September 14, 2023

Will Your Fire Extinguisher Work in Brutal Cold?

Thor Safey
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Will your fire extinguisher work in brutal cold?
Extreme cold temperatures affect everything. Even the ability to put fires out.

With cold weather, people often wonder things like:

Will my fire extinguisher work if it’s hanging in my garage or shed?
What if I didn’t take it out of my boat while the boat is stored for the winter?
Will I be able to help in case of a vehicle fire on the side of the road, with the extinguisher in my truck?
Can I leave it in my cabin over the winter?
How will you know your fire extinguisher will work when you need it?
UL (Underwriters Laboratories) sets performance standards for all portable fire extinguishers, which manufacturers must pass. Fire extinguishers are tested in a controlled, sub-zero environment and then certified to perform.

Today, Rusoh, Inc., based in Eau Claire, will test its locally-engineered, self-service, reloadable dry chemical fire extinguisher in the brutal cold of the ‘real world.’ Rusoh experts will ignite a flammable liquid fire outside, with no variables controlled, to show how the extinguisher will perform in the extreme cold and wind.

“When we have extreme cold like this, we face many challenges. For one, in winter months, we use winter-blend gasoline. This fuel ignites easier,” said Kim Nessel, retired Eau Claire Fire Battalion Chief, and Technical Expert at Rusoh, Inc. “Also, materials like silicone, rubber, and polymer become stiff. Equipment could get brittle in extreme environments.”

“And, when we’re cold, obviously we don’t have as much dexterity. It’s harder to move and more strength is required to operate equipment.”

These are just some of the ‘real-world’ challenges that must be evaluated and adjustments made through design changes, Nessel said. Cold temperatures reduce pressure in traditional stored pressure extinguishers and performance can be affected. The Rusoh Eliminator fire extinguisher is engineered for all-weather performance.

“We can’t get more extreme conditions than we have today,” Nessel said.

A fire demonstration will be conducted at the CVTC Fire Safety Center, 3617 Campus Road, today, January 30, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. when temperatures are forecast to be 25° F below zero. Anyone can view the fire from inside the building or the garage area.

Rusoh, Inc. is a subsidiary of National Presto Industries, Inc. which operates in two business segments. The Housewares/Small Appliance segment designs and sells small household appliances and pressure cookers under the PRESTO® brand name. It also designs and markets the first self-service/self-reloadable fire extinguisher: the Rusoh® Eliminator® fire extinguisher. The segment is recognized as an innovator of new products. The Defense segment manufactures a variety of products, including medium caliber training and tactical ammunition, energetic ordnance items, fuzes, and cartridge cases.

This release contains “forward looking statements” made pursuant to the safe harbor provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, as well as assumptions, that could cause actual results to differ materially from historical results and those presently anticipated or projected. In addition to the factors discussed above, other important risk factors are delineated in the Company’s various SEC filings.

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