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FIRE EXTINGUISHERS
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Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 11/12
Picture of Nick Cagle
posted
I have decided that I really want to have the proper fire extinguishers on board the coach and found the following on the net:

Quote:
The National Fire Protection Agency ("NFPA") mandates the rules for fire extinguishers and escape hatches for RVs. These rules require a 5 pound "BC" rated fire extinguisher near each exit. Know how to use it! A fire usually starts at the front of the rig and moves to the rear. Motorhome fires in a rig are usually type A type fires -- common combustibles -- wood, paper etc. , and the only required extinguishers on board frequently are BC types ( for flammable liquids and gasses or electrical equipment). Type A type fire extinguishers belong inside the coach and the BC type belongs under it -- in one of the compartments. You should have 5 extinguishers -- one for the drivers compartment, one for the kitchen, one for the bedroom, one under the coach in a storage compartment and one in your towed vehicle.

Any of the members have experience or recommendations on this subject?? Confused

Nick

P.S. I would think the likely hood would be a fire starting at the rear with a diesel pusher. Your Thoughts??
 
Posts: 1804 | Location: Harlem, GA | Member Since: 09-17-2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 12/10
Picture of ccctimtation
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I am not sure, but I would bet on electrical and kitchen fires being highest on lists with gasser engine fires a distant 3rd and diesels even lower.
I have a strong preference for CO2 extinguishers but I do have the regular dry powder type in kitchens both home and aboard.
Dry types are messy to clean after, they need to be shaken regularly to keep the powder from caking at the bottom. CO2 is point and shoot, pretty okay on any fire with no muss no fuss when the fire is out.
Probably more important is knowledge and training with the extinguisher. You have to hit the base and move in and this is not intuitive. You may want to check with the local FD and see if they have any training sessions available as well as specific recommendations.


I was taught to respect my elders but it is getting harder to find them!
 
Posts: 731 | Location: St. Charles, MO, USA | Member Since: 10-09-2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
First Month Member
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 11/13
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quote:
Originally posted by Nick Cagle:
I have decided that I really want to have the proper fire extinguishers on board the coach and found the following on the net:

Quote:
The National Fire Protection Agency ("NFPA") mandates the rules for fire extinguishers and escape hatches for RVs. These rules require a 5 pound "BC" rated fire extinguisher near each exit.


My preference is Cold Fire or AFFF. My military, airline and racetrack experience has turned me against dry chemical extinguishers. I can not claim the experience of a real fireman, but have helped put out a fair amount of airplane and vehicle fires. The course I frequent has gone exclusively to foam. Ha, I can remember when, 45 years or so ago, as a flagman and racer there, all we had were buckets of sand. Frowner I recall one time at another track, they couldn't put out a burning haybale. They finally dragged it away. Smiler The only caveat with foam or water is not to use it on magnesium fires. Not a lot of that around MHs.

We are never plugged in, so the issue of water on electrical circuits is not an issue for us. I should add the Mac the Fire Guy, who gives seminars at FMCA conventions and a retired fire captain also recs foam.

quote:
A fire usually starts at the front of the rig and moves to the rear.


Nope. Lots of genset and fridge fires. I have seen the aftermath of several. I even almost had a fridge fire myself. A flake of rust from the spiral flue diffuser fell into a burner slot and turned the burner into a blowtorch. Fortunately, it also sounded like a blowtorch, and I sent Susan outside to turn off the gas while I grabbed a fire bottle. The fire was not as loud as the beating of my heart, so I was unable to locate its source before Susan shut it off, so there is no dramatic story about putting out a fire and saving my Barth. However, investigation revealed that the interior of the fridge compartment was a little singed. I subsequently shortened the diffuser by a couple of inches to avoid a repeat performance. We also turn off the fridge when leaving the coach unattended.

quote:
Motorhome fires in a rig are usually type A type fires -- common combustibles -- wood, paper etc. ,



Nope. Many MH fires start out in the engine compartment, and any accumulated oil and grease there can burn. The early stages of an engine fire will involve fluids and residue before the plywood floor starts. A clean engine is a Good Thing. BTW, Pep Boys is selling Gunk engine cleaner for $2 a can this week.

NAG: Do you have a trans temp gage? Many gas MH fires are the result of overheated trans fluid bubbling up and out of the fill tube onto hot exhaust manifolds. A hot climb can overheat a trans, and a hot hill climb can make the exhaust manifolds red hot. A bad combination.

quote:
Type A type fire extinguishers belong inside the coach and the BC type belongs under it -- in one of the compartments.


Well, as long as MHs have plywood floors, a water type ext can be useful from the outside. If you have dry chem exts, just remember to keep the dry chemical powder loose. Cromwell's advice still applies. Smiler It sets up pretty hard if it sits. I have a couple that resist all attempts with my rubber hub cap mallet.

quote:
You should have 5 extinguishers -- one for the drivers compartment, one for the kitchen, one for the bedroom, one under the coach in a storage compartment and one in your towed vehicle.


I would emphasize the bedroom. If I have a kitchen fire at night, I will need to choose between getting out the escape windows or fighting our way past the fire. The latter will require perhaps more than one extinguisher. We have a big foam in the bedroom and two little cold fires, one in each night stand.

I share Tim's liking for CO2 extinguishers in at least one particular scenario. If you get out of a burning MH, and the interior is burning, a CO2 extinguisher might be the best. I put out a garage fire once with a CO2 bottle, and was stunned with how well it worked. I was left standing there listening to only my heart pound, where before the sound and visuals were worthy of the movie, Backdraft. However, being heavier than air, CO2 would not be as good on an engine or genset fire, where there is an open bottom.

quote:
Any of the members have experience or recommendations on this subject?? Confused

Nick

P.S. I would think the likely hood would be a fire starting at the rear with a diesel pusher. Your Thoughts??


I use an oven thermometer in my engine compartment to detect too much heat. Someday, I will put in some sensors and an alarm or an automatic system like my boat has. Unfortunately, most automatic systems use Halon or another inert gas. They are heavier than air, so are of limited utility in a MH engine bay.

Another nag: Gasser owners, check for fuel odors after shut down. A hot engine will be more revealing than a cold one.

Bill N Y.........I wonder if this thread should be consolidated with an existing thread.


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EDIT: Any posts that says "Moved Reply:" has been combined into this thread.
Bill N.Y.
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84 30T PeeThirty-Something, 502 powered
 
Posts: 7397 | Location: AZ Central Highlands | Member Since: 01-09-2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Bill, just thought of another scenario. I was returning home one night and heard conversations on the CB about a bearing fire on a semi-trailer. Eventually I got to the location and found two rigs pulled over and the drivers still trying to put the fire out. They both had used up their extinguishers but the fire would re-ignite. The extinguishers were dry powder and were good for putting out the fire but not for keeping it out. I hit the fire with a short blast of dry powder from my bottle then poured a can of Pepsi on the metal. This took away the heat that kept re-igniting the bearing grease. Fortunately no tires ever caught fire and after the axle was chained up to get the back set off the ground they limped to the next service area.


I was taught to respect my elders but it is getting harder to find them!
 
Posts: 731 | Location: St. Charles, MO, USA | Member Since: 10-09-2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Similar scenario: A former Barther had a bearing fire that required an extinguisher to keep the coach from burning. The shop that checked all his fluids before the trip ended up stuck with the repair bill. The shop's insurance company ended up paying.

How often do we check our diff oil?

If you do much downhill braking, the front bearings will need attention, too. My rule is, if I can smell my brakes, the front and tag bearings get lubed at the next convenient time and place.


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84 30T PeeThirty-Something, 502 powered
 
Posts: 7397 | Location: AZ Central Highlands | Member Since: 01-09-2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Glassnose Aficionado
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 2/09
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As to where fires start, here's an old link about a bus fire that happened to a family owned charter service that I know very well. If you don't want to read the whole thing, the bottom line was a cut inside rear tire, and the bus was completely destroyed.
http://barthmobile.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/6141087061/m/...231051042#7231051042


Dan & Suzy Z
'81 Euro 28 - Slide Show
454 Chevy


Venice, Florida
 
Posts: 3446 | Location: Venice Fl. | Member Since: 07-12-2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 3/12
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Like Bill H, i have gone to Coldfire in all of my rigs. No mess and it will take the heat out of a fire. Jim Sheperd at www.rvsafetysystems.com has a setup for automatic fire supression in rv engine bays using Coldfire. Have never had to use any of my extinguishers yet and hope i don't ever have to, but i sleep a lot better at nite knowing i have them.
 
Posts: 950 | Location: Left side, top to bottom and back again. :>) | Member Since: 09-08-2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Moved Reply:

Ed (Shadowman) brought up fire extinguishers on another thread. I thought it was important to deserve its own thread, since we all abhor thread drift. Smiler

Many RVers carry dry chemical extinguishers. They are not bad, but make a horrible mess and require attention. Specifically, the baking soda powder inside clumps up and is no longer useful. They should be shaken of banged with a rubber hub cap mallet before every trip until you feel loose powder. We had it on our checklist when we carried them. An event we recently attended had the requirement that each vendor booth have a fire extinguisher. When the fire marshal inspected, he said that extinguishers with plastic valves were not acceptable. I got this second-hand, so do not know the reasoning behind it, but it might be interesting to owners or purchasers of dry chemical extinguishers.

Like Ed, we keep several Cold Fire aerosols here and there. House, car, toad, boat--everywhere. I bought a case from a car racing site.

The next step up, is to get a couple of Kidde foam extinguishers. They can be hard to find in some states, but Mac the fire guy has them at a fair price. His site is full of good advice.

The next step up is a 2 1/2 gallon pressurized water ext with Cold Fire/AFFF. We keep ours right by the door. My first action when threatened is to take cover or retreat, which means out the door we go. I will fight my way out the door with the foam, since there is one in the cockpit and one in the bedroom, grabbing the 2 1/2 gallon on the way out. Then, when my heart stops pounding, I will do the fireman thing.

The next step up is a high pressure washdown pump with a permanently attached curly hose with a hose-end AFFF/Cold Fire sprayer. Still in the thinking stage, but it seems to offer a lot of fire fighting ability for under a couple of Franklins. The hose will be connected and stored in an outside bin on the passenger side to allow access from outside. It will be long enough to allow me to go back inside if that seems appropriate. Or around to the genset or toad.

One other thing...............If you think you have an engine fire on a gasser, be very afraid to lift the doghouse. If you do lift it, do it very carefully, just enough to get an extinguisher nozzle in the gap. Or fight the fire from outside. I saw a horrible video of a boater quickly opening his doghouse to be enveloped in a fireball. He leaped into the water, but had serious burns.


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84 30T PeeThirty-Something, 502 powered
 
Posts: 7397 | Location: AZ Central Highlands | Member Since: 01-09-2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Moved Reply:

I just bought a couple of extra extinguishers for our Barth the other day. We saw an almost new coach burn to the ground on the news a while back. The toad's tire blew out and they didn't notire it until it caught fire. The fire spread to the coach. Tire pressure monitors on the toad seem like a great deal along with all of the fire fighting equipment that you can carry.


1999 Airstream Safari 25'
2007 Toyota Tundra
1987 Yamaha YSR toads
 
Posts: 431 | Location: Sovereign Republic of Texas-Beaumont | Member Since: 01-15-2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 11/13
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Moved Reply:

Gee, you guys are scaring me about toad tire fires. Sounds serious.

A long time ago some of us here yakked about a microphone near each toad tire with a speaker in the cockpit. That might give warning that a tire had failed. Certainly a low tire would be detected by a monitor sooner, but probably not a blowout.

Hmmm, maybe we will have to buy tire monitors before the double glazed windows. That dang wannabuy list not only gets longer, it gets shuffled.


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84 30T PeeThirty-Something, 502 powered
 
Posts: 7397 | Location: AZ Central Highlands | Member Since: 01-09-2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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When i took a closer look at the dry chem extinguishers that came with the bus i found out that they were dated 1983 and 1984. I took them to a dumpster and pulled the pins.....one did nothing and the other sprayed for about 5 seconds. If you are interested in Cold Fire and the Doran tire monitor check with Jim Shepard at rvsafteysystems.com he handles both and goes around the country to different rallies putting on safety seminars. Tell him Ed Hackenbruch sent you. Big Grin
 
Posts: 950 | Location: Left side, top to bottom and back again. :>) | Member Since: 09-08-2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 3/12
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Moved Reply:

They are serious Bill, i saw the news about the one that Ed mentioned and 2 years ago at our bus rally i saw a bus like ours that had a toad catch on fire from a tire... The guy was alerted by a passing car and he called the fire dept and told them he was coming. If he had stopped he would have lost his bus. As it was the lenses on the back were melted, the paint was blistered, and the back windows were blackened and cracked. Very scary indeed!!!
 
Posts: 950 | Location: Left side, top to bottom and back again. :>) | Member Since: 09-08-2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Glassnose Aficionado
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 2/09
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Moved Reply:

On my last trip to Campingworld I saw a display for a tire pressure monitoring system for the coach and toads. If I did this this kind of traveling I would definately have this setup.


Dan & Suzy Z
'81 Euro 28 - Slide Show
454 Chevy


Venice, Florida
 
Posts: 3446 | Location: Venice Fl. | Member Since: 07-12-2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
The Old Man and No Barth
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I know of a case where a toad flat burned & started a mile-or-so of mountain burning as it shed bits of burning rubber. The resulting forest fire burned for days. The toad was destroyed, but not the coach, though the last I heard, the owner was fighting a bill from the gummint for the fire fighting.

All these things considered, one can take the belt & suspenders approach too far. You're more likely to get creamed by an out-of-control semi, or having to head for the tules because you were cut off by a kid in a rice rocket, than you are to burn up.

Maintain your equipment, & give those dry powder extinguishers a shake every time you take off. I'm not familiar with "Cold fire," but if the units are compact & not too pricey they sound like a good investment.

If we were seriously scared of fire, we'd never leave home.
 
Posts: 1612 | Location: Upper Left Corner | Member Since: 10-28-2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I also have the Doran tire monitor, also from Jim Sheperd which did alert me to a tire losing air as we were going down the road. Saved me from ruining a tire. Smiler And this summer i got a rearview monitor that has sound so if i have a blow out i should either 1. Hear it. 2. see it. or 3. have the tire monitor alarm alert me. As for fire extinguishers i have four different sizes of the refillable Coldfires in various places in the bus. I also have a bunch of the aerosal can type in the bus and my cars. Years ago i lost almost everything i owned to a fire, don't want to go thru that again so i guess i am a little parinoid about fires.
 
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