In Car Fire Extinguisher

Will keeping a fire extinguisher in a car in the cold winter month's effect its performance if its used in cold er temps?
Just wondering.
Harryface
05 Park Avenue, 33,175 91 Bonneville LE 305,358
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Greetings,
FYI, temperature extremes shouldn't affect the function of a standard dry chemical type fire extinguisher that many people keep in thier cars. Dry chem extinguishers contain the chemical in the form of an ultra-fine powder and are pressurized with dry air or nitrogen. The only things that can go wrong are not temperature dependent but include compacting of the powder if stored in one position for too long, a leaky seal that allows the stored pressure to bleed off, or a malfunctioning valve. It is recommended that you have extinguishers inspected annually, but if you don't (honestly, who does?) then simply invert your extinguisher at least once a year and give it a few whacks with a rubber mallet to break up and shift the powder inside it before storing it again in it's holder or bracket.
For a typical car type fire involving the engine compartment, it is my preference to use a CO2 extinguisher. The fine powder in a dry chem extinguisher does an admirable job of putting out the fire, but the powder literally gets everywhere in every nook and cranny and can be corrosive. CO2 may take a little more effort to put out the fire (it works best in enclosed spaces) but if you are planning on ever rebuilding the motor after the fire it won't leave any residue or cause any damage.
Cheers - Jonathan

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Never really see a difference in the "charge" gauge on mine, even in sub zero temps.
--
John
"some suffer from insanity, I choose to enjoy it"
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The temperature won't affect the extinguisher operation, it MAY affect the valve if it is one of the cheap plastic ones, it may get brittle and break when you try to use it. If it is a good unit (Kidde, Sentry, Ansul etc.) it won't have a problem. One thing that should be done is to inspect and shake the unit at least once a year to keep the powder from caking in the bottom and to check for leaks.
Steve W.
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I asked an Estinguisher Technician awhile back, and I was told the plastic valved cheapos can be trouble in severe cold. He recommended a metal valve estinguisher for in car use. Save the plastic valve one for the shop.
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thanks for the info everybody.
Harryface 05 Park Avenue, 33,175 91 Bonneville LE 305,358
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On Sun, 15 Jan 2006 19:50:14 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Harry Face) wrote:

Agreed. Thanks for asking.
Tony
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Has anyone ever heard of cases where extinguishers in vehicles have exploded due to the heat buildup when the vehicle is parked in the sun? Man that would make one heck of a mess if a dry chem unit went off inside a closed vehicle. While some of us have trunk space, those of us that drive open bed pickups or SUVs don't really have a separate storage compartment.
On a similar note, I have seen pictures of aerosol cans that have literally launced themselves through seat cushions. I wouldn't want to be in the way of one of those
packrat
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NotDeadYet wrote:

Having spent 33 years in the fire protection field I have never heard of such an event occurring. There is a big difference in the quality of construction of the shell of the extinguisher as compared to an aerosol container. Extinguishers are designed and tested to withstand internal pressures well above their normal operating pressure.
When carried in a vehicle, on a boat, or whatever, they should be mounted in a proper bracket to prevent them from becoming a missile in event of an accident and also to ensure the extinguisher is where its supposed to be when needed for an emergency. Vehicle brackets are not the same as the standard plastic/nylon bracket that usually comes with your average household extinguisher. You may have to check with a fire equipment supply company to obtain a proper bracket. Further, I'd suggest you buy your vehicle extinguisher from such a company as they will answer any of your questions about how to use the extinguisher and how to properly locate and mount it in your vehicle.
Sammy
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