Fire Protection
  • Fire extinguishers require periodic inspections. MH vibrations does not keep powder loose: it packs it, making it useless.
  • BC - Dry powder: Turn it upside-down and shake it to lose powder. Test: turn the extinguisher upside down and tap on the bottom. It should sound drum-like. If not, the powder has settled. Tap it until it sounds hollow and then gently drop it from a height of a few inches. It should bounce slightly.
  • To determine whether the pressure remains satisfactory, check the pressure gauge or test pin. Do not "test" the unit by partially discharging it.
  • The dry chemical extinguishing agent can be corrosive and may damage the very objects that you are trying to protect. Cleaning the objects as quickly as possible after the fire is out will limit damage.
  • RV has multiple windows as safety exits in case of fire. Know where and how to use them, if door is blocked.
  • Lots of info: cause of fires: transmission (install heat indicator) and 35% from 12V electricity.
  • A — common combustible (wood, paper etc.) 46% of these fires are successfully put out.
  • Most of the RV fires will be class A; B — flammable or combustible liquids (gas, transmission fluid, brake fluid,). Diesel fuel is a now considered a flammable liquid. 45% of these are successfully put out;
  • C — energized electrical, 110, 120, or 240 volts. Only 8% of these are successfully put out. Cut the fire off from its source — i.e. unplug whatever is afire, and the fire becomes a class A fire;
  • K cooking grease

Common causes of fire:

  • leaking fuel lines and connections
  • shorts in the 12-volt electrical system
  • refrigerator fires (when refilling LPG and pilot is on, or during travel)
  • pinhole fuel-line leaks in diesel-pusher engine compartments
  • dry wheel bearings in 5th wheels and trailers
  • Best for average RV use: Foam extinguisher rated for AB (non-corrosive), cheap based on sodium bicarbonate. Have a box of baking soda around kitchen.
  • ColdFire Wetting Agent, from Cold Fire Super System: available in handheld extinguishers that are effective and environmentally friendly.
  • Foam/Wetting Agent from FireAde2000: combines the benefits of six chemical technologies all in one product.
  • Common cheap ABC (Monoammonium Phosphate) is bad on "A" fire, hazmat, and corrosive.
  • CO2 and Halon-based extinguishers are bad for RV: dispersed by wind.
  • color screen for the towed car camera monitor: fire from toad's tires. Practice detaching your towed in 15 seconds or less.
  • Smoke, LP gas and CO detectors are needed.
  • Smoke detector with a hush button: if it start beeping when cooking, hush it for 15 minutes, restarts automatically.
  • dual-sensor, battery-operated smoke alarm by Kidde, which uses both photoelectric and ionization sensors: Photoelectric sensing alarms may detect visible fire particles (associated with smoldering fires) sooner than ionization sensing alarms, while ionization sensing alarms may detect invisible fire particles (associated with flaming fires) sooner than photoelectric sensing alarms.
  • Fire starts at the front and moves to rear, and is "A" type (wood/paper), BC extinguisher is no good. A should go inside, BC under - basement compartment. Need 5: BC in driver area, kitchen, basement and/or toad, A in bedroom, and close to entrance.
  • If you cannot extinguish fire in 30-60 sec, it is over - get away, call help.
  • if your refrigerator catches fire, McCoy says, "Get out."
  • Aluminum pots will melt and burn: use steel.
  • RV has small volume - heating can quickly use up oxygen. Catalytic heaters should be vented too. Get CO/CO2 detectors to turn them off.
  • Repair oil leaks: transmission oil can burn: clean and fix leaks. If fire, make holes in hood to make contact with source.
  • When refilling, ask to test it is special area.
  • if you have a quick-disconnect fitting on your water hookup, these hoses can be unhooked instantly and be used as a tool to fight a fire. If a nearby vehicle is burning and you cannot move your coach but can safely stay close enough to keep it hosed down, you may be able to save it.
  • After a long haul involving a steep grade, don't come to a stop and turn your engine off without allowing your vehicle time to cool down. Your transmission fuel temperature could be around 350 degrees, and your brakes will definitely be too hot to allow a quick stop. Turning your engine off too suddenly causes the temperature in your transmission to continue to rise. With your engine off, your coolant is no longer bleeding the heat from your engine. Instead, allow for a five-minute cool-down period. (idling if needed)
  • Hot exhaust pipe from your engine or generator can also run hot enough to start a fire if you drive in high, dry weeds

More info and links to video with RV on fire.

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