For most of us, we like to think that we would be able to handle a disaster. However, in many cases, we are woefully underprepared. To illustrate this point, we are going to discuss fire extinguishers. While most of us are familiar with these devices, how many have one at the ready in case of an emergency? Chances are that you don’t keep one on hand in the kitchen or your home in the event of a fire, which could be disastrous. Another place where people don’t think to keep an extinguisher is their car, either. However, in the event of a fire breaking out in your vehicle, this device could save your life.
In the spirit of preparedness, we are going to look at some of the best options you can have in your car to keep you and your passengers safe. We’re also going to examine the various features and components that will ensure that you pick the right one for your vehicle. Even if you’ve never considered keeping a fire extinguisher on hand before, this list will make it incredibly easy for you.
Kidde FA110 Multi Purpose Fire Extinguisher 1A10BC
First Alert AF400-2 Tundra Fire Extinguisher Aerosol Spray
KID21006287 - Kidde FX511 Automobile Fire Extinguisher
First Alert FESA5 Auto Fire Extinguisher
H3R Performance HG250B H3R Performance 2.5 lb HalGuard Black Clean Agent Fire Extinguisher
If you’re not familiar with these devices, you may be surprised to learn that they have different classifications regarding what kind of fire they are equipped to put out. This is an important distinction to note as it could make a huge difference when combating a fire. Most extinguishers are rated to put out more than one kind of flame, but not all of them are, so it’s imperative that you pay attention. Here is a list of the different ratings.
● A: This classification is for most household fires that have wood or other flammable materials as a source.
● B: if the fire is caused by a liquid, such as gas or oil, then you need an extinguisher with a B rating, as it requires specialized material to ensure that the flames go out and don’t spread around.
● C: this letter refers to electrical fires that can start either from outlets or electronics
● D: most people don’t need an extinguisher with a D rating as that is only for flammable metals. These are usually found in factories and other manufacturing jobs.
● K: if you work in a commercial kitchen and deal with high amounts of flammable grease or other sources, then a K extinguisher is necessary. Otherwise, you shouldn’t need this type of rating.
Considering that you are looking for an extinguisher for your car, you need something that is compact and lightweight. It’s not practical to carry a full-size model in your trunk, but fortunately, there are plenty of smaller units out there. In fact, there are a lot of extinguishers that are rated for vehicle usage, which is much better than repurposing a generic unit. The reason for this is that auto extinguishers are built to handle movement (bouncing around) as well as temperature fluctuations that can come from being in a car.
Kicking off our list is a model that is designed to be a supplemental unit for your home’s fire suppression system. As such, this extinguisher is smaller than a full-size unit, which makes it ideal for carrying around in your car. At only 3.5 pounds it can fit into any trunk with ease. The durable metal tank and the plastic trigger can hold up to most travels without getting damaged or affecting the contents.
What we like about this extinguisher is that it is all purpose.
Most automobile versions are rated for B and C fires only, but this can handle A fires as well. This means that you can buy several of the same units and place them wherever you think there could be a potential fire hazard.
As for performance, this extinguisher has an excellent pressure gauge system that tells you when the tank is full or empty, and the instructions are easy to read and follow in the event of an emergency. Simply pull the pin and squeeze, and you should be flame free in no time. The only downside is that it uses standard foam chemicals, so there will be a mess to clean up afterward.
If convenience is your primary concern for having a fire extinguisher in your car, then this unit from First Alert can be a great option. This canister works just like any aerosol spray, meaning that you can keep it in your glove compartment should the worst happen. While most car extinguishers have to be kept in the trunk, this is small enough where the front is a viable option.
Overall, this is a decent suppression system that is rated for all A, B, and C fires, meaning that you can keep one in your kitchen and one in your car if you like. It has a decent spray distance, and it’s super easy to use.
No pins, no triggers, just a nozzle. The only issue is that the arrow showing the direction of the spray is hard to see, so double check before you squeeze, just to be safe.
Next, we have an extinguisher that is rated specifically for vehicle usage. So far, we’ve only seen compact models that can work in your car, but this is designed to stay in your automobile in case of an emergency. That means that it is also only rated to put out B and C fires, as those are the most common that happen on the road.
What this also means is that this extinguisher won’t leave as much of a mess as those rated for A fires.
Instead of a semi-liquid foam, you get a dry powder that leaves a lot less residue and is much easier to clean up afterward. Also, it shouldn’t damage electronics either. Overall, if you want something that is built specifically for your car, this is a great choice.
If you want the convenience of the Tundra Extinguisher from First Alert but with the resilience and performance of something larger, then this model might be a better choice. Instead of an aerosol can you get a steel tank with a trigger system similar to standard extinguishers. However, this particular model is super compact, meaning that it can still fit in your glove compartment (most likely).
As with the model above, this extinguisher is built for auto fires, meaning that it is rated for B and C fires only. This also means that it won’t leave as much of a mess and will hold up to most environments exceptionally well. The other thing that we like is that it comes with a pop-up indicator when the tank needs recharging, so you never have to worry about guessing that fact.
Our last extinguisher is a high-performance model that is built for any vehicle or electrical fire. Unlike other automobile models, this uses liquefied gas instead of dry powder, which is far easier to clean and less damaging for your car’s internal parts.
In fact, this extinguisher will leave the least amount of residue of any of the ones we’ve seen.
Overall, if you are looking for something reliable and convenient, this is the best option out there. Not only is it compact and lightweight, but it comes with all of the standard features that make it a worthwhile companion in your car or truck. It has an easy to read pressure gauge, an intuitive trigger system, and it’s refillable so you can use it again and again (hopefully not, though).
After looking through all of these extinguishers, it’s safe to say that our top pick is the H3R HalGuard model. We love the design of this unit as well as how it performs, and it has the best features of any other extinguisher we’ve seen. We highly recommend this model for your car.