Frequently Asked Questions
LEGAL REQUIREMENTS FOR FIRE EXTINGUISHERS
8 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
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
- 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
9 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:
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."
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.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT FIRE EXTINGUISHER
10 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 even 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 cigarette or power tool is all that is needed for ignition.
11 How should a consumer choose a Fire Extinguisher for his or her vehicle?
A fire extinguisher is an often forgotten "must have" for any car or truck owner. Here are some tips consumers should consider in choosing an extinguisher.
- 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
12 What size fire extinguisher do I need? How do I choose a Fire Extinguisher for my car?
Both the 1lb. and 2.5 lb. sizes for both MaxOut and HalGuard are very popular. Generally speaking, if budget and space allow, it is best to purchase more than one unit, and in the largest size.
13 How 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.
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.