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Advice for Buying an Automotive Fire Extinguisher

Kidde helps consumers to select, maintain the right product

With great demand for ABC-rated fire extinguishers following the new law requiring them for all vehicles, Kidde Brasil Ltda., one of the largest manufacturers of fire extinguishers in Brazil, offers these tips to help consumers purchase, maintain and use their extinguisher. Kidde, a leading manufacturer of residential smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms and fire extinguishers, is a part of UTC Building & Industrial Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX).

Purchasing a fire extinguisher

All cars manufactured since 2005 already come factory equipped with an ABC extinguisher. Before buying a replacement fire extinguisher, check the expiration date and whether the pressure gauge is still in the green area. Many drivers are unnecessarily exchanging their compliant extinguishers.

If you don't have an ABC extinguisher or need a new one, follow the below guidelines to ensure it hasn't been tampered with or damaged, impacting the guarantee, effectiveness and safety of the product. Also, if purchasing a replacement, ensure the extinguisher is the same size as the original to allow for proper mounting on the existing storage location.

1. The fire extinguisher must not show signs of rust, dents or scraped ink.
2. The seal or valve lock must be intact. Do not buy if it is broken, damaged or missing the lock.
3. The nozzle must be clean and free of dust.
4. The validity period should be five years from the date of purchase.
5. It must have the INMETRO seal with the manufacturer's data.
6. Ask for the invoice from the seller before buying.

Maintaining the extinguisher 
ABC extinguishers have a five-year warranty and do not require recharging during that period. But the extinguisher still needs periodic checking, according to the manufacturer's instructions on the product label. It is important that drivers conduct the inspection themselves to stay familiar with the extinguisher and prevent tampering. These items should be checked:

1. The pressure gauge is in the green area.
2. The seal or lock is intact.
3. Its overall appearance is in good condition - no rust or dents.

If any of these aren't as they should be, the extinguisher should be replaced. It's also important to check the warranty terms; an extinguisher should also be replaced if it's used or after its expiration date.

Using the ABC automotive extinguisher
What should you do if a fire starts in your car?

1. Stop the car and turn the engine off. Make sure you are in a safe place, preferably on the shoulder of the road.
2. Exit the car and remove all passengers as quickly as possible.
3. Remove extinguisher from the bracket and break the seal to unlock the valve.
4. Always keep the extinguisher in an upright position.
5. Through a small opening in the engine hood, discharge part of the contents of the extinguisher to smother the fire. Note that the discharge of the extinguisher is very fast (about 10 seconds).
6. Carefully open the hood, locate the source of fire and discharge the full extinguisher.
7. Call the fire department - 193.
8. Replace the extinguisher as soon as possible.

For more information about Kidde products in Brazil, including its line of ABC-rated automotive extinguishers, visit

About Kidde
Kidde, which operates in Brazil as Kidde Brasil Ltda., is a leading manufacturer of residential smoke alarms, carbon monoxide (CO) alarms and fire extinguishers, and has been delivering advanced fire-safety technology since it produced the first integrated smoke detection and carbon dioxide extinguishing system more than 90 years ago. Kidde is a part of UTC Building & Industrial Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp., a leading provider to the aerospace and building systems industries worldwide. For more information, visit