Fire Extinguishers - Dry Powder & Halon:
I started out in early ownership by adding a small 1Lb dry powder extinguisher to the rear tool cover - on the theory I should have some kind of protection on hand just in case. I also have similar in my other cars and have had for years - just in case.
Tool panel mounting for powder extinguisher
Recently I'd been reading about the problems with dry powder... Insurance companies report that the insurance claims from fires were matched by insurance claims to clean up the results of successful powder extinguisher use...
I decided maybe I needed better protection. Reading up I found the best protection for flammable liquid fires or electrical fires is Halon. Halon is now being phased out due to environmental concerns (its a CFC) - but is still available. The replacements (e.g. Halotron) are more environmentally friendly but are only about half as effective for the same volume as Halon... hummm.
I decided to get a Halon extinguisher while I still can (and hopefully I will never have to deploy it!). I purchased a 2.5Lb Kidde Halon extinguisher to mount in the car. I wanted to have it near to hand and decided that in front of the passenger seat was the only realistic place where it would be near to hand, tidy and not significantly in the way.
The original Kidde Halon extinguisher with flexible nozzle & quick release attachment
I mounted it there and also made provision on the extinguisher for it to be used with my engine fire suppression system - so I could get halon to blanket the engine compartment in case of an engine fire. This consisted of adding a flexible hose and a quick release nozzle to the extinguisher. This flex hose also has advantages for general extinguisher use allowing more control when used handheld in tight quarters (for example to get Halon to the CE panel easily without major contortions) or for inserting the nozzle into a radiator grille or under a partially unclipped hood on someone else's car.
I was not really happy with the look and ergonomics of the mounting, particularly the catch could dig into your calves when sat in the passenger seat...
I moved on to my phase 2 of this idea and bought an improved Brey-Krause quick release mounting for the extinguisher and attached that to the passenger seat (the part that moves) but I had to get a smaller diameter Amerex halon extinguisher to fit the mounting so I repurposed the Kidde extinguisher for use in my truck (yes it really is this good of an idea).
New Amerex Halon extinguisher - original nozzle and with hose + quick release attachment
The Amerex unit has the advantage of being a smaller length bottle which gives better feet clearance getting in & out too. I added plastic spring clips to the mount to keep the hose located and snugged the extinguisher even closer to the seat and lower with a custom made seat mounting bracket. This plus the smooth mounting rings and under mounted release lever make this more comfortable for the passenger. Its still a little more visible than I'd like but is about as good as the limited space in a 928 will allow.
Brey-Krause also manufactures seat mounting brackets - but strangely these attach to the fixed seat rails - so they don't move with the seat and stick well forward of the seat in any typical mid-point adjustment location! In my opinion this is a quite stupid design - maybe due to legal concerns on liability...? In any case the Porsche seat rails are strong as evidenced by the seatbelt mounting to the movable portion... So I had to custom fabricate the seat attachment to get what I wanted... this is about as good as it gets in keeping it out of the passengers way on a late model electrically adjustable seat. Its as close to the seat as possible and low - almost down to the floor and the release lever is underneath.
Seat mounting brackets & finished locations
I later decided to add an alternate location for the extinguisher and ordered a new mounting bracket for this (a custom part order with B-K). I installed this mount behind the passenger seat on the bulkhead under the front lip of the rear seat on the passenger side. This is still within reach of the driver seat - a bit more awkward but is less obtrusive whenever I'm traveling with a single passenger. For me this is the best of both worlds for flexibility. I added a carpet flap over the mount plate to hide it when not in use.
I'm still keeping the small dry power extinguisher in both cars too so I still have something to hand for use on general fires - probably outside or on someone else's vehicle, you never know what you might need...
Copyright (c): Alan Moore 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 Page Updated: 04/03/2009