What Kind of Fire Extinguisher Do I Need For My Truck?The first step in choosing an extinguisher is to consider what kind of fire is most likely to occur when you are using your truck.
Common causes of truck fires are fuel or oil leaks, aftermarket mods, neglected maintenance, or electrical shorts. Manufacturing defects can also lead to truck fires. In 2020, Ford recalled new F-150 trucks out of electrical fire concerns. In early 2021, Dodge recalled some heavy-duty Ram trucks due to an engine fire risk.
These types of fires are classified by UL (Underwriters Laboratory) as class B (flammable liquids) and class C (electrical) fires. So at a minimum, you want a 2B:C UL-rated fire extinguisher. We will cover Underwriters Laboratories in more detail later, and explain why UL ratings are so important.
For most trucks, our HalGuard clean agent extinguisher is ideal. Not only is it B:C rated, but unlike common dry chemical extinguishers, it doesn’t make a mess, is non-corrosive, and will not damage electronics.
What Size Fire Extinguisher Do I Need for My Truck?
The next thing you need to look at is how you use your truck – daily driver, work, off-roading
We recommend a 2.5 lb. HalGuard mounted within reach of the driver. You want it close, as fires can double in size in 30 seconds or less. We’ll cover mounting options later.
If you have a commercial truck there are likely requirements specific to your industry, and we recommend you check with the appropriate authority. Most often, a 5 lb. ABC-rated extinguisher is required. In this case, we recommend the 5 lb. MaxOut 3A:40B:C rated extinguisher.
If you use your truck for off-road activities like overlanding, rock crawling or trail runs, we recommend starting with a 2.5 lb. HalGuard mounted within reach of the driver for engine fires. When you are off the beaten path and far from help, you want to put out an engine fire quickly with minimal cleanup and repair. If you use a dry chemical on your engine, you need to need to clean the corrosive powder as soon as possible to avoid damage.
For Overlanding, we highly recommend supplementing your HalGuard with a MaxOut mounted somewhere in the truck bed, bed cage, MOLLE panel, etc. HalGuard is not as effective as MaxOut is on class A fires, such as wood and grass. Use HalGuard on your vehicle, and MaxOut for fires outside the vehicle.
Check out this video for more details on extinguishers and mounting options for Overlanding.
Truck Fire Extinguisher Mounts
Now that you have a better idea of what extinguisher to get, you may be wondering where you put a fire extinguisher in a truck.
There are three things to keep in mind when mounting an extinguisher in a truck:
1) It must be secure. You don’t want it to come loose in an accident, so avoid Velcro and fabric mounts.
2) Mount at least one extinguisher within reach of the driver. If a driver is trapped in an accident, having access to an extinguisher is important.
3) Make sure the mount is easy to release. Fires can double in size in 30 seconds or less, and you don’t have time to release an extinguisher from its mount.
We recommend mounting a HalGuard in the cab at a minimum. Choose a spot that is easily accessible to the driver.
To ensure you are fully prepared, supplement your HalGuard with a MaxOut. This can also be mounted in the cab if there is room. MOLLE panels, bed racks and roll bars are other good options.
Do You Offer a Truck Fire Extinguisher Mount?
While we do not offer truck-specific mounts, we have many options that our customers use in their trucks.
Our extinguishers come with a sturdy steel bracket, with one or two straps depending on the extinguisher size. These are capable brackets – they are identical to the brackets our sister company sells for use in aircraft.
Additionally, we offer several other mounting solutions:
SEAT MOUNT: These mounts use the truck’s existing seat bolts (front or rear) so you do not have to drill holes. The design allows for many different configurations, even when the seat bolts are not on the same flat plane. View our seat mount installation video in the product page here.
EXTREME DUTY BRACKET: Originally designed for military applications, these mounts are super tough, and feature a quick-release pin and flag combo our customers love. The flat bracket option works great with our seat mount, on MOLLE panels and even on some bed racks. We also have roll bar options for 1 3/4” and 1 5/8” bars.
PROLOCK: These brackets are made from precision-machined billet aluminum with a lever-action locking/release mechanism. They are easy to use and install and look great! The flat surface option works well with the seat mount or on a MOLLE panel. The roll bar option comes in 1 ½”, 1 5/8”, 1 ¾”, and 2” sizes.
Check out the images below for some of our favorite truck extinguisher mount images.
Do I Really Need a Fire Extinguisher in My Truck?
Vehicle fires are more common than you think. In fact, there are more than 19 vehicle fires every hour within the US, and they account for 1 in every 8 calls that fire departments respond to. Without an extinguisher, a small fire can become a large fire very quickly.
You may also need your extinguisher to assist a fellow motorist. We have received many testimonials where a customer has used our extinguisher to help someone in need on the road.
As a bonus, having a HalGuard fire extinguisher means you can put out a fire in your engine without causing any additional damage to your vehicle. Instead of spending your precious time and money on clean-up, you can fix the damaged area and move on.
Additional dangers for truck owners enter into the equation when towing. Dragging safety chains can cause sparks, leading to wildfires. Additionally, if you are hauling toys like ATVs or snowmobiles, you probably also have extra fuel on board, which creates an additional fire risk.
What is a UL Rating and Why Does It Matter?
UL stands for Underwriters’ Laboratories, Inc. UL provides trusted third-party testing and validates that our extinguishers meet or exceed the highest safety standards. In fact, in the US a UL listing is required to sell an extinguisher in many states.
Not only that, UL requires ongoing quality assurance, inspection and recordkeeping for a manufacturer to continue to display the UL mark on a fire extinguisher.
UL also classifies and rates extinguishers based on their ability to put out different types and sizes of fires. You can view the chart below to understand what each classification means.
We hope this blog post has helped clarify any questions you might have about choosing an extinguisher for your truck. If you have additional questions, please send them to email@example.com.