All - Fire Extinguisher, how old is yours? - Ethan Edwards

As this lockdown continues I'm finding things to look at and check. Fire Extinguisher, I have a dry powder 1kg in each car. They still show green on the gauge so I'm hoping they are OK. My home one is in date so that's OK. But the one in my garage expired in 2011 has no gauge. I've replaced it with another 1kg dry powder one.

So what do you do with the old one?

Well the advice in Essex is to use it to release the pressure, remove the top then pop along to the Pitsea or Brentwood recycling centre and dispose of it. When they are reopened of course. My point here is of course, go check yours for expiry date or look at the gauge.

OK lockdown is boring but let's get something out of it. Stay safe peeps.

Oh I also have fire blanket in the house for oil/ fat fires they do last!

Edited by Ethan Edwards on 10/05/2020 at 20:46

All - Fire Extinguisher, how old is yours? - Manatee

My point here is of course, go check yours for expiry date or look at the gauge.

We had a dry powder one in our kitchen. It was years out of date but it had a gauge on it that was in the green.

Our house was badly damaged by fire last year. The extinguisher wasn't used, but afterwards I decided it was best dispensed with on age grounds.

I pulled the pin out and squeezed the trigger. Nothing!

All - Fire Extinguisher, how old is yours? - dan86

My point here is of course, go check yours for expiry date or look at the gauge.

We had a dry powder one in our kitchen. It was years out of date but it had a gauge on it that was in the green.

Our house was badly damaged by fire last year. The extinguisher wasn't used, but afterwards I decided it was best dispensed with on age grounds.

I pulled the pin out and squeezed the trigger. Nothing!

It is advised to tap the powder ones on the ground before using to loosen up the powder as it can cake clump together with age

All - Fire Extinguisher, how old is yours? - edlithgow

I have a couple of old dead ones that I was thinking of trying to use for tyre inflation IF I ever get around to cobbling together appropriate plumbing.

One of them I emptied, putting the oddly "runny" yellow powder in old plastic bottles.I understand this stuff is a mix of siliconized monoammonium phosphate powder and ammonium sulfate,

Uses I can think of for that include

(a) Fertilizer. Main ingredients should be pretty good, but might there be toxic minor components? Anyway I have no garden, so academic for me.

(b) Rust Treatment? Not sure about the ammonium sulfate but I think monoammonium phosphate should have anti-rust activity either as a soak or as an electolyte in electrolysis. I've never de-rusted the cars tool kit (spare wheel well was flooded when I bought the car) which might be a suitable target

https://patents.google.com/patent/US2832706A/en

(c) Anti-fire bombs: With an appropriate fire cracker (fuze exposed) and powder inside,a plastic bottle could be an automated fire suppressant system that could be left in the engine compartment, above the cooker, etc. Farmers are using time delay fire crackers in the surrounding rice fields as bird scarers at the moment.

There does, however, seem to be a slight risk that the ammonium sulfate could itself be explosively set off by the dispersal charge, though it does seem a bit unlikely that they would make IED fire extinguishers

Any other ideas?

Edited by edlithgow on 11/05/2020 at 08:07

All - Fire Extinguisher, how old is yours? - Andrew-T

I didn't think amm.sulphate was an explosive, but amm.nitrate certainly is, as all good terrorists know. That's because it can be turned instantly into water and nitrogen when properly initiated.

All - Fire Extinguisher, how old is yours? - edlithgow

I didn't think amm.sulphate was an explosive, but amm.nitrate certainly is, as all good terrorists know. That's because it can be turned instantly into water and nitrogen when properly initiated.

I'd think even bad terrorists wouldn't use it on its own, unless in a hurry.

When I was in the TA RE ammonium nitrate was mixed with diesel in a cement mixer to give an explosive known as ANFO (Ammonium Nitrate Fuel Oil). The nitrate provides an oxidant for the diesel.

I'd GUESS the sulfate might do the same so maybe it'd be ok on its own.. Both apparently banned on the NW Frontier and in Afghanistan, probably not just because they are good for the poppy crop.

All - Fire Extinguisher, how old is yours? - jc2

Unless you shake your extinguisher very regularly,it will be USELESS! The best thing you could do with it is throw it at the fire.

All - Fire Extinguisher, how old is yours? - Andrew-T

<< I'd GUESS the sulfate might do the same so maybe it'd be ok on its own. >>

Come to think of it, I believe I am right in recalling that the plant at ICI Billingham (Teesside) which made amm.sulphate remained without walls following occasional unexpected detonations. I'm not sure of the products of the rapid decomposition.

Edited by Andrew-T on 11/05/2020 at 11:58

All - Fire Extinguisher, how old is yours? - daveyjp

Having done numerous training sessions in using extinguishers they are only useful if you happen to see a fire start, have the right extinguisher at your feet when it does start, you know how to use one and how long it lasts.

All - Fire Extinguisher, how old is yours? - edlithgow

Having done numerous training sessions in using extinguishers they are only useful if you happen to see a fire start, have the right extinguisher at your feet when it does start, you know how to use one and how long it lasts.

You make a pretty good case for my anti-fire bomb, as long as it doesn't turn into a bomb bomb.

All - Fire Extinguisher, how old is yours? - Bilboman

The advice about extinguishers (see it start, have the right one, know how to use one) also applies to guns, although the deluded citizens of a certain western power maintain that the only "safe" way is for everyone to have one because everyone else has one and it's best that way!
Over Christmas I was on a quiet stretch of motorway (I live in Spain, in case you were wondering!) and as I passed a C4 Picasso parked on the hard shoulder with the boot open and the occupants fussing around behind it, I noticed in the rear view mirror some flames licking out from underneath the engine.
My initial thought was to stop ahead of the stricken car, don hi-viz, grab 10 year old extinguisher and tentatively head to the car and douse the flames if I could - assuming the extinguisher still worked! I had a much better idea and left at the next slip road (a minute away) and dialled 112 with description of the car, exact geographical location and insisted dramatically to the startled operator that "it was going to blow up." It was probably quite a blessing that I remembered that it is highly illegal in Spain to reverse on a motorway!
I saw in the next day's paper a photo of the burnt-out wreck coated in foam. The notorious C4 starter motor wiring harness fault had claimed another one, with luckily no human injuries. It takes some doing for a diesel car to go up in flames, but, boy, when they do it's not a pretty sight!
Time for a new extinguisher. Any thoughts on those new Halotron ones, which have replaced the highly effective but now illegal Halon?

All - Fire Extinguisher, how old is yours? - edlithgow

TI saw in the next day's paper a photo of the burnt-out wreck coated in foam. The notorious C4 starter motor wiring harness fault had claimed another one, with luckily no human injuries.

My relatively new Renault Campus melted its wiring harness due to the fan shorting out. There I was driving around central London (pre-congestion charge) moaning about the air pollution which turned out to be mostly generated by my own burning car.

Judging by a half-hearted attempt to locate another intact loom in a scrappy, it was quite a common fault.

I got a load of wire but didn't get around to attempting to re-loom before the car got towed.

Pity. Apart from that and the irritating self-adjusting rear brakes (first I'd had) it was quite a good wee car.

All - Fire Extinguisher, how old is yours? - edlithgow

Nasty accident at the SAI fertiliser plant in Lieth, where my dad worked as an accountant, IIRC (and this would be in the 60's so its a bit odd if I do) residual ammonium nitrate in a pipe being welded, which shrapnelled.

 

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