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Fire extinguisher


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I think it's an air horn. The label says it's a fire detector, so maybe not an extinguisher. XXX Alarm Co.

If it is an extinguisher, it would need to be mounted directly over the fire to do much good.

No doubt, it was a cool addition to the house in 1957. I wonder if it was sold by a door-to-door salesman driving a business coupe?

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I can't tell from the picture, but it looks like the type made by Falcon Alarm Co. If it is, it's an alarm that sounds when detecting high temps. There is no fire suppressant.

The cylinder is filled with Freon. When heated it expands and the valve releases. I think the one's for living areas release at 135 degrees and the units for attics and boiler rooms release at 175 degrees.

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The hood like diffuser over the top next to the horn gives the impression of an extinguisher, may be only an alarm. I would still like to know what's inside. Must be a chemical reaction causing vapor at pressure to push through and blow the horn.

The tetrachlorides work differently. They're like propane, liquid in the tank but vaporize into a gas when you relieve the pressure. No chemical reactions. Some formulations snuff a fire out with just an 8% concentration. Banned in the late 90's though some offshore oil production platforms were grandfathered and still have them.


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The house I grew up in had a half dozen of these:

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The detector discs were a bit smaller than this one. After a couple of decades they would give up and the damn things would go off. Loud as hell and the winding would last several minutes. You had to wait it out or replace the disc with a nickel to make it stop. Anyone know the melting point of a nickel?

I have 4 younger brothers, you can imagine how many times we set them off intentionally.

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