Lastly, lets talk about Halon.  It was outlawed from MANUFACTURE in the United States over 10 years ago.  It is NOT illegal to sell it.  Any reputable racing supply company can sell hand held and mounted extinguishing systems.  They are quite expensive ($100 to $500 or more).  Up until last year, all NASCAR cars had Halon.  They now use Halon replacement (FE36) which is half as effective.  The only reason they changed as far as I can tell was to be “green”. 

I can't dispute the report of deaths, but the proper application (concentration) will not cause death.  Halon is very effective in low concentrations, but some applications/designs go far beyond needed concentrations and that can be dangerous. 

While Halon is one of the most effective extinguishing materials, it is only good in an enclosed environment.  It displaces the oxygen and as soon as air is re-introduced, the fire can reignite.

Sorry to be so wordy, but I wanted to cover most of the questions.

BTW, be aware that use of a dry powder extinguisher around aluminum or electrical components can really reek havoc with parts.  Dry powder extinguishers are not permitted anywhere near aircraft. If you have to use one, be sure to clean the area very carefully and use something like WD40 to finish the wash of the area.  If it were me, I would repeat the wash a week or two later to make sure you minimize the damage.

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
’85 Eagle 10/Series 60/Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission
Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
Bus Project details: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog:  http://rvsafetyman.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #21 on: August 28, 2008, 02:16:39 PM »

Depends upon the type of bottle, its contents and its construction.  Usually speaking, a fire extinguisher must be mounted in the upright (vertical) position.  The reason why is that, while the thing is full of agent, it is not completely full.  There is some pressurized air space. 

The pickup tube may be located just off the bottom of the bottle. This means that for whatever reason, you may create a static situation/environment where the necessary liguid agent is not where it is supposed to be as compared to being on a wall or in a closet.

This MAY create a situation where when the bottle is grabbed quickly to put out a fire, the liguid agent may NOT properly be forced up the thru the pickup tube.  Make any sense?  Crazy things happen with potentially corrosive agents, air space and time.  Your decision.

Perhaps there are special application fire extinguishers that are designed to be statically or portably mounted in any position.  This industry has certainly changed since I was a firefighter.  Perhaps others can steer you to a particular type of extinguisher that will work.  Smiley Smiley Smiley
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van
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« Reply #22 on: August 28, 2008, 02:55:30 PM »

Thanks jim for responding to my question about Halon,I always knew it's setbacks and dangers but was interested in engine compartment applications,thank you very much for clarifying .Sorry brian didn't mean to take your thread in another direction.

    curiosity never killed this cat
       Thanks again.
          Van
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Brian Diehl
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« Reply #23 on: August 28, 2008, 07:40:07 PM »

Excellent conversation guys! 

Jim, thanks for the feedback on all of our questions!

When do you come back from Europe?

Hope you are having a great time!

-Brian
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rv_safetyman
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« Reply #24 on: August 29, 2008, 04:04:27 AM »

When we looked for a fire suppression system for the engine and generator compartments, we thought about Halon.  As I noted earlier, it is a fantastic fire suppression material, but should be used in an enclosed area.  These two areas have large air flow and that would work against the Halon technology.  The other issue I did not feel comfortable with, is that it would extinguish the fire very quickly and you would not even know you had a problem.  Thus, you would keep driving (or running the generator) while the conditions that caused the fire would still be present.  I guess that is what drove us to the crazy thought that we would develop our own  Grin.

One more thought about the RV antifreeze, I believe it will protect the components down to perhaps minus 40 degrees.  However, as pointed out, it may not flow very well if needed at say minus 10 or below.  That should not be an issue for most of us. In storage, the bays (and maybe the interior) can get below minus 10 in some climates.  However, when we use the coach in those temperatures (yes, some of us are crazy), the bays and interior should be well above the “slush” temperature of the fluid.

Brian, to answer your question, we are having a great time!  Our trip is from 8/8 to 9/8.  Our legs are about 2 inches shorter from all the walking and stair climbing  Cheesy.

I have been publishing a pretty detailed (is that a synonym for boring?) blog at:  http://rvsafetyman.blogspot.com/

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
’85 Eagle 10/Series 60/Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission
Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
Bus Project details: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
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« Reply #25 on: August 29, 2008, 09:51:37 AM »

Shouldn't every automatic fire system include an alarm so you know it's been activated?
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JackConrad
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« Reply #26 on: August 29, 2008, 10:33:18 AM »

Shouldn't every automatic fire system include an alarm so you know it's been activated?

Absolutely!  I cannot comment on others, but Jim's system has an audible and visual alarms.  There is a settable alarm that you set for the temp you want (this setting does not activate the fire suppression system, but activates a beeper and a yellow LED in the monitor panel). As an example, I have my settable generator compartment set at 140 degrees.  This lets me know if the generator compartment fans fail. 
   The preset alarm is set at 400 degrees and cannot be changed. This is the one that activates the fire suppression system.  This alarm has a beeper and a red LED in the monitor panel.  The settable alarm can be silenced by the operator. The preset can only be silenced by disconnecting the power to the system.  Jack
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« Reply #27 on: August 29, 2008, 01:09:10 PM »

Shouldn't every automatic fire system include an alarm so you know it's been activated?

I can tell you that I really wished I had placed a fire alarm  on the outside of my coach. It was parked in my driveway within 20 feet of my house when one of the electric heaters caught on fire.

 It was generally smoke for the first few hours I believe. Someone driving by in the early morning hours and spotted the smoke coming out of top. By the time the fire department arrived and broke out a rear window it flamed up and basically everything was lost. A loud external smoke/fire alarm would have alerted us in the house, or someone driving by. Unfortunately for me it was judged by the insurance investigators to be a total loss.

I am glad that I had purchased agreed on value some 15 years earlier and the insurance company (Progressive) paid me within one weeks time.

My advice is get a good alarm system as soon as possible.

Richard
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Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body. But rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, a good Reisling in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming:  WOO HOO, what a ride
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