The Fire Safety Stick has already been placed within many motorsport avenues – due to the many success stories in many motorsport sectors, including saving countless rally competitors’ cars. The Fire Safety Stick is carried by the leading Formula 1 team as they travel from race to race around the world. Even The FIA are taking a keen interest in the innovative fire extinguishers. And now supercar track experiences are carrying the Fire Safety Stick in their cars

There are a number of race track venues across the country, with fleets ranging from Ferraris, McLarens, Porsches and Aston Martins as well single-seater race cars that provide track experiences in these cars to members of the public.

After instruction, these GT and Sports cars are driven by members of the public who have paid for the track experience, during which the instructors are seated beside them giving further advice whilst on world-famous British race circuits.

Typically the cars were carrying 1 or 2kg dry powder extinguishers, mounted behind the driver’s seat, thereby allowing quick access by the instructor in the passenger seat. Should a fire start, then the instructor could use the extinguisher to deal with the fire as necessary, whilst they wait briefly for one of the fire response vehicles to attend.

Placement of a Fire Safety Stick in one of the track experience Ferraris (Top)
Part of the live demo of the Fire Safety Stick with a fuel fire (Bottom)


The issue was that for such a large fleet, the extinguishers were due to be replaced every 5 years, but also as directed the extinguishers themselves needed to be professionally serviced each year. Unfortunately, this would not be very cost-effective for these 1kg or 2kg powders. In addition, it meant extra administration ensuring all were done within the correct time frames.
The managers of the companies that run these events had heard about the successes and effectiveness of the Fire Safety Stick as well as its added advantages of having a much longer life span (well over triple that of the pressurised extinguishers), not requiring any annual servicing (just regular maintenance checks which their own team can carry out and log, and of course being a completely clean agent.
This last factor was a significant one since, if the fire is caught early enough, it can be extinguished before there is too much fire damage caused. Unfortunately, with traditional powder extinguishers, all too often, there is significant residual damage caused by the extinguisher powder, resulting in much more damage to the car. In fact, the powder alone can potentially write off the car itself. In addition, there can also be health issues with the powder extinguishers being discharged in close proximity to humans.
Over at one of the race tracks, having taken the opportunity to replace their vehicles dry powder extinguishers with the Fire Safety Sticks, they were able to have a full training and live demonstration session by the FSS team. We were able to ensure all those present were fully aware not only how to use the innovative fire extinguisher and maintain the sticks but also of general, good fire extinguishing techniques. Of course, for much of the team, such training was just a refresher, as they would take part in regular fire training anyway. During the training session, the drivers and mechanics were able to appreciate the added qualities of the Fire Safety Stick so that they would be considering having them as added fire protection not only for their personal cars or motorhomes but also at home protecting their loved ones too.

Customer enjoying the thrills under tuition, in a Porsche

Sergio De Michele of FSS conducting the training with the SIlverstone team

How to deal with a typical engine-bay fire

If the fire is within the engine bay, then before the bonnet is opened, some extinguishant should be applied through the smallest of gaps with the bonnet, just slightly ajar (or through other small gaps). This allows some suppression of the fire prior to better access being gained by opening the bonnet.
Opening the bonnet completely, without any prior suppression will allow a significant ingress of oxygen thereby dangerously feeding the fire.
Once it is safe to open the bonnet, we would strongly recommend having your back to the bonnet whilst opening, spraying the extinguishant towards the engine bay behind you, into the bonnet opening gap. This ensures protection to the person’s face, shielding it from the heat and possible flames. Again, we will stress this should only be carried out if it is safe to do so. If the fire has taken hold, then the person should ensure their own and others’ safety by leaving it to the professional firefighters to deal with.
If they are using dry powder extinguishers then instead of a single blast of discharge, short “puffs” of the powder should be used to smother the fire. The discharge time of powder extinguishers is surprisingly short and can be quickly consumed prior to full extinguishing of the fire, particularly in all hard-to-reach areas within an engine bay. Of course, the added advantage of the Fire Safety Stick is with its long discharge time of over 50 or 100 seconds (depending on model), it allows the operator plenty of time to ensure the fire is completely out. The typical total discharge time of the 1 kg dry powder is around 6 to 7 seconds only.

How does the powder from traditional extinguishers harm vehicles?

Firstly, it should be noted that dry powder extinguishers are well-proven in extinguishing vehicle (typically engine) fires, providing they are within date and regularly serviced. However, it is also imperative that the correct technique is used in tackling the fire and of course, the operator must never risk their own safety in dealing with the fire.
All handheld extinguishers (including powder and even the Fire Safety Stick) are only ever intended to deal with small fires before they become established.