Be prepared for a vehicle fire!

The last place you want to be caught in is in a burning car with no fire extinguisher.

Years ago, while driving on a dirt road, I became aware of the smell of a veld fire. Not seeing any, I glanced in the rear-view mirror and saw smoke trailing behind the bakkie. I braked and baled out even before coming to a stop. Grass had collected on the underside of the bakkie and caught alight on the exhaust pipe. I lost no time in retrieving an ancient fire extinguisher – thankfully it worked.

Ever since, I have carried a suitable fire extinguisher in the vehicle. The most basic rule is to use the appropriate class of extinguisher for each type of burning material, or it can worsen matters:

Class A: combustible organic materials such as paper, wood and most plastics.
Class B: flammable liquids such as petrol, kerosene, grease and oil.
Class C: electrical equipment such as appliances, wiring, and outlets.

Vehicle fires typically involve A-, B- and C-class fires, and an ABC-class extinguisher would therefore be appropriate in this case.
There are other classes of fire, such as Class F (cooking oils and trans-fats, typically found in restaurants and kitchens), but fire extinguishers for these are unsuitable for vehicles. The next rule is to use the extinguisher correctly. For more information, visit

SafeQuip is a well-known brand of SABS-certified fire extinguishers for all automotive, industrial and household requirements. Its fire extinguishers are designed for easy maintenance. The FireMate range of dry chemical powder extinguishers, which uses 40% mono- ammonium phosphate as the active ingredient, is rated for Class A, B and C fires. It is available from 0,6kg to 9kg sizes from Naskar branches countrywide, starting at about R129 (incl. VAT).