Complete Review, Overview & Mounting: H3R Performance Fire Extinguishers – A Guide for Fire Safety for Off-Road & Overland Travels
Let’s face it. In an ideal world, you’ll never need a fire extinguisher. It’s the last thing you’ll ever want to use.
These aren’t things you use to put out your campfire at the end of the night. Even though that’s what I did to test the H3R Performance MaxOut Fire Extinguisher.
I tested my extinguisher on a campfire for two reasons. One, because I like my stuff too much to light it on fire. And two, to show the aftermath of using a fire extinguisher (it’s messy, and it required a lot of clean-up). If you’re using a fire extinguisher, it’s because something that wasn’t supposed to catch fire, did. It could be your Tacoma, your tent, a friend, the forest, a home, or even a Jeep. Just kidding! Jeeps are fine, if you’re into… umm… Never mind.
No matter what the reason is, you’ll be glad you have an extinguisher, and H3R Performance makes some of the best ones on the market.
Find It Online
- HalGuard HG250, 2.5 lbs. clean agent: Check Price (available in red, black, or chrome)
- MaxOut MX250, 2.5 lbs. dry chemical: Check Price available in red, black, or chrome
- H3R Performance Universal Fire Extinguisher Seat Mount: Check Price
- H3R Performance Extreme Duty Quick Release Fire Extinguisher Mount: Check Price
- H3R Performance Quick Release Billet Band Clamp: Check Price
- H3R Performance Billet Flat-Mount: Check Price
Different Types of Fire Extinguisher
Choosing the right fire extinguisher can be difficult for us overlanders because we may encounter many classes of fires. Oh yeah, there are four main types or “classes” of fire. A fire extinguisher for “Class A” fires, may not work on a “Class B” fire. Understanding how one works is very important to picking the right fire extinguisher. Let’s get into how they work. Here are the classes of fire you may encounter.
- Class A: free burning combustible solid materials (wood or paper)
- Class B: flammable liquid or gas
- Class C: energized electrical fire
- Class D: metallic fire (metals like magnesium, sodium, and titanium)
No matter what class of fire you encounter there will always be the same three things present:
Now, the idea is that taking out one or more of these things will extinguish the fire. For example, if you smother a campfire using an ABC powder extinguisher (like I did) – you blanket the fire with a fine powder that suffocates the fire. So, by removing its oxygen the fire goes out. Easy.
Now we know about what types of fire there are we can talk about what types of fire extinguishers there are. The following sections will outline the main ones.
1. The ABC powder fire extinguisher (like the H3R Performance MaxOut)
- This is a multi-use fire extinguisher and is the most common one you’ll see. This is because it works on Class A, B, and C fires.
- Powder extinguishers spray a fine chemical powder that acts like a blanket and suffocates the fire.
2. Carbon Dioxide Fire Extinguisher
- As the name suggests, these spray CO2 on a fire to remove the oxygen, suffocating the fire (so make sure you’re not in the cab when you use it). These are perfect for Class B, and C fires.
- Since they use gas, CO2 extinguishers are clean and require no clean up.
- With CO2, you do have to be careful not to “cold-shock” electronics, and the extinguishers are comparatively large and heavy. They also have close to zero effect on Class A fires.
3. Wet Chemical Fire Extinguisher
- These are ideal for the kitchen.
- They have a two-stage approach to put out a cooking fire. First, a liquid mist spray cools the fire. Then a chemical reaction happens that creates a soap-like substance to seal cooking oils from the oxygen and prevent re-ignition.
4. Foam Extinguisher
- Foam extinguishers are great for Class A fires and on flammable liquids. But not gaseous fires.
- They release an expanding foam that blankets the fire starving it of oxygen. And because it’s mixed with water it has a cooling effect too.
5. Clean Agent Fire Extinguisher (Like the H3R Performance HalGuard)
- Clean agent fire extinguishers use gas (Halon or similar), stored in their liquid form. When it’s sprayed it converts to its gas form to remove oxygen from the fire. Because it’s nonconductive, it’s great for electrical fires. Clean agents also leave no residue. So, it’s great for the inside of your truck. Clean agents are what you’ll find on an aircraft. Though breathing these chemicals should be avoided (ventilate your cab or get out of there), the FAA considers doing so less harmful than the combustion products (and other consequences) of an in-flight fire.
Out of all these options, there are two that stand out as the most effective to the types of fires we may see while on a trail run or out camping. First is the ABC powder (MaxOut) fire extinguisher. And the second is the clean agent (HalGuard) extinguisher. Both of these extinguishers share virtually the same hardware and all-metal construction, so they’ll stand up to the rigors of the road. The difference is the extinguishing agent they contain. The MaxOut is great for fire types A, B, and C – which we’re likely to see. And trust me, this thing works.
Since we’ve all added a bunch of accessories that use electricity, we have more risk for an electrical fire. Even if everything is properly installed, and you have made sure your electrical system can handle everything. The clean agent or HalGuard extinguisher is perfect for that. It’ll put out your electrical fire, and because it’s a clean agent, it won’t leave your interior covered in a cloud of chemical dust!
This is why they recommend mounting the HalGuard extinguisher in a place that is easily accessible to the driver. And H3R Performance has a solution for that. The universal seat mount places the extinguisher at the front of the driver or passenger seat so it sits comfortably under your legs. It works with both the Quick Release Billet Flat Mount and the Extreme Duty Quick Release Mount. I decided to use the billet flat mount for my interior. Install was easy!
Mounting the H3R Performance Fire Extinguishers
What You’ll Need (not included):
- Set of Allen wrenches
- Philips screwdriver
- Ratchet set
- (8) 3/8″ x 1 1/4″ in washers (optional)
First things first, you’ll need to attach both ends of the universal seat flat mount plate loosely so that you can adjust the width later. Now you can attach the billet mount to the flat plate.
To do this, pull the quick release pin on the billet mount, put the band clamp part aside, and use the included screws, bolts, and washers to bolt the billet surface mount to the seat mounting plate. Do it so that one side uses the larger washers into the sliding part of the seat mount. See photo above.
Once that’s done let’s get the HalGuard fire extinguisher on the billet band clamp.
You’ll see three screws, the center one is a jacking screw. Tighten the center screw to loosen the clamp so you can slide the extinguisher into it.
Once the billet clamp is on, loosen the tension screw to allow it to tighten around the fire extinguisher. If you’re satisfied with how it’s mounted, you can remove the jacking screw.
Then just tighten the two screws on the outside to keep it in place. Let move this aside for now.
Time to get the universal seat mount installed. I put mine on the driver’s side. But this will work on the passenger’s side too.
Take your ratchet and remove the two blots on the front of your seat rails. Then insert the L- brackets and use four 3/8″ x 1 1/4″ washers as spacers too keep the mount flat. Do this on both sides. This part can be labeled as optional, but it helps to level everything out.
Then add the straight brackets using the supplied hardware. Just put the bolts through the holes. Add a washer, then bolt.
To mount the brackets to the rest of the seat mount, keep everything loose so you can tighten the width adjusting bolts under the mounting plate. Once that is locked in place you can tighten up everything else.
You’re ready to mount your H3R Performance HalGuard fire extinguisher.
Just put it back in the billet mounting plate and replace the pin. This mounting solution is solid. And it makes a once useless space in your cab useful.
The HalGuard extinguisher takes care of your interior, so now it’s time to protect the rest of your Tacoma. I’d recommend getting an ABC powder extinguisher to keep on the outside. This is the most versatile fire extinguisher, and it’ll put out almost every type of fire.
The mounting location is up to you. H3R Performance makes a variety of mounting solutions for their extinguishers. They’ll have what you need. With tube mounts and flat surface mounts, the options are endless. I decided to use the Extreme Duty Flat Surface Mount to mount my MaxOut extinguisher to a molle panel in the bed of my Tacoma. It was easier than the seat mount!
Just use some big washers, so they don’t slip through the molle panel. Wherever you choose to mount your external extinguisher, it’s best to keep it in a place that’s visible and very accessible. You’re not gonna want anything in your way when you need it. And if you’re not around, it should be easy for anyone to find.
Now, I’ve never used a fire extinguisher before. And naturally, I couldn’t wait to put a fire out.
Like I said earlier, these are not for putting out campfires. But I did exactly that so I could show you what to expect when you squeeze the handle.
When the time comes to use your fire extinguisher, pull the red tag that says “PULL TO RELEASE” to release the extinguisher from its mount. Maintain a safe distance from the fire. About 8 feet is recommended.
Then twist and pull the ring pin. This will break the tamper seal and allow the handle to be depressed. Think of it as the safety on your rifle. The only difference is there’s no going back. Once the tamper seal is broken the pin won’t stay in place. Once you partially spray an extinguisher, it will not hold its charge. NFPA 10 requires that the extinguisher be recharged after any use.
The last step is to aim at the base of the fire or at the fuel source and squeeze the handle to release whatever fire extinguisher agent you’re using.
Sweep side to side to maintain as much coverage as possible.
As mentioned before, any discharge of your extinguisher means that it needs to be recharged. Thankfully, H3R Performance extinguishers are all refillable!
It may take a few calls because most fire extinguisher service companies only do exchanges or refill bulk fire extinguishers. But a call to H3R Performance will set you in the right direction. I got mine refilled for $30.00. Small price for that added peace of mind.
After all is said and done, I can’t believe I went so long without a fire extinguisher. It’s like not having a first aid kit.
Being prepared for whatever comes my way is worth so much more than you may think. Like I said earlier, it’s one of the last things you’ll ever want to use. But you’ll be glad you have it if the time comes. The whole line of fire extinguishers from H3R Performance is impressive. They’ll have something for your needs, and their service is top-notch as well.