About Fire Extinguishers

by Chuck (westyman71 at yahoo.com)

Not only am I a long-time VW owner (29 years), I have been a career firefighter for the last 23 years. Here's some information on these.

Most fire extinguishers out there are the "dry chemical" type. They have a powder (usually monoammonium phosphate) that interferes with the chemical chain reaction to put out the fire. All extinguishers are rated by their ability to put out different types of fires.

The typical 10 pound dry chemical extinguisher out there is rated 4A, 60B, C. This means that when used by Joe Citizen, it will put out 4 square feet of ordinary combustibles, 60 square feet of flammable liquids, and can be used on energized electrical equipment. It also means that when tested by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Factory Mutual (FM) or other testing organizations, the expert is able to put out 4 times the coverage area it is rated for.

A couple of things: 1) Flowing, burning flammable liquids won't be put out. So kill the fuel pump (ignition) so the fuel flow stops. It can reflash without warning, so be alert. 2) The powder gets everywhere!!! If the powder gets into sensitive electronic stuff (computers), it is usually toast anyway.


Hope this helps,

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