Hi,
How can we help?

  • The importance of a fire extinguisher for your automobile
  • H3R Performance fire extinguisher features and benefits
  • Legal requirements for fire extinguishers
  • How to choose the right fire extinguisher
  • Reseller product liability
  • Where to install a fire extinguisher
  • Where to purchase H3R Performance products
  • How to use a fire extinguisher
  • Inspection and maintenance
  • How to ship a fire extinguisher
  • Fire extinguisher links
  • Recreational vehicles
  • Where can H3R Performance ship its products?
Do I need a fire extinguisher for my car?

According the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), U.S. public fire departments in 2015 responded to an estimated 174,000 highway-type vehicle fires. These fires claimed 445 lives and caused $1.2 million in direct property damage. NFPA estimates that one (17%) of every six reported fires involves a highway-type vehicle and 13% of all civilian fire deaths. On average, more than 30 highway vehicle fires were reported per hour. More than two-thirds of highway vehicle fires resulted from mechanical or electrical failures or malfunctions.

Highway vehicles include cars, trucks, motorcycles and other vehicles commonly driven on roads or highways.

Why should you purchase an H3R Performance fire extinguisher?

H3R Performance's sister company, H3R Aviation, has a long history in the aviation industry, known for its rigorous safety standards. In addition, H3R Performance has a reputation for producing quality products and standing behind them. We encourage everyone to be prepared in the event disaster strikes, and a quality, UL listed fire extinguisher is an important part of any disaster preparedness kit.

Why a UL listing is important

The reputation of Underwriters' Laboratories, Inc. for testing for the public safety is renowned (see www.ul.com). The UL® Mark is a positive representation that the extinguisher meets or exceeds the requirements of the NFPA 10, ANSI/UL 711 and ANSI/UL 299 safety standards. It is a valuable independent third-party validation of an extinguisher's compliance with these requirements that enable the product to be legally sold in most states.

UL does more than allow a manufacturer to display the UL® Mark on a fire extinguisher. An integral part of this authorization is a continuous process of scrutiny by UL of the manufacturer's manufacturing and quality assurance processes by regular on site inspections of the manufacturing facilities, QC controls and recordkeeping. All of this adds up to an increased level of comfort that the fire extinguisher will perform, and will protect life and property.

What do UL fire classifications mean?

Underwriters Laboratories (UL) classifies and rates fire extinguishers on their ability to put out various classes and sizes of fires.

Each class of fire will require an appropriate class of fire extinguisher. Some extinguishers can be rated for more than one class of fire and carry multiple class designations.  The presence of the letter "C" indicates that the extinguishing agent is non-conductive. Class "C" fire will typically turn into an  "A" or "B" class fire once an electrical current is shut-off.

The icons below indentify common fire classifications in the U.S.A. An extinguisher of a corresponding class should put out a fire with minimal adverse effects. However, using an extinguisher on a fire type that it is not rated for can lead to severe consequences. 

Fire Classification Description Icon
A ORDINARY COMBUSTIBLES: wood, paper, cloth, trash and other ordinary materials.
B FLAMMABLE LIQUIDS & GASES: gasoline, oils, paint lacquer and tar.
C FIRES INVOLVING LIVE ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT.
D COMBUSTIBLE METALS OR COMBUSTIBLE METAL ALLOYS
K FIRES IN COOKING APPLIANCES THAT INVOLVE COOKING MEDIA: animal or vegetable oils and fats

UL assigns a numerical rating before the letter classification to denote the size of a given type of fire that an extinguisher can extinguish. For example, a 10B:C fire extinguisher has twice the firefighting capacity against a flammable liquid and/or electrical fire as a 5B:C extinguisher (Note: "C" class fire extinguishers do not have a numerical rating).

H3R Performance Class B:C extinguishers are most appropriate for the types of fires likely to occur in an automotive environment.

What are the different fire extinguisher ratings?

H3R Performance offers two types of fire extinguishers: MaxOut™- dry chemical type extinguisher and HalGuard™ (Halotron 1) - clean agent type extinguisher.

Feature Clean Agent Type (Halotron 1) Dry Chemical Type
Effectiveness on B and C class fires by content weight Good (2.5 lbs achieves a 2B:C rating) Very good (2.5 lbs achieves a 1A:10B:C rating). However, does not have the heat seeking capability of Halotron.
Damage/ Necessary Clean-up after use None. Leaves no corrosive residue and doesn't damage surface finishes or electrical. Damage to surface finishes and electrical from corrosive powder. Immediate clean up is necessary.
Environmental Concerns Low Global Warming Potential, low Ozone Depletion Potential, short Atmospheric Lifetime. No damage to ozone.
Overall Rating and Conclusions Halotron is an effective, environmentally responsible alternative to ozone depleting agents that are no longer produced. Dry Chemical extinguishers' inexpensive initial cost, and effectiveness on easy-to-access B and C class fires are somewhat offset by the potential for messy and costly corrosive damage.
Are MaxOut and HalGuard extinguishers legal in all 50 states?

UL listed MaxOut™ and HalGuard™ fire extinguishers offer serious protection in case of a vehicle fire and, unlike non-UL listed extinguishers on the market, they are legal in all 50 states.

HalGuard™ is a premium "clean agent" extinguisher, and uses a specifically formulated chemical called Halotron 1. HalGuard is intended to replace Halon 1211 in streaming applications. NFPA 2001, "Standard on Clean Agent Fire Extinguishing Systems" defines a "Clean Agent" to be "electrically non-conducting, volatile, or gaseous fire extinguisher that does not leave a residue upon evaporation." Halotron is a safe, effective, environmentally acceptable replacement for Halon 1211. It is discharged as a liquid that rapidly evaporates. Halotron is a proprietary three-component chemical blend based on HCFC-123. The product is perfect for protecting classic collector, high performance, tuner, and race cars. Clean agent fire extinguishers are also the product of choice for protecting aircraft, computer rooms and other highly sensitive electronic equipment.

HalGuard™ summary:

  • A size for every need. Place behind your vehicle seat, in your car's glove compartment, garage, etc.
  • Fully rechargeable
  • Attack fire in hard-to-reach areas
  • Do not cause thermal or static shock when discharged
  • Leave no corrosive residue
  • Maintain good user visibility during discharge
  • Come with aviation brackets for secure mounting to vehicles or walls
  • All metal valve construction
  • Available in 1.4 lb., 2.5 lb., 5 lb., 11 lb., and 15.5 lb. refillable cylinders.

MaxOut™ is a proven dry chemical extinguisher line that helps put out fires likely to occur in an automotive environment. Like HalGuard, MaxOut,extinguishers are compact, attractive and easy to carry in a vehicle.

MaxOut™ summary:

  • A size for every need. Place behind your vehicle seat, in your car's glove compartment, garage, etc.
  • Fully rechargeable
  • Are the industry standard, and very effective
  • Do not cause thermal or static shock when discharged
  • Come with aviation brackets for secure mounting to vehicles or walls
  • All metal valve construction
  • Available in 1.0 lb., 2.5 lb. and 5 lb. refillable red, black or chrome-plated bottles.
What is HalGuard?

HalGuard is our premium clean agent fire extinguisher line containing Halotron 1. Halotron 1 is a clean fire-extinguishing agent intended to replace Halon 1211 in streaming applications. NFPA 2001, "Standard on Clean Agent Fire Extinguishing Systems" defines a "Clean Agent" to be "electrically non-conducting, volatile, or gaseous fire extinguishant that does not leave a residue upon evaporation." Halotron is a safe, effective, environmentally acceptable replacement for Halon 1211. It is discharged as a liquid that rapidly evaporates. Halotron is a proprietary three-component chemical blend based on HCFC-123. 

What makes a fire extinguisher illegal?

Many states require that a fire extinguisher be UL Listed in order to be legally offered for sale, and State Fire Marshals in CA, CT, NV and TX have most recently taken action. See this link for action taken by the California State Fire Marshal.

For a person to lawfully market, distribute, or sell a fire extinguisher in California, the extinguisher must:

  • Comply with the requirements in the National Fire Protection Association's NFPA 10
  • Have been examined by and bear the label of Underwriters' Laboratories Inc. or another testing laboratory approved by the state fire marshal as qualified to test fire extinguishers. (Cal. Health & Safety Code, sections 13160-13161).
What is NFPA 10?

The National Fire Protection Association's "NFPA 10," "Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers" specifies minimum requirements that must be met for a fire extinguisher to be considered safe. The requirements in NFPA 10 acquire the force of law in states by virtue of adoption or reference in states statutes, regulations, or through references in building and fire codes that are the law in those states.

Regarding dry chemical portable fire extinguishers, NFPA 10 requires the following:

Section 1.3.1 states, "Portable fire extinguishers used to comply with this standard shall be listed and labeled and shall meet or exceed all requirements of one of the fire test standards and one of the performance standards shown below:" 

  • Fire Test Standard-ANSI/UL 711, Standard for Rating and Fire Testing of Extinguishers, and
  • Fire Performance Standard-ANSI/UL 299, Standard for Dry Chemical Fire Extinguishers.
  • "Listed" in NFPA 10 means "equipment, materials, or services included in a list published by an organization that is acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction and concerned with evaluation of products or services, that maintains periodic inspection of production of listed equipment or materials or periodic evaluation of services, and whose listing states that either the equipment, material, or service meets appropriate designated standards or has been tested and found suitable for a specified purpose."
  • "Labeled" in NFPA 10 means "equipment or materials to which has been attached a label, symbol, or other identifying mark of an organization that is acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction and concerned with product evaluation of products or services, that maintains periodic inspection of production of labeled equipment or materials, and by whose labeling the manufacturer indicates compliance with appropriate standards or performance in a specified manner."

 

Section 1.3.2 of NFPA 10 states, "The identification of the listing and labeling organization, the fire test, and the performance standard that the fire extinguisher meets or exceeds shall be clearly marked on each extinguisher." 

  • Use of the term "shall" in NPFA 10 denotes a mandatory requirement.
What are common causes of a vehicle fire?

Short circuits, leaking fluids and faulty fuel delivery systems are common causes of engine fires. Fires can also start in exhaust manifolds, catalytic converters and brakes. Fires also often begin in garages where vehicles are stored and worked on and can quickly engulf a vehicle. Flammable liquids are common in garages and one spark from a power tool is all that is needed for ignition. Used cleaning rags left in a poorly ventilated area can, and often do, spontaneously combust.

How to choose a fire extinguisher for my vehicle?

A fire extinguisher is an often forgotten "must have" for any car or truck owner. Here are some tips to consider when choosing an extinguisher.

Primary considerations:

  • Effectiveness of the extinguisher in putting out the type and size of fire you might need to extinguish (see Question 9)
  • Storage space and weight limitations
  • Acceptable level of damage to your garage or vehicle (surface finishes, electrical system/machinery) and necessary clean-up caused by the fire extinguishing agent
  • Cost (initial and potential)
  • Environmental concerns
What size fire extinguisher do I need?

The 1lb. and 2.5 lb. sizes for both MaxOut and HalGuard are most popular. Generally speaking, if budget and space allow, it is best to purchase more than one unit, and in the largest size. Many purchase one HalGuard and one MaxOut. They use the clean agent HalGuard as the first line of defense, and turn to the more powerful, but messy MaxOut as a last resort.

Is the extinguisher for my car different than the one in my office or home?

Typical home fire extinguishers are inexpensive red dry chemical units. Premium MaxOut dry chemical extinguishers, available in red or chrome, offer a premium option for consumers looking for an upscale alternative, with metal used for all key components, and black and chrome options.

Office fire extinguishers are mandated by the local fire authority, and are usually large red dry chemical extinguishers of commercial quality. HalGuard Premium Clean Agent extinguishers can supplement the required dry chemical extinguishers and allow the business to avoid damaging expensive electronic equipment.

What liability issues does a retailer/distributor have in distributing illegal fire extinguishers?

Every product seller faces product liability exposure for the sale of an unreasonably dangerous product. This legal theory is called strict tort liability and responsibility is placed on a product seller even though the seller is not negligent. The responsibility is based upon the product's condition at the time the retailer makes the sale-i.e, the extinguisher's design, suitability for its intended use, adequacy of testing, instructions, warnings, presence of any production defects, express and implied warranties, etc.

Although a retailer may be drawn into product litigation, in many cases the retailer is entitled to recover its losses (excluding its attorneys' fees) from the person in the commercial chain who created the defect. This is most often the manufacturer who exercises control over the extinguisher's design, production, testing and marketing. The question to ask is, "Will the manufacturer be financially able to reimburse the retailer for these costs?"

An extinguisher's price is not the only factor for a retailer to consider. The retailer has a genuine financial interest in whether the extinguisher is legal to sell, as well as the extinguisher manufacturer's quality assurance programs, design and production competence, level of its own insurance coverage, financial strength, business integrity and the performance and reliability of its units. The quality of the manufacturer and its extinguisher do matter. Lack of quality will translate into costs, perhaps very substantial costs, for the retailer.

An overseas manufacturer presents additional concerns discussed in the next section. Many overseas manufacturers are beyond the reach of the U.S. courts, so the retailer becomes the main target defendant in the event of a loss. The retailer is forced to defend an extinguisher it did not design, manufacture, test, prepare warnings and instructions for, all without the ready assistance of the overseas manufacturer. And like the plaintiff the retailer cannot bring the overseas manufacturer into the case, to shoulder the defense burden and costs, due to the jurisdictional limits.

Whose responsibility is a product recall?

A fire extinguisher is viewed by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission ("CPSC") as a consumer product, and thus fire extinguishers are subject to the product recall requirements in the Consumer Product Protection Act, 15 USC 2051 et seq. The Act imposes recall responsibility on the manufacturer and any seller of a consumer product with a defect that creates a substantial product hazard. (15 USC 2064). If the manufacturer of an extinguisher is insolvent, bankrupt, out of business, under-insured, or beyond U.S. jurisdiction, it is the retailer who may be called on by the CPSC to conduct the recall, compensate the customers, replace the product and pay the associated costs.

Where to install a fire extinguisher?

All fire extinguishers should be securely mounted to prevent it from becoming a projectile in an accident.

Mount the extinguisher in a visible and easy to reach location. The bracket should be affixed to a solid, stable surface. The most common places to mount a fire extinguisher are in front of and behind the seat. Be careful not to use fasteners anywhere near fuel lines.

H3R Performance also offers Universal Fire Extinguisher Seat Mounts. These highly adjustable mounting platforms can be fitted to seat mount bolts of most vehicles to avoid having to drill into the vehicle itself.

If your vehicle is equipped with a roll bar, our NHRA-accepted, quick-release, Extreme Duty Roll Bar Mounts or Billet Aluminum Roll Bar Mounts are a convenient option.

Where can I purchase H3R Performance products?

H3R Performance products can be purchased from all major automotive aftermarket wholesalers and retailers (locate a dealer here) or from H3RPerformanc.com.

How to use a fire extinguisher?

Note: The following instructions are of a general nature, intended to familiarize the user with the basic operating techniques of H3R hand portable extinguishers. All operate by removing the ring (safety) pin and squeezing the handles together. Since extinguishers differ, the extinguisher nameplate must be consulted for specific procedures and starting distances.

The operating instructions for H3R Performance fire extinguishers are clearly noted on the extinguisher label, and in the Owner's Manual that came with the extinguisher.

1. HOLD THE EXTINGUISHER UPRIGHT AND TWIST AND PULL THE RING PIN breaking the plastic seal.

 

 2. STAND BACK 8 FEET FROM THE FIRE and AIM AT THE BASE OF THE FIRE NEAREST YOU.

 

 3. Keeping the extinguisher UPRIGHT, SQUEEZE THE HANDLES                      TOGETHER to discharge and SWEEP FROM SIDE TO SIDE. Move closer  as the fire is extinguished but not so close as to scatter the burning  material or liquid.

 
4. When the fire is out, back away while watching for possible re-ignition.

5. Evacuate and ventilate the area immediately after use. The fumes and smoke from any fire may be hazardous and can be deadly.

Note: WHENEVER POSSIBLE, PROTECTIVE CLOTHING AND BREATHING EQUIPMENT SHOULD BE USED WHILE FIGHTING A FIRE.

1. HOLD EXTINGUISHER UPRIGHT AND PULL THE RING (SAFETY) PIN

2. STAND BACK FROM THE FIRE AND AIM AT THE BASE OF THE FIRE NEAREST YOU

3. SQUEEZE HANDLES TOGETHER AND SWEEP THE EXTINGUISHER STREAM SIDE TO SIDE

REMEMBER THIS SIMPLE WORD: PASS

PULL
AIM
SQUEEZE
SWEEP

 
The following video was created by the Fire Equipment Manufacturers' Association to train viewers to learn how to assess a potential fire situation and how to use a fire extinguisher in the event of a fire emergency.
 

If I have a vehicle fire, should I attempt to put it out myself?

It is important to carry a fire extinguisher in automobiles for a number of reasons. The response time needed for "the professionals" to arrive on the scene is one. Car crashes and fires don't happen next to a fire station, and have no exact address to give to the responding department. Fires grow in size at a geometric rate. Every second you wait to attempt extinguishment means the fire is larger and the chances of extensive property damage increases and the chances of extinguishment diminish, even if the fire department arrives with several hundred gallons of water. Every second you wait to attempt extinguishment also imperils anyone trapped inside a burning automobile. When someone is trapped inside a burning auto, it is not always possible to extinguish the fire, and sometimes a fire will re-flash due to hot engine parts and/or an electrical spark that keeps re-igniting a fire, or the fuel continues to leak from a broken fuel line. Just keeping a fire at bay by repeatedly extinguishing it to keep it small and away from the occupants long enough for them to escape or for help to arrive is a consideration. There have been numerous news stories of such incidents. In some, as many as 20 extinguishers from passing motorists or nearby businesses have been used to keep a small fire at bay until someone could be extracted from a crashed auto.

Importantly, if someone can extinguish a fire when it is small, the professional fire fighters who respond will not have to risk their own lives to attempt to extinguish a larger fire.

There is a precedent for having fire extinguishers in motorized vehicles. The US Coast Guard requires a fire extinguisher on every boat over a certain size. One of the reasons is that the professionals cannot get to a boat in time to extinguish it or to rescue those on board a small boat before it is completely consumed in a fire. The same is really true of automobiles. What do you suppose the response time is for a fire department that is called out on a fire on the interstate highway?

Where can I get my extinguisher recharged?

In addition to undergoing a 6-year maintenance and a 12-year hydrostatic test conducted by a licensed fire service company, any gauged fire extinguisher must be recharged after any use, or if the pressure gauge indicator falls outside of the green range (see NFPA 10).

H3R Performance does not recharge fire extinguishers. If you have trouble locating a fire service company in your area that can service your HalGuard or MaxOut fire extinguisher, please contact us for assistance.

What are the inspection and maintenance requirements?

The UL label on UL listed fire extinguishers directs that you "Install, inspect, maintain and test your fire extinguisher in accordance with the National Fire Protection Assoc. Standard No. 10 "Portable Fire Extinguishers."

INSPECTION should be performed monthly or more frequently if circumstances dictate. The extinguisher should be checked to see that it is not damaged, the discharge outlet is not blocked, that it is fully charged, the seal is not broken and that the operating instructions are clearly visible.

ANNUAL MAINTENANCE is a more complete inspection of the extinguisher and should be done professionally. It will reveal the need for hydro testing which must be done on Dry Chemical and Halotron I extinguishers every TWELVE YEARS. Most local authorities require special tags be attached to the extinguisher to verify this service.

SIX YEAR MAINTENANCE - Every six years, extinguishers requiring a 12 year hydro test shall be emptied and subject to thorough examination of: mechanical parts, extinguishing agent and expelling means. When applicable maintenance procedures are done during periodic recharging or hydro testing, the six-year requirement will begin from that date.

RECHARGES should be done professionally immediately after any use by your local fire service company who has the trained personnel, extinguishing agents and equipment to do it properly. This extinguisher must be recharged with the extinguishing agent specified on the nameplate. Substitutions could cause damage or injury.

What are the shipping requirements for fire extinguishers?

Hazardous items and ORM-D items have restrictions on where and how they are shipped due to the potential dangers associated with the products. One example of hazardous items would be a fire extinguisher. We can only ship hazardous and ORM-D items within the contiguous United States and to Alaska and Hawaii. The HAZMAT charges vary by type of service and the shipping location. We can only ship 2-day air to Alaska and Hawaii, which will cost $30 per box in Hazmat fees.

Why is it important for RV owners/dealers to purchase/have fire extinguishers for their RVs?

RV's are homes on wheels, and as such, are rife with more fire related danger than either a home or an automobile. A fire can engulf an RV in seconds, turning a joyful excursion into a disaster of deadly magnitude.

Statistics regarding the number of RV fires reported every year vary from 6,500 to 20,000 - but it is clear that the numbers are significant, and the threat is real. Having an appropriate number and type of fire extinguisher can mean the difference between a minor annoyance, and a major catastrophe.

What kind of fire extinguisher would be most useful in a RV situation?

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends B:C rated fire extinguishers as a minimum: at least one within 24 in. of the primary exit. The B rating is for flammable liquids, and the C rating means that the extinguishing agent will not conduct electricity back to the operator - very important in an RV environment. Extinguishers with A ratings are also beneficial. The A rating covers common combustibles like wood and paper.

The most common A:B:C rated extinguishers are dry chemical extinguishers. These are very effective, but create a mess, and the agent is corrosive if it is not thoroughly cleaned up. Given the great investment that RVs can represent, HalGuard Premium Clean Agent fire extinguishers are the ideal first line of defense. They are effective on B:C rated fires, and yet make no corrosive mess. In fact, they leave no residue whatsoever. An A:B:C or B:C rated extinguisher should be available as a back up.

NFPA recommends at least one extinguisher per vehicle, but you can never have too many fire extinguishers. Be sure to keep one in any tow vehicle as well.

All those traveling in the vehicle should know how to use the extinguisher and the types of fires that it can be used on. If the fire extinguisher is listed and rated by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), which is a legal requirement in most states, this information can be found on the label, and in instruction manual that came with the extinguisher. CAUTION: Extinguishers are being sold that purport to be "rated," but this is meaningless unless the label bears the mark of UL or another company approved by the local State Fire Marshal.

Could you offer any statistics on RV fires and damage?

Statistics regarding the number of RV fires reported every year vary from 6,500 to 20,000 - but it is clear that the numbers are significant.

What is the most common accelerant?

Fuel, oil transmission fluid and even anti-freeze are flammable accelerants that can be sparked by contact with a hot exhaust system or other engine part, or a short-circuited wiring. Brake fluid is also highly flammable, and friction from a dragging brake can be all it takes for a fire to ignite. Brake fires are particularly dangerous because it can be minutes before the driver notices any difference in handling.

Dry grass can ignite from a hot exhaust system. Propane is an explosive danger, and extra care should be taken with galley stoves. They should never be left unattended. If a flame goes out, gas continues to flow.

What is a common mistake RV owners/dealers could make - and its correct action?

Before traveling, drivers need to inspect their vehicles for fire hazards such as leaking fluids, and have problems fixed. Fire extinguishers must be regularly inspected to insure that they are not damaged, and are fully charged. Dry chemical extinguishers should be shaken monthly to insure that the powder does not "cake up" rendering them unable to discharge effectively. Use common sense when parking and camping. Locate the RV away from potential sources of fire, and away from dry grass and other combustible materials. Have an emergency escape plan. If a fire is spreading, or already a large blaze, do not attempt to extinguish it. Leave immediately and call 911. 

Where can H3R Performance ship its products?

Fire extinguishers must ship hazmat. Unfortunatly, this limits our ability to ship outside of the contiguous United States.