We are going to talk about where to install a fire extinguisher in the car in this post. It is easy to search for and buy a fire extinguisher but installing it in the right place is of utmost importance.
Fire extinguishers are handy life-saving units that help reduce the intensity of the fire and in some cases may douse the blazes completely.
The installation also depends on the type and size of fire extinguisher you want to use. So, if you bought one and looking to find an appropriate place to install it in your car then here is the list to follow.
Where to install a fire extinguisher in the car?
The best place to install a fire extinguisher in a car is the one from where it is ‘easily accessible’. This is what most of the experts say but I would rather rephrase it to ‘safely accessible’.
In my opinion and experience, a safely accessible place is your car’s trunk. This is after considering the fact that most car fires take place from the front that is the surrounding parts of the engine.
In such a scenario, it makes sense to get out of the car first, go to the trunk and remove the fire extinguisher and use it in full flow to control the flames.
Some of the other places to consider are below the driver or front passenger seats, large glove boxes, and an appropriate place in the rear passenger compartment.
Let’s deep dive further into these car places to install a fire extinguisher!
The best place is the trunk
A car trunk is always the best, easiest, and most safely accessible place to install a fire extinguisher. Why so? There are numerous reasons.
One of them is accessibility. As mentioned earlier the trunk is very much accessible from any door of your car.
It is also one of the safest places to store the extinguisher as it does not come in contact with co-passengers or any other car material.
Secondly, a car trunk is a least-used space in your daily routine unless you are traveling a long distance with a big chunk of luggage.
It is not only the safest from an accessibility perspective but also keeps the extinguisher tank secure from internal heat, direct sunlight, and local weather conditions.
Many drivers think that the car trunk is too far away to access the fire extinguisher. Remember, the first thing you need to do is get out of the car immediately as soon as it catches fire. Obviously, you don’t want to enter the car till the fire is controlled.
Engine bay, battery failure, and electrical malfunctions are some of the common causes to catch fires.
All these parts sit under the front hood and when the fire starts to spread, its effects can reach the dashboard quickly. Such a situation won’t be ideal to remove the extinguisher from driver/co-passenger seats.
So, the best place to store, retrieve and use a fire extinguisher should be the car trunk.
There are many cars that don’t have specific large trunks such as 7-seater SUVs. Such vehicles offer limited boot spaces that can be used for fire extinguisher installation.
Instead of placing it on the boot carpet select the right or left side and install the unit on top of the boot space behind the rear seats. I have mine sitting on the right-side pillar of the boot space.
The same process should be followed for large trunks. Never fix the extinguisher in the middle of the trunk as it may create trouble placing the luggage.
Below the driver’s seat
This is the second-best option to keep a fire extinguisher. Although, not very feasible as it attracts some push-ups to remove the extinguisher tank.
A seat adjustment process is a must and the driver has to bend forward in removing the fire extinguisher from the installed bracket. But this is what you can call an easily accessible place.
There are two spots here. One just below the seat in front and the second behind the seat. Wherever you want to put it the choice is yours.
However, it should be installed properly so that it doesn’t come in contact with your feet while driving or getting inside the car. Make sure to use installation brackets which keep the extinguishers unmoved.
Rear passengers should also feel comfortable placing their feet around if you are installing it behind the seat.
The advantage of installing a fire extinguisher below the driver’s seat is its low adjustment frequency. It becomes easier to remove and use it.
The drawback is it may get exposed to direct sunlight, and remains slightly visible to anyone for misuse.
Co-passenger seat is another easily accessible place to install a fire extinguisher. I would say it is also one of the safest places after the trunk.
This is the second place where a driver can reach, remove, and use a fire extinguisher in no time.
Unlike the driver’s seat, the fire extinguisher should be installed at the front end of the passenger seat. This improves the chances of accessing the unit quickly.
Not to mention the process to be followed for installing a fire extinguisher should remain the same that is installing a mounting bracket, and then using it.
The installation part is more important here because this place isn’t completely controlled by the driver.
There are many passengers who like to adjust this seat very often. Regular movement makes the fire extinguisher vulnerable to physical contact, and direct sunlight. It can receive soft damage on the tank as well as hurt the passenger feet constantly.
It is a good practice to keep insulating the fire extinguisher to protect it from heat and physical movement.
Rear passenger compartment
When I say rear passenger seats it does not mean installing the extinguisher below the seats.
Instead, you can use the side pillar behind the driver’s seat for installation. This place is perfect for mounting a bracket and placing a fire extinguisher in it for easy accessibility and usage.
Another benefit of installing it on the pillar is its position. Fire extinguishers are better placed in the upright position.
This position makes them easy to remove, and their internal components remain unaffected due to sudden changes in pressure or temperature.
Many fire extinguisher companies highlight the position clearly in their instruction guides.
Large glove boxes
This might surprise some but there are people who recommend or make use of glove boxes to store the fire extinguisher.
A larger glove box (mainly in big SUVs or trucks) and the size of the fire extinguisher you want to use makes this combination work.
I know most of the car glove boxes are not designed to hold the size of fire extinguishers but if you have such model vehicle then this is one of the miscellaneous options.
I will not fully recommend it because glove boxes are part of dashboards that sit closely with the car’s heating sources but it also offers advantages in terms of accessibility, fire extinguisher security, and a suitable temperature to store them.
This will save you some costs on purchasing external brackets which won’t be required here at all.
Other miscellaneous places
While the above list of places is the most used for installing fire extinguishers in a car you may also like to consider some of the other places that do offer accessibility and storage options. They are:
- Door slots on the driver’s side,
- Windscreen pillars on the driver’s side and,
- Center console (depending on the type and model of the car)
Where to mount a fire extinguisher in a truck (pickup)?
Installation places are no different for a truck. You can make use of driver seats, and passenger seats as they resemble the structure of a car.
In addition, you can also install a fire extinguisher on the truck bed and tailgate sections. Some of the places I can think of is the side of the bed (left or right), near the tailgate, or bed rails.
The truck bed also gives the flexibility to mount the extinguisher in both ways (vertical and horizontal). Make sure to follow the guidelines and instructions while installing.
It is important to observe caution while placing or loading the truck bed with luggage to avoid damaging or hurting the fire extinguisher.
There is no doubt fire extinguisher is an important safety tool for a car. Depending on the size and type of fire extinguisher you use, installing it in the right place is instrumental to its usage.
The most common and safely accessible place is the trunk or car’s boot space since it is very much secure, out of the way, and remains protected from sunlight and any misuse.
You can also consider using the driver-seat options discussed in this post. Regardless of the installation space, it is always a best practice to install the fire extinguisher according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Always use a mounting bracket, take care while drilling the holes and ensure that the extinguisher is properly fixed to avoid any internal mishaps.
I am sure following the points and information in this post will help you find the right spot to install the fire extinguisher and remain prepared to handle unexpected fire situations.
Feel free to add any other place or section you like to install a fire extinguisher in a car by leaving your valuable feedback and comments.