FORCES AND MEANS
The car owner does not have a reliable alternative to a fire extinguisher. Koshma is good to extinguish spilled fuel on asphalt. In the engine compartment, it is useless, because it does not isolate the focus from oxygen. Water needs to be poured immediately and a lot - but will the column, fire hydrant or pond be at hand? Automatic fire extinguishing systems work well, but, firstly, they are quite expensive, and secondly, they are not suitable for extinguishing a passenger compartment (they don’t have to explain that they should be filled with foam or sprinkled with powder only after the passengers have been evacuated) and, thirdly, do not eliminate the obligation to have a fire extinguisher on board! The latter produce three types.
Perhaps the most effective is freon. It not only extinguishes the fire, but also sharply knocks down the temperature in the combustion zone. However, to buy a certified copy in our time, alas, will not succeed. The fact is that Russia, having signed the Montreal Protocol in 1987, refused to use freon. The ones on the market are smuggling from non-prohibition countries. Of course, they do not pass checks, and there is no guarantee that the contents will not add oil to the fire.
Carbon dioxide fire extinguisher (UO) contains carbon dioxide in the womb at a pressure of about 70 atm. Simple, reliable, maintenance comes down to regular (once a year) weighing. Leakage is perhaps the only possible malfunction. Another plus - the extinguishing agent does not leave traces and does not provoke corrosion. Unfortunately, do not put out carbon dioxide solid (smoldering) combustible substances, of which there are plenty in the car.
A powder extinguisher (OP) is usually free from this drawback. Moreover, in terms of fire extinguishing ability, it is many times superior to carbon dioxide. But nothing comes in vain - OP requires recharging every 2–5 years. The trouble is that with a loss of pressure, the powder intensively absorbs moisture, gradually turning into a solid. However, the types of failures depend on the device of the fire extinguisher. The most common designs are three. The fire extinguisher with pressure gauge is easy to control. While the arrow is in the green zone, moisture will not penetrate the pressure vessel. However, blindly trusting a delicate device is not worth it - exhausted by shaking and temperature changes, he can eventually lie.
A fire extinguisher with a cylinder of displacing gas to the valves is not demanding - the pressure is "stored" in a high-strength vessel. Visual inspection is not possible - after the warranty period, it will either have to be recharged or replaced with a new one.
A fire extinguisher with a gas generating device is similar to a grenade in principle. But instead of the fuse-detonator, an igniter capsule is used here. He sets fire to the pyrotechnic tablet, and that creates the necessary pressure. The design is reliable, but expensive. In addition, having torn the check and opening the valve, you will have to wait until the chemical process is completed.
As it turned out, special fire extinguishers for cars are not produced - you have to choose the right one from the universal ones. The “abilities” of each are reflected on the label, you only need to correctly decode the characters. OU - means that the fire extinguisher is filled with carbon dioxide, OP - powder. The closest figure is the mass of the extinguishing agent. On board a passenger car, carry at least 2 kg. If you are not a professional in firefighting, it is better to have the same amount in reserve.
The letter in brackets is the displacement method (З - injection; B - cylinder; Г - gas generator). And finally, the set of letters at the end means a class of fires that are “tough” to a given fire extinguisher. A - solid flammable substances, B - flammable liquids, C - flammable gases, E - live electrical equipment. It is better if all four letters are present in the marking. In front of the first two, the fire rank is additionally indicated (before A is usually 1-2, before B - 21–55) - the higher the number, the better. The rest of the abbreviation is not so significant. The label also shows the pictogram of the sequence of use. It is better to study it in advance and in no case do not retreat from it.
Release date is an important reference value, because a fire extinguisher (especially powder) is a perishable product!
A worthy place on the case should be occupied by the certification authority badge. In its absence, references to foreign tolerances are invalid!
Having studied the inscriptions, it is not bad to get acquainted with the certificates. The seller must present two - compliance and fire safety. Both of them are not eternal - the validity period is only three years.
Before you go to the cashier, carefully inspect your favorite copy. A fire extinguisher is a pressure vessel, therefore a metal one is preferable (for gas-generating devices this is a prerequisite). The weight gain is small, and the likelihood of destruction of the body is much lower.
After conferring, we decided that a two-liter injection powder fire extinguisher in a metal case would suit us. It only remained to buy it in a store or, in extreme cases, to find a worthy replacement.
In fact, it is better to purchase fire extinguishers in specialized stores of fire-fighting equipment - like the “01” salon on Kalanchevka in Moscow. But the motorist, not experienced in the intricacies of fire fighting, prefers “Auto Parts”, which are close to the heart, where the non-core accessory, unfortunately, does not enjoy due respect. Having traveled half of Moscow, we found only seven varieties. All of them (with the exception of OU-2) turned out to be too "small-caliber." According to professionals, the extinguishing agent in them (from 400 g to 1 kg) is barely enough to extinguish a matchbox. Nevertheless, we decided to check the purchases in business.
We burn! Of the seven samples, only two are able to honestly fight fire. The idea that unscrupulous suppliers will smolder in fiery hell is little consolation. Is it really necessary to study state standards, symbols and certificates once again? Or maybe it's time for auto plants to produce complete (as required by the Rules) cars? Indeed, most of their owners in the fire business do not understand well …