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Fire extinguishers for motorhomes

keen canary

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Please don't consider a foam extinguisher you cannot use them on electrical firs and they make a mess. Powder is the extinguisher which can be used on all fires, but again leaves a real mess. I carry a powder extinguisher and a fire blanket. If I had the internal storage space or wall space for mounting, I would go for a CO2 extinguisher supported by a fire blanket.
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This is what I am intending to replace my powder extinguisher in due course.




It is a water mist which is safe to use in electrical fires as well as the usual range of combustible material based fires. The big benefit is that it leaves no mess unlike powder or foam.


The downside seems to be the more expensive cost. The bigger downside in my view is that a fire in a Motorhome is likely to end with a burnt out wreck since the fires seem to build extremely quickly irrespective of fire fighting equipment available.



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I would contact your local Fire Prevention Officer and ask for advice.


Mine told me to get a fire extinguisher for engine fires He said it might be OK to tackle an engine fire from a distance. He said it wouldn't be sensible to tackle a habitation fire with a fire extinguisher; you get out as quick as you can. He recommended we carried fire blankets in the van, ensure we had uncluttered exit routes, a working fire alarm, and took steps to minimise the risk eg by having our gas and electric systems serviced every year, no candles by curtains in open windows, etc


The FPO went on to say that motorhome fires were very rare but when they happen, most motorhomes are burnt out very quickly, leaving no evidence of the cause.


That verbal advice was for me some years ago. We bought two full length fire blankets from Safelincs, one for the rear, one for the front by the cooker.


When I do change my fire extinguisher (I had one when I spoked to the FPO), I'd consider the mist ones like Davy.

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I have a 2Kg Dry Powder extinguisher I have mounted behind the driver seat (accessible from inside or from outside when door is open, and a JE-50 Extinguisher mounted next to Habitation door and near kitchen area.

See Links..




They were all the rage and talk of the town a few years ago, not sure if they are still regarded in high esteem or not, but are compact and not very heavy so easy to find space for and mount.


Edit. I have a fire blanket as well.

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This 2020 O&AL article includes fire extinguisher advice








My Rapido came with a 1kg dry-powder extinguisher (I understand that a 2kg version is a mandatory standard fitment for new motorhomes built and marketed in France) but, having accidentally triggered an ancient small dry-powder extinguisher in the open air and seen the enormous mess this makes, I decided I’d only use the dry-powder extinguisher on somebody else’s fire...


I bought the 1ltr+ ‘water mist’ extinguisher shown in Davy’s link above, and the Rapido also has a fire blanket and a "Fire Angel" smoke alarm.


(I won in a MMM competition one of the dinky little ‘aerosol’ products Brambles mentions, but that extinguisher lives in our kitchen at home.)


I’ve no certainty if any of my extinguishers would actually function, nor how effective they would be be, but every now and again I mentally ‘practice’ how I might use the extinguisher/blanket in the motorhome if a fire occurred.

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If you look at the advice from various Fire Brigades and Clubs you will get a lot of advice but I don't think it is consistent and you may end up less informed and more confused.

I am not a fire safety expert but I think the logic of a Fire Brigade Professional is that saving life is far more important that saving your motorhome and that is probably why the advice does not major on fighting the fire with an extinguisher or otherwise.

For buildings official advice used to be and probably still is :-

1. Get Out.

2. Stay Out

3. Get the (Fire) Brigade Out.


That said any extinguisher will only be of value if :-

a) It works b) It is the correct type for the fire c) It has sufficient capacity and d) You know how to use it.

Reflecting the above I have a small powder extinguisher in the habitation area and a "big" (2 Litre) Foam Extinguisher in the Cab as well as a Fire Blanket.

Realistically the Foam Extinguisher is most likely to be used for an engine bay fire or helping a third party. The dry powder would only be used in the earliest stages of a small electrical fire so unlikely to actually be any use and probably a false reassurance. On the other hand the fire blanket would be likely to be useful in a cooking fire.


Whatever you decide in terms of buying an extinguisher and/or fire blanket I suggest you also ensure that you have a good smoke alarm and make sure that you maintain it. Specialist companies can advise on suitable types for the particular environment of a motorhome.

If you do buy an extinguisher make sure you know how to use it.


Hope the above helps and to quote a current cliche Stay Safe !!


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This link may be of interest




My own traumatic experience of a dry-powder extinguisher occurred after my elderly neighbour had died and I was clearing out his junk-filled garage in preparation for his house being sold.


Graham had worked as a civil engineer specialising in mining and demolition - he was also an inveterate hoarder.


I discovered chucked in the back of his garage a small blackened portable fire extinguisher that I presume dated back to his working career and, with hindsight, I’m pretty sure the image attached below shows the model. It was in such a badly corroded state that it was difficult to know what type it was or whether it was full or empty.


Being reluctant to dump the extinguisher at the local recycling centre if it was ‘live’, I pointed it out of the garage and struck the (uncovered) knob on the top. Nothing happened, so I inverted the extinguisher and banged the knob hard on the ground. This immediately confirmed that the extinguisher was in working order, as a wide fan-shaped spray of white powder blasted out for about 5 metres and there was no trigger to turn the damn thing off. Took me ages to clean the powder off the tarmac in front of the garage and taught me a salutary lesson.


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We suffered an accidental discharge of a dry powder extinguisher inside our last MH, when a guest somehow kicked under his seat as he was sitting down and triggered it off. There was an instantaneous clouding of the atmosphere, like a dense fog had formed, due to the powder being discharged and none of us could see a thing for a few seconds. It took me a while to work out what had happened. Apart from that it wasn't too bad; neither my wife nor I can remember any great difficulty cleaning up afterwards. Perhaps it wasn't a very big extinguisher.


Our current MH has a dry powder extinguisher near both habitation and driver's doors and we have a fire blanket hung between kitchen and habitation door where it can be grabbed if necessary and thrown over a flaming cooking pot. Happily we have had neither fires nor accidental discharges since that one experience many years ago.

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I've had to use one 'in anger' for a car fire, what a mess, Stuart many (all?) ones that are carried in cars and motorhomes have a trigger guard of some sort, I've had ones which have a plastic 'wedge' that needs pulling, and others where the trigger is locked off when on it's holder, so you must have been dislodged or knocked off the frame, usually as soon as the trigger is released the powder stops, so it must have been just a quick spurt or else you would have remembered the clean up.
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My motorhome came with a Dry Powder extinguisher as standard fitted behind the passenger seat.


Some years ago I tested a dry powder outside that was being thrown out, blimey what a mess....!


Then recently we had our local FPO into work and he demonstrated all the different types. The dry powder still makes an amount of mess that means you would never use it unless life depended on it, it would be easier to let your moho burn and get the insurance money....!


The "cleanest" was CO2 so I bought one on line, the smallest you can get in the UK at 2kg, but when it came it was too big for the van so it is now in our hall cupboard for home use.


So I bought a fire blanket and a 600gram foam extinguisher for by the back door and 2kg foam which fits in the existing holder behind the passenger seat. The foam didn't look like too much mess to clean up. I note that it isn't suitable for electric but figure a gas related fire is far more likely for us....

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