In general it is a great idea to have a fire extinguisher in your vehicles. When living in a converted van there are additional factors such as cooking in your van (possible gas, fuel & grease fires) as well as any additional electrical fire risks due to wiring you may have done in your van.
Below the link to the fire extinguisher we purchased is more information as to why I made my decision that you can use in making your own decision.
Now for the specifics of choosing a fire extinguisher for your van and how it relates to my choice:
How to read the Class ratings (should be labeled on extinguisher as UL rating):
The extinguisher I chose is 1-A and 10-B:C
A – Multiply the number related to A by 1.25 for the gallons of water equivalence.
B:C – Is the amount of square feet surface that can be covered when used by a professional.
C – Indicates that you can use on electrical fires.
Therefore the above extinguisher is able to cover 10 square feet and is equivalent to 1.25 gallons of water and can be used for electrical fires.
You want a multi-class extinguisher that can handle the common types of fires you may encounter. For this a dry / powder extinguisher is best as it covers A, B & C. The extinguisher above is rated for A, B & C.
You also want an extinguisher made from quality materials that will last, rechargeable & with a good warranty. The extinguisher I chose has a commercial-grade metal valve & trigger, a 10-year warranty, as well as being U.S. Coast Guard approved.
I have read recommendations of 2 lbs. or less, and the extinguisher I chose comes in a little higher at 2.5 lbs. This seems to be related only to how easy it will be to handle so I really don’t think the 2.5 lbs. is a problem.
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