Fire extinguisher - where to put it?

Just wondering where I should put my new shiny chrome (bling!) fire extinguisher in the gt40 - in the cabin or under the rear clamshell? I'm thinking that the most likely source of ignition is going to be something like a stuck float bowl valve and hot headers or perhaps a split fuel line so maybe locating in the engine bay makes sense. But if the fire is already raging would it be possible to even get to it? The cabin is already pretty cramp already so I'm looking for alternatives but, ultimately, safety drives the choice.

Thanks for any thoughts on this one.

David Morton

Lifetime Supporter
Anywhere you like Cliff and you can pipe it anywhere you like as well.
I put mine under the passengers knees. Is your electrical (percussive squib operated) or cable and does it have a single or dual chamber and if so do you want some of the extinguisher inside the cab or not ? I'm totally frantic about fire (one house and one hotel [those were fires on the ground]) - it's not the actual fire that gets you first) so think long and hard about what other measures you can put in place as the contents of the larger extinguisher can be very expensive to replace if you use it on a very small fire. i.e. - small hand-held dry powder can be economical sometimes.
But at the end of the day it's your choice. Maybe your local Fireman can give you some advice as well.
Dave M


Did you say chrome? The space between the seats worked out well for us. Visible, accessible, and out of the way. Fabricated an aluminum support and covered it with matching vinyl to both cover the water pump pully hump and support the fire extinguisher.

This is in addition to the fire suppression system.


  • FireExtinguisher1.JPG
    181.7 KB · Views: 433
  • FirewallComplete1.JPG
    169.8 KB · Views: 413
Thank you gents - that's some good advice.

David - I just have a basic hand held bottle. It's exactly the same as what Chuck has installed in the pics above. Perhaps I should think about a more expansive system as you describe - will noodle it in my head. Thanks.

Chuck, that looks like a great spot in the cabin. You have good taste in fire extinguishers!

Frank, I believe I have fuel bladders installed in aluminum sponsons - mine is a pre-100 series mono so it's not the earliest version nor the latest. I plan on confirming but thanks for the heads up.

Much appreciated.

Tim Kay

Lifetime Supporter
I considered positioning my extinguisher in the center as well but got to thinking.

In the event it became necessary where would be within reach whether inside or outside the car? I opted against the firewall between the door and seat. Nice empty area, a perfect fit. Can be got as you exit the car or from outside the car and not have to lean inside to the center of the cockpit. I only installed one but another could be placed on the passenger side as well.

Howard Jones

Cliff, Here's my 2c's worth. By the time you finish your car you will have something on the order of 60-70 THOUSAND dollars worth of parts. Without adding up all the time and sweat and tears involved don't you think 400 bucks worth of fire system sounds like a good idea.

There are several Halon systems that come all included for about that price. The typical kit includes a 5 pound bottle, pull cable, bottle mount, enough pipe to run two nozzles and two nozzles.

I put my bottle behind the drivers seat and ran one nozzle up under the dash pointing the nozzle towards my belt line. The other is aimed at the base of the carb from down below the fuel pumps in the engine room.

5 pounds will be enough to put out a fairly big carb fire, split fuel line fire or electrical fire in the cockpit. Couple the fire system with a master battery off switch and you will have done what you can to put out the most common fires.

If you bust open a fuel tank in a shunt then the cockpit halon might just give you enough time to save your life. 5 gals or more of fuel on the ground under the car and set alight will not go out with anything you can bring along with you, but an extra 10-20 sec with the cabin full of halon just might give the corner workers a chance to save you.

The hand held is also good to have along. In the event of a really minor carb fire then it would more than likely put it out. You will wish it wasn't a dry chemical type afterwards however. The little 2.5 lb halon's make a good backup firebottle. No cleanup at all.

But think about it another way. There you are standing along side the highway watching your baby burn to the ground with a dinky little empty hand held in your hand. If you open up the back hatch after a fire is going due to fuel spilled you stand a good chance of making it worse than you can put out with a 1.5 pound hand held. Keeping the fire contained in the engine room and flooding the space with halon is the only real chance you are going to get to save the car in the event of a engine room, spilled fuel fire .

If I did it again I would mount the bottle under the passengers knees so that you can read the gauge. Mine is difficult to see behind the seat and getting the car through tec has made me wish I had mounted it so it is easy to get to. Thats the way I'm going to do it in the SLC before I ever start driving it.

See this picture.
Last edited:


Lifetime Supporter
...but an extra 10-20 sec with the cabin full of halon just might give the corner workers a chance to save you.

Well said, Howard - couldn't be closer to the truth. Not to mention that all those little ladies would prefer papa makes it home after a day at speed.


Randy V

Staff member
Lifetime Supporter
10# bottle for any competition car.
I get rid of all the aluminum tubing as it crushes / kinks / becomes compromised too easily. Instead I use steel. Heavier - yes. Save your life and maybe your car.

2 nozzles are used. That gives you around 40 seconds of discharge time.

Nozzle #1 is in the driver's footwell area - always - Halon travels fast so you don't want it near your head.

Nozzle #2 is close to the induction system / fuel distribution and is aimed to cover potential ignition sources.

The fuel cells / tanks will take care of themselves - don't waste valuable discharge time by putting any additional nozzles in the system that aren't geared towards the most likely sources of fire or saving your own life.

Rule #1 just prior to pulling/pushing the knob. If you can get at least one good breath of real air - do it... Once you discharge that halon and breath it in, it will evacuate your lungs of any oxygen... You won't last long breathing halon - although it won't kill you, the lack of oxygen will..

Halon has not been manufactured for more than 10 years now maybe closer to 15 in the USA. Any new systems you get with Halon may not be able to be re-charged unless you find someone who is a re-cycler of Halon.

There are alternatives.

Good article here along with discharge time/nozzle chart; proceedings/Hammel.pdf
Any investment in a fire system is money that is well spent. A Lifeline 4 liter system meets FIA approval in AFFF systems. They come with three nozzles. I talked to a Paris to Dakar driver a couple of months back they require a 4 liter system and a 2.4 liter hand held for them. Most guys have a bit of a hard time spending that kind of money but it would really be a sinking feeling watching your pride and joy look like the car in the posts earlier today.

Lifeline AFFF systems have to be serviced about every two years. You can count on the cost of that being about 1/4 to 1/3 the cost of the system new after 10 years they have to be replaced. If you want to add more nozzles you can.
Be careful with a Halon system piped into the cockpit. Halon displaces O2 and you could become unconscious and unable to exit the car. I think an AFFF system would be better, but that's only my opinion.

Will Parker

Howard Jones

I agree on the Halon issue. There is a new replacement gas used in systems sold today and I don't believe that you can buy Halon systems now. The systems that use the new replacement gas are nearly the same price as I have stated above. Summit has them and so does Jegs. There are many other sources. Just a little surfing on the ol web outa do it.

As far as Race car systems go I am sure that anyone building a serious race car would install a much more professional system than a 400 buck special. What I intended to point out is you can cover a large portion of your risk for very little money. I think the 10lb systems are about another 100 bucks and stainless tubing really isn't all that expensive.

I routed my aluminum tubing down the center of the cockpit between the seats and between the chassis rails. The engineroom lines enter at the center of the car and end within a foot of the centerline of the chassis and shielded from intrusion by the roll bar and chassis tubing. If the tubing is crushed in those locations I'm gonna be in a VERY serious shunt. I won't say it can't happen but careful layout of the system can go a long way towards it's survival. The idea is mount everything in locations that will survive anything that the driver will. This is why I originally mounted my bottle behind the seat.

David Morton

Lifetime Supporter
The Halon (BCF) versus AFFF Foam was debated on this web a few years back since when Halon has become more scarce. I kow what I would prefer to be in - especially if inverted. Halon every time.
Where has the Halon gone? No where. The airlines and to some extent the military have bought it all from the "Halon recovery people" so that cannister of Halon you might have foolishly paid good money to have "recovered" has been sold again (at around £100 per kilo [$1.50 per 2.20462 lbs]) because those two users know there is nothing else as good. Why is it that every new aeroplane and simulator building is still fitted with Halon and not AFFF. {and if you are in the simulator when it - the Halon - is operated you need to egress the simulator (about 60 seconds to dump the motion and put the bridge back down if there is still power or descend the rope ladder if the power is off, usually preceded by an old captain or first officer - and even older sim instructor ) and then the hall where the simulator is installed. I conservatively think you will be bordering on Hypoic by the time you get into fresh air.
Yes - Halon denies the oxygen but a good lung full of air prior to operating the system and get the hell out is the normal M.O. Even if you have to inhale it once or twice you will not be rendered unconscious immediately though it is not pleasant. You have somewhere between as little as 60 seconds and as long as 180 seconds before you become hypoxic depending on your exertion rate and your physical fitness. Ironically, some smokers can last a bit longer if they are pre breathing oxygen - why? because they live their life constantly in a state of Hypoxia and are already conditioned to the effects.
(As an aside, Athletes benefit from occasional Hypoxia training and it is a recurrent training requirement in the R.A.F.)

For me it will be Halon every time. I have a 7.5 kilogram in my car and Halon in my garage. I've let a few off when we were required to do so in training (Years ago though) and another in anger - a small hand held Halon on a Land Rover that was blazing away (The very old Rover where the petrol filler was under the drivers seat - which was where I was sat 2 minutes previously). The fire was caused by parafin (Avtur - jet fuel). I don't plan to discharge any more Halon unless I'm in deep shit, and if that happens then the hole in the atmosphere will expanded yet again.
And yes - Halon can still be bought though it really is expensive and it is my belief that Motorsport /RAC scrutineers will not pass a car unless it has another system such as AFFF fitted. You can still have Halon fitted in parallel to the AFFF if you so choose.
Dave M
Last edited:
Very good points David ....

We still use Halon on our aircraft.

Dassault Falcon 900EX & 2000EX Easy.

It is still easily available but expensive.

I attend firex training on an annual basis at the Connecticut Fire Academy at Bradley International Airport.

We are continually told not to try to fight an aircraft fire, just secure the aircraft systems and get away ASAP.

I think that all I can add is to just get out of the car in an accident resulting in a fire, it can be replaced ... and make sure you have adequate fire insurance coverage.

Last edited:

David Morton

Lifetime Supporter
Howard: At todays prices in Europe, that's exceptionally good value.
I just had a look at Summits website - spoiled for choice really. Unless you are competing with your car there is no contest as to what fire system to fit. IMHO.

Halon FAQ’s

What is Halon?
Halons are low-toxicity, chemically stable compounds that are used in fire protection applications. As long as Halons remain contained/banked in cylinders they are easily recyclable for reuse.
The three types of Halons that Halon Banking Systems (HBS) deals with are Halon 1211, a liquid steaming agent that is used in portable extinguishers, Halon 1301 and Halon 2402, a gaseous agent that is used in fixed total flooding systems.
What are the benefits of using Halons?
The benefits of using Halons are that they do not leave liquid or solid residues when discharged, therefore they are preferred for sensitive areas, such as computer rooms and data storage areas. They also can be used in the presence of humans, which is important in closed areas such as aircraft, boats and armored fighting vehicles.
Who uses Halons?
The industries that use Halon are owners and users of Halon containing equipment, the fire protection service industry, manufacturers and distributors of fire protection equipment, and manufacturers and distributors of chemicals used in fire protection equipment.
Are Halons Dangerous?
Halon has an extremely high ozone depleting potential (three to ten times more than CFCs) and its intended use results in its release into the environment.
What are the alternatives to Halon ?
There are alternatives to Halon. Many large users of Halon (i.e. Department of National Defense, Manitoba Hydro) are taking steps to remove Halon containing equipment from all but the most critical areas. Most Halon 1211 in commercial and industrial applications is being replaced, therefore, a need is emerging for disposal facilities. Halon 1301 is being retained in designated critical areas and recovered Halon 1301 is being banked for future use.
Is the Halon business regulated?
Yes. The current Federal regulations prohibit production of Halons and import and export of recovered Halons except by permit. There are Federal controls on uses and releases and mandatory removal of Halon prior to decommissioning of equipment and the reporting of halon releases, accidental or not, are mandatory. There is also an environmental code of practice on Halons, the MONTREAL PROTOCOL, which provides directions to owners of Halon containing equipment on reducing and eliminating Halon releases to the environment.
Last edited:
Wow, my little 1.5lb hand held seems a little inadequate now... It's feels like I showed up for a gun fight equiped with a pocket knife.

David Morton

Lifetime Supporter
A good analogy but then again , statistically how many of these cars
catch fire? Maybe no more than any other car but you can describe me as neurotic about this subject and I will not be bothered.
In the UK we have an ex Welsh Guardsman (one of the regiments in the Army) called Simon Weston who was unfortunate to be on board a Royal Fleet Auxiliary (a supply ship) when if was bombed by the Argentine Air Force in Bluff Cove in the Falkland Islands. He was intensely burned (50%)
and because he was so far from real medical assistance was so lucky to survive.
Simon Weston - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Nothing could have changed his situation, but my contention is that we are rich enough and have the ability to try and make sure we don't end up similarly crippled and disfigured.
My house has so many extinguishers of various types including Water, Dry Powder, Halon and CO2. All of our cars have extinguishers in the boot (trunk). Have they been used?
Yes - 3 of them were used one after another at our previous house when a neighbours BMW motorcycle caught fire in the garage with only his elderly parents and the baby they were looking after at home.
My daughters 'then' boyfriend did the business and kept the fire at bay while people were evacuated.
Extinguishers ? It's like an insurance policy in my dull brain.