A Guide to Vehicle Fire Extinguishers

Sep 2, 2022

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Firstly, a lot of people aren’t familiar with vehicle fire extinguishers and their benefits. In this blog, we will cover the importance of purchasing a vehicle fire extinguisher. Additionally, we will inform you which fire extinguisher is more suitable for your vehicle. For example, car fire extinguishers are typically dry powder agents.

Unnecessary Expense?

Secondly, many view vehicle fire extinguishers as an unnecessary expense. Although many have this view, vehicle fire extinguishers are inexpensive and may even save your life. Vehicle fire extinguishers are actually a great investment.

This blog isn’t just targeted at commercial use, domestic car fire extinguishers are vital. Nearly 300 vehicles go up in flames every single day in the UK. That equates to over 100,000 cars per year.

Generally, if your vehicle catches fire it’s often accidental. If it’s deliberately set alight, vehicle fire extinguishers could still prevent or slow the spread whilst those close to the vehicle evacuate.

Important to note, car fire extinguishers need to be accessed quickly in an emergency so be mindful of the location.

vehicle fire

What Is A Vehicle Fire Extinguisher?

A fire extinguisher is an active, portable fire protection device used to extinguish or control small fires. Generally, they do this through the use of water, foam, CO2 or dry powder agents.

What Is A Vehicle Fire Extinguisher Used For?

Vehicle fire extinguishers are designed to extinguish small fires associated with vehicle combustibles including cloth, petrol or batteries. It is NOT intended for use on an out-of-control fire, such as one which has reached a point that endangers the user.

Bentley Car Fire Extinguisher

What Does A Vehicle Fire Extinguisher Look Like?

Typically, car fire extinguishers are hand-held cylindrical pressure vessels containing an agent which can be discharged to extinguish a fire.

Vehicle fire extinguishers manufactured with non-cylindrical pressure vessels also exist. However, these are less common and are typically used in boat engine rooms.

Some fire extinguishers are fitted with a hose and nozzle to direct the discharge.

Powder Fire Extinguisher

What Does A Vehicle Fire Extinguisher Contain?

The combustible agent used differs depending on the end application and is typically available in water, foam, dry chemical and CO2 variants. Fire extinguishers for none vehicle use can be either portable or permanently installed.

Who Needs A Vehicle Fire Extinguisher?

A fire extinguisher is an important thing to have in your house, work premises or even vehicle. It can save lives if used correctly, and it’s easy enough for anyone to use. The best way to keep everyone safe is by making sure everyone knows where the fire extinguisher is located, how to use it properly, and when not to use it at all.

If you ever find yourself dealing with a fire, make sure that everyone gets out of the vehicle or premises immediately before calling 999.

What Fire Extinguisher Do I Need?

Currently, in the UK there is no legislation for private cars to carry car fire extinguishers, however, around two cars in every thousand catch fire each year. Commercial vehicles may be required to carry an ABC dry powder extinguisher if transporting dangerous goods.

OHEAP recommends vehicle fire extinguishers should be ABC dry powder extinguishants. ABC dry powders are capable of tackling solid, liquid and gas fires meaning you’re covered for most vehicle fire situations.

    Car Fire Extinguishers

    Car fire extinguishers are a crucial piece of equipment for everyone. In fact, it is a must-have for any vehicle. Vehicle fire extinguishers can be used to put out small fires. We can prevent them from spreading further than they otherwise would have been able to on their own.

    Bentley Car Fire Extinguisher

    We understand it may seem like an unnecessary addition to your car. However, fire extinguishers are actually one of the most useful pieces of equipment that can be found in a car. The main cause of vehicle fires is faulty wiring following electrical repairs, however, even a small collision can cause a vehicle fire.

    What We Recommend For Your Car

    In a car, we recommend an ABC dry powder fire extinguisher.

    If you own a standard car or taxi, then you should invest in the following:

    • Company Cars: Dry Powder Minimum 600g, 1kg or 2kg.
    • Taxis: ABC Dry Powder 1kg or 2kg.
    • Foam extinguishers can also be used, however, it’s less common.

    Although 600g of ABC dry powder is sufficient, some people will opt for 1kg or 2kg when purchasing car fire extinguishers.

    Powder Fire ExtinguisherPowder Fire Extinguisher

    Securing Your Car Fire Extinguishers

    Car fire extinguishers should be secured with a bracket in the boot if possible to avoid damage to the unit. If the extinguisher is located in the boot then the driver and passengers are forced to exit the vehicle to operate the unit.

    For those who use their vehicle as a workplace, it may be worth speaking to your manager regarding this as they may purchase the extinguisher on your behalf.

    Need to know the best fire extinguisher for your home?

    Van Fire Extinguishers

    It is important to install van fire extinguishers. If you have a commercial vehicle, it is a legal requirement that you have at least one van fire extinguisher onboard.

    Van Fire Extinguisher

    The same applies to all other types of commercial vehicles, including trucks and lorries. Fire extinguishers can be used to put out fires in vans and other types of commercial vehicles, which means they are extremely useful for saving lives if your van catches fire while on the road.

    What We Recommend For Your Van

    • Vans: ABC Dry Powder 2kg.

    Powder Fire Extinguisher

    Why Purchase A Fire Extinguisher For Your Van?

    There are many reasons why you might need a fire extinguisher in your van. It could be because you have an electrical fault or it could be that one of your employees accidentally threw out some rubbish which caught alight. Whatever the reason, it is important to ensure that you have at least one fire extinguisher inside every vehicle as part of a comprehensive health and safety policy for all staff who drive company vehicles.

    Heavy Goods Vehicle Fire Extinguishers

    When it comes to fire safety, you cannot afford to be caught short. You may have heard enough through this blog, vehicle fire extinguishers are an important piece of equipment for any HGV driver or owner.

    HGV Fire Extinguisher

    But what type of extinguisher would be best for your heavy goods vehicle?

    What We Recommend For Your HGV

    Generally, in a heavy goods vehicle, we recommend a 2kg powder. This extinguisher is capable of tackling a huge range of fires which could occur in a larger vehicle carrying a variety of cargo.

    • Heavy Goods Vehicle: Powder Extinguisher 2kg

    Powder Fire Extinguisher

    Please store extinguishers in the cab using a secure bracket.

    Even if you know that you need a good quality heavy goods vehicle fire extinguisher, you may not know where to start when it comes time to buy one.

    Minibus Fire Extinguishers

    Fire extinguishers are not intended to put out a fire that has spread beyond its original location. This is because they are designed to work by cooling and smothering the flames, which makes them ineffective against an out-of-control blaze. So what do we recommend for your minibus?

    Mini Bus Fire Extinguisher

    What We Recommend For Your Minibus

    • Mini Buses (Mandatory): AFFF Foam Extinguisher 2L.

    Foam Fire Extinguisher Small Foam Fire Extinguisher

    If you’re looking for the best fire extinguisher for your minibus, look no further than a foam agent. You can find these types of extinguishers at OHEAP Fire & Security.

    Why Choose Foam For Your Minibus?

    Firstly, minibuses often have many different types of materials in them that could be considered “combustible.” As such, it’s important to ensure that your minibus has an appropriate level of protection against all potential hazards.

    Secondly, the recommended minimum size for vehicle fire extinguishers is 2 kilograms or litres, but there are some situations where larger extinguishers may be needed. These extinguishers are class A and meet minimum standards of 5A with 8A being recommended.

    Lastly, if you’re a public transport vehicle then you may have additional regulations to adhere to based on the local authority.

    Caravan Fire Extinguishers

    Caravans are a great way to enjoy the great outdoors, but they can also be dangerous. Fires in caravans can be extremely dangerous, which is why it’s vital to have fire extinguishers on board.

    Firstly, caravan fires are more common than you might imagine and can have devastating consequences for both your home and your belongings.

    Caravan Fire Extinguisher

    What We Recommend For Your Caravan

    When choosing a fire extinguisher for your caravan, you should opt to use water mist extinguishers.

    • Caravans: Water Mist Extinguisher 1 or 2 litre.

    Small Water Mist Fire ExtinguisherLarge Water Mist Fire Extinguisher

    Water mist has the ability to tackle class A, B and C fires as well as electrical fires. ABC dry powder extinguishers can also be used, however, use them with caution as these cannot be used in confined spaces. Water mist extinguishers are compact and leave no residue to clean up after use.

    A fire extinguisher is an active fire protection device used to extinguish or control small fires, often in emergency situations. It is not intended for use on an out-of-control fire, such as one which has reached the ceiling or endangers the user.

    Where To Put A Fire Extinguisher In Your Caravan?

    A caravan fire extinguisher should be small, lightweight and easy to store in several places around your caravan. The best place to store a caravan fire extinguisher is on the kitchen countertop or inside a cupboard. It’s also important that you have an extra extinguisher stored in your bedroom so that you can reach it easily if a fire breaks out while you are sleeping.

    With a fire extinguisher in place, you can rest easier knowing that if a fire breaks out, you are ready to put it out. This will result in less damage to your caravan, as well as ensure that your family and pets are safe from harm.

      Vehicle Fire Extinguisher Tips

      On average 1,400 fires occur in caravans per year. That’s why it’s important to keep vehicle fire extinguishers on hand when travelling with your caravan or motorhome. We’ve got all the information you need about choosing the right type of extinguisher for your vehicle as well as some tips on what to do if things do go wrong.

      The Tips

      • Smoke alarms and testing
      • Plan your escape route
      • Carbon monoxide detectors
      • Fire extinguishers and fire blankets
      • Check boilers and electrical appliances
      • Keep BBQs away from the caravan

        Why You Should Have an Extinguisher in Your Vehicle

        If you are driving in the city, it’s a good idea to have a fire extinguisher in your car. Additionally, fire extinguishers can be used to put out small fires. Larger fires can be tackled too if possible, however, we cannot recommend this as it’s safer to wait for the professionals in that situation.

        A fire extinguisher is one of the most important tools you can have with you at all times if something goes wrong. This tool can control small fires that start accidentally.

          vehicle fire

          Classifications of Fire, The Detail

          There are six different classifications of fire, each caused by a different combustible. Dependent on the material that has combusted, you will be required to use a different fire extinguisher.

          Firstly, it’s important to stress that vehicle fire extinguishers are only useful in certain situations. If it’s safe to approach the vehicle, everyone has evacuated and you’re confident then use the extinguisher. Often it is far safer to evacuate the vehicle and await the emergency fire services. Car fire extinguishers should be kept in a safe, secured place in your car boot.

          Fire Extinguisher Classifications:

          To help make the right decision for your business, we have produced this extensive guide.

          • Class A fires are caused by combustible solid materials: Wood, paper and fabric.
          • Class B fires are caused by combustible liquid materials: Petrol, turpentine and paint.
          • Class C fires are caused by combustible gases materials: Hydrogen, butane or methane.
          • Class D fires are combustible metals: Magnesium, aluminium or potassium.
          • Class E fires are caused by combustible electronics: once the electrical item is removed, the fire changes class.
          • Class F fires are caused by combustible cooking fats: chip pan fires and oils


            We have now discussed what you need to know about vehicle fire extinguishers. It is important for employees to know how to use them and where they are located so that in case of an emergency they can act quickly and efficiently.

            They are also often required by law in commercial vehicles such as minibuses, which means it is necessary for businesses who own these types of vehicles to act now. Ensure you are protected against fires occurring while travelling around the UK.

            We hope that this article has helped to give you a better understanding of the different types of fire extinguishers available for use in your vehicle. If you need any more information or advice about choosing the correct type of extinguisher for your vehicle, please contact us today.

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