In life, unexpected things can happen. And, sometimes that unexpected thing is a car fire. That’s why we’ve scoured the web to find you the best car fire extinguishers. With these top fire extinguishers, you’ll be prepared for any unexpected fire and hopefully limit the damage if one should occur. On average, there are around 400,000 car fires a year. Even if you never use it, having a car fire extinguisher will give both you and your passengers peace of mind. And, in the event you do need to use it, a fire extinguisher could protect your vehicle and extinguish the fire until emergency services arrive.
Types Of Car Fire Extinguishers
It is important to always exercise extreme caution when dealing with automotive fires, no matter how big or small. Most fire extinguishers for cars work for numerous types of fires and are classified by three different ratings — A, B, and C. With that, it is vital to know the best application of each type of fire extinguisher.
Class A covers fires from ordinary combustibles including wood, paper, and fabrics. Class B deals with fires from flammable liquid including gasoline, oil, and paint. These types of fires are relatively common in both garage and vehicle fires because of the common occurrence of these flammable liquids. Class C deals with electrical fires which are perhaps the most common types of car fires among newer vehicles. With that being said, any of the best car fire extinguishers that you plan to keep with you in your vehicle need to be capable of extinguishing Class C fires.
Kidde is one of the most well-regarded brands in fire safety. They make high-quality smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detection systems, and some of the best fire extinguishers for home, cars, and boats.
With a fire extinguisher, you want one that is straightforward and not complicated to use because odds are, you’ll be under some stress when you are using it. The Kidde Pro-210 has an easy to read gauge that tells you when it is charged and ready to use. And the instruction label is clear, readable, and concise.
This multipurpose fire extinguisher is able to fight Class A, B, and C fires. It has a discharge time of 10 to 15 seconds with a discharge range of 10 to 15 feet. It has an operating pressure up to 100 PSI, and the pressure gauge will show you how much pressure remains in the extinguisher. The extinguisher itself is light, weighing only seven pounds. Along with that, it is made of durable and corrosion-resistant aluminum.
The Pro-210 fire extinguisher is rechargeable. Kidde offers a 6-year limited warranty with each purchase.
With this fire extinguisher from First Alert, there’s no need to buy an additional vehicle-mount because it already comes with one. Made of durable and corrosion-resistant metal, you can expect top quality and durability from one of the best car fire extinguishers out there. Along with that, it has a metal pull pin with a safety seal to prevent accidental discharge. Especially if you have children, this additional safety feature is ideal.
In addition to the included mount, the fire extinguisher has a bracket and strap for the most secure placement. The extinguisher itself has a waterproof label with easy to read and follow 4-step instructions. It also has a pressure gauge that is color-coded for accurate measurements. This compact extinguisher weighs only 2.7 pounds, making it ideal for keeping within easy reach in your car.
The First Alert Car Fire Extinguisher includes a 10-year limited warranty. It is important to note that you must request this warranty for it to be activated. This extinguisher is B and C-rated.
Best Premium Choice
3. HalGuard H3R Performance HG100C Fire Extinguisher
The sleek chrome finish is not deceiving—the HalGuard H3R Performance HG100C really is one of the more premium fire extinguisher that you can buy. Weighing less than four pounds, this lightweight extinguisher has everything you want in one of the best car fire extinguishers. It is made of a high-quality steel cylinder and has all-metal valve construction for top-level durability. The agent used in this fire extinguisher is specifically designed to prevent thermal shock to electronics and not damage your vehicle or other surfaces.
Included with the fire extinguisher, you’ll also get a steel strap and mounting bracket. The HalGuard H3R has a 6 to 8-foot discharge range. The halotron fire extinguishing agent will not impair your vision while in use and will not leave behind residue on your vehicle. And though aesthetics are not a top priority for fire extinguishers, this one absolutely wins in that category with its high-gloss chrome finish.
This fire extinguisher is rechargeable and is backed by a 5-year limited warranty from HalGuard. It works on Class B and C fires.
This aerosol spray option coming from First Alert is tiny but mighty. This aerosol spray fire extinguisher is able to spray four times longer than a traditional fire extinguisher. That means it can spray for up to 32 seconds. Compact and lightweight, this can is ideal for storing in your car while taking up minimal space. And since it is just an aerosol can, there is no need to mount it. You can simply store it in your glove box or console.
The formula is non-toxic and biodegradable. With that, you can wipe it off surfaces with a damp cloth and it should leave behind no residue. The aerosol spray is able to cover a wide surface area in a short time. To activate it, you just need to point and spray.
The Fire Alert Fire Extinguisher Aerosol Spray has a 3-year limited warranty. It can be used on Class B and C fires. It works on fires fueled by fabric, paper, oils, wood, electrical appliances, and other electrical equipment.
If you have more than one car in your household, this two-pack from Amerex is a great option. Or, if you only have one car, you can use the other fire extinguisher for your home. Each extinguisher comes with a wall bracket for easy installation inside your house. The canister is corrosion-resistant, so you don’t need to worry about it rusting in your car over time.
The fire extinguisher has a safety pin that needs to be pulled for activation. With that, makes sure that you locate the pin and identify how to use it so that you are prepared in case of an emergency. The entire fire extinguisher is made of metal for added durability. For your car, we recommend purchasing a vehicle mount separately to keep this 20-pound fire extinguisher secure.
The Amerex Fire Extinguisher works with Class A, B, and C fires. And it is rechargeable.
Specifically meant for automobiles and marine equipment, the Kidde FX511 is a great option for one of the best car fire extinguishers on the market. You can purchase this fire extinguisher either individually or as a pack of five, seven, or nine. The design features an easy-pull safety pin, easy-to-read instructions, and a color-coded pressure gauge that lets you know when the extinguisher is nearing empty.
Weighing only three pounds, it is ideal for automotive storage whether you choose to vehicle mount it or store it in your glove box or center console. With that being said, it does come with a mounting bracket. It has an operating pressure of 100 PSI. Along with that, it has a discharge time of 8 to 12 seconds and a discharge rate of 4 to 6-feet.
This fire extinguisher is single-use and disposable. It is backed by a 6-year warranty from Kidde and works on Class B and C fires.
Made by Mini Firefighter, this aerosol spray fire extinguisher is the perfect size to store in a car. You can purchase it either individually or in a 2-pack or 3-pack. Unlike any other fire extinguishers out there, this extinguisher features a unique foam formula that suffocates and cools fires to prevent reignition. The foam formula also expands to about 40 times the size. With that being said, the bottle is small, but the performance is vast.
The foam is non-toxic and bio-degradable which makes for an easy clean up with no residue should you ever have to use it. The aerosol can is completely safe to store in a car year-round as it is able to withstand temperatures ranging from -40 to 158 degrees Fahrenheit. The extinguisher expires four years after purchase and all of the cans are individually stamped with expiration dates.
This aerosol spray fire extinguisher from Mini Firefighter works on Class A, B, C, and K fires. Class K fires include fires from oils and fats.
8. Shield Protect 13415D Auto FX BC Fire Extinguisher
Weighing less than three pounds, the Shield Protect 13415D Fire Extinguisher is ideal for automotive use. It has a strong metal strap bracket and the main body of the extinguisher is durable and corrosion-resistant. All Shield Protect extinguishers are made in the USA.
We recommend either purchasing a vehicle-mount or storing this extinguisher in your glove box or center console. The Shield Protect Fire Extinguisher works with Class B and C fires. It is single-use and cannot be refilled. The expiration date is 12 years after purchase.
Be Safe And Prepared With A Car Fire Extinguisher
While we hope you never have to use it, having one of the best car fire extinguishers in your vehicle is one of those safety measures that will give you peace of mind. Along with finding one of the best car fire extinguishers, consider investing in a car fire extinguisher vehicle mount to securely store the extinguisher in your car. Most vehicle mounts work across all car models and are able to fit most fire extinguishers. With that being said, check the measurements prior to purchasing the mount. If you happen to own a Jeep Wrangler, Badass Moto Gear makes an excellent fire extinguisher mount with three adjustable straps.
Key Features For The Best Car Fire Extinguishers
It is essential to note which fire class the fire extinguisher is able to put out. Generally, you will want an extinguisher for your car that has an A, B, and C rating. Along with that, the size of the fire extinguisher is important for storage purposes. Overall, the smaller a fire extinguisher is, the better it will fit in your car. A compact, lightweight fire extinguisher is safer to store and easier to grab in a rush.
In conjunction with the size, pay attention to the material — which will usually be steel or aluminum. Steel is generally more durable than aluminum and both should be rust and corrosion-resistant. Also, note whether or not the extinguisher is can be stored in your vehicle using a vehicle mount. If you choose to store it without a vehicle mount, make certain it is small enough to be stored in the center console or the glove box or secured in another easily accessible location in your car.
The best car fire extinguishers are either meant for single-use or are refillable or rechargeable. Along with that, they do have expiration dates which you need to be aware of. Overall, single-use fire extinguishers tend to be cheaper, and refillable fire extinguishers tend to be more expensive. Finally, having a fire extinguisher with an extended warranty will give you added assurance that you are covered if there happen to be any malfunctions.
Frequently Asked Questions
What causes a car to catch on fire?
There are many reasons a car may catch on fire. While car fires can range from small to large, no matter the size, they should be taken extremely seriously and with maximum safety precautions.
The main reasons for car fires include:
fuel leaks or fluid spills
overheating converters or engines
problems in the exhaust system
hybrid/electric car batteries
poor maintenance due to human error
manufacturing defects/design flaws
Is it safe to keep a fire extinguisher in your car?
If it is stored correctly, it is safe to keep a fire extinguisher in your car. It is best to keep it strapped down so that it does not roll around while the car is moving. And store it in a place where it is easily accessible in case of a fire.
Where do you put a fire extinguisher in a car?
Above all, you should store the fire extinguisher in an easily accessible location in your car. With that, we also recommend using a fire extinguisher vehicle mount for optimal security. With a vehicle mount, you can generally mount the fire extinguisher near the passenger seat, under the driver’s seat, or in the trunk. If you don’t have a vehicle mount and the extinguisher is small enough, you can store it in the glove box or center console.
Can you store a fire extinguisher in a hot car?
Yes, you can store a fire extinguisher in your car year-round as most extinguishers are designed to handle hot and cold temperatures. Always make sure it is stored correctly and is not past the expiration date. And, if it is used once and is a single-use extinguisher, be certain that you replace it.
What should I do after my car catches on fire?
The moment that you see smoke, safely pull over as quickly as possible. It is never worth ignore any signs of smoke until you reach your destination.
Once you pull over, park your car, and then turn your car off. Exit your vehicle immediately and grab your extinguisher if possible. Remain 150 feet away from your car. If there is already a flame or a lot of smoke near the hood, use the extinguisher.
If you are by yourself, call emergency services right away. Or if you are with someone else have them call.
Do not open the hood as that could cause the fire to ignite and also may put you in danger of being too close to your car.
If the flame or smoke is coming from the back of your car, stay as far away as possible. Generally, a fire coming from the back of your car can grow more rapidly.
Remember, above all, your safety is the priority. After all, a car can be replaced. No matter what, do anything you need to do to remain safe and leave the fire to professionals if it becomes out of control.
How do you refill/recharge a fire extinguisher?
You cannot do it yourself. To refill your fire extinguisher, it must be done by a professional. We recommend contacting your local fire department as they can often recharge it. If they cannot, they should be able to point you in the direction of where to go for a recharge.
Joybeth Sullivan is an accomplished content creator. She does it all as a writer, photographer, and videographer. Her work has been published in local and international outlets. She graduated from the University of Georgia in May of 2020 with a dual-degree in English & Film. Today, she is based out of Denver, CO. When she isn't writing, you can find her on long drives in the mountains with her husky, Newman, riding shotgun.