After reading GMAN'S experience we need to review some basic safety practices. Firefighter riders need to weigh in on this, especially the prevention guys. With dirt bikes going to electric start we are going to start using the battery tenders. I hate anything plugged in when I'm not there, but we have to make exceptions. The fire investigation will probably tell Gman what happened. If he plugged in the tender and came back 10-15 minutes to find the bike in flames its a safe bet the tender or hydrogen fumes from a sulphuric acid battery found a spark and ignited. The FI will know when he investigates. We have had 2 hydrogen explosions at work. The mechanic pulled the batteries out of the compartment for service. It was a dry day and static electricity was high. The top of the battery literally blew up in his face. He was lucky he did not go blind from the acid. Hydrogen is flammable from 0-100%. It doesn't take much.

1) If you can first expose the top of your battery the hydrogen will rise and dissipate. Then you can use the tender. (If this was the problem).

2) Wyatt did a good job covering extinguishers. They must be maintained to be any good when you need them.

3) Keep all flammables, combustibles etc. in a metal locker with the door closed.

4) Those of use with natural gas water heaters should have them mounted 18 to 24" off the ground because gasoline is heavy and will seek the pilot spark start/pilot light.

5) It's best if your shop is sheetrocked from the house, It gives the firefighters time to knock it down and minimize living space damage.

6) A garden hose dedicated for fire use is a good tool- if it is accessible.

7) If you weld, check on your shop in 10 minutes and 1 hour

especially if you are in a shop with exposed wood frame.

8) For those of us with alarm systems, heat detectors are good for a garage/shop area. It is too dirty an environment for smoke detectors to work properly.

9) Smoke detection for the house is a must.

Fire is devastating and I would not wish one on anybody. Some basic safety practices will help us avoid a lot of misery. Its easy to overlook the necessary. Its off the Home depot today for fire extinguishers- tomorrow I ride.

Batteries give me the willies period. My friends car battery blew up in his truck when he tried to start it. I helped him clean it up, no fun at all. It blew the top and side off of the battery, acid everywhere, what a mess! We're just lukcy the hood was down when it blew up and no one was hurt. After seeing that I now treat batteries with a lot of respect, especially when jumping or connecting/disconnecting a charger.

Just a couple of notes-I have had some formal firefighting training and do not profess to be an expert by any means, but just thought I'd throw a couple things out here:

One-Make sure you have a fire extinguisher for the type(s) of fire you will be battling. I have an "ABC" type in my garage. "A" is for wood, paper, etc. "B" is for chemical-Gas, grease, oil, etc. and "C" is for electrical. A good way to remember those codes is with word association. "A" is for stuff that will leave an ash, "B" is for stuff that comes in a barrel, and "C" is for "Current", as in electrical current. I know, kinda goofy but it does help me remember these things!

Next-A water hose would be effective for "A" type fires, but not a good idea for B or C types. Not that you shouldn't use water at all, I just wouldn't spray it on an oil fire or into an electrical fire.

Last-Use baking soda and water to nuetralize battery acid. Just mix up a big bucket of it and scrub/rinse the contaminated area liberally with it. Works great, costs almost nothing.

Just to make a lighter point of view on this

If you live in my hood, we all (The Neighbors) decided to aid in the fire if one breaks out in any home. :)

By throwing more gas on it and trying to catch the nearest houses as well

Long story

It is a seriuos post, I know and all good points.

Bottom line is

1: Evacuation Plan (Family First)

2: Extinguishers (Always In Pairs)

3: Common Sense (wont get into that)

4: Warm clothes/blankets in a container you can grab quickly

Lots of good stuff can be found at

Has anyone seen the video footage on the news recently of the guy filling his gas can in the bed of his pickup truck? A spark ignites the fumes and lights him on fire. This would be a good time to remind people that a gas container should always be taken from your rig and placed on the ground when filling so that the static charge can dissipate into the ground.

also before filling up you gas can, touch the pump or anything metal first to discharge any static from your body!!!!

I have a company service my extinguishers at work and the guy told me once not to set a powder type extinguisher on concrete, because moisture from the concrete somehow leaches into the powder. :) I don't see how that happens, but I hung them on the walls anyway-just to be safe.


Thanks for the input- We scratched the surface for sure.

I just installed a 4A10BC for the shop. 2A 10BC in the garage and a 2A 10BC in the kitchen pantry. After that its one lawn chair and a 12 pack of Budweiser next to the smoking hulk. The wife can stand and cry on my shoulder. It will probably be raining anyhow.

with car or bike batteries, it is never good to connect the jumper cables directly to the posts, as this can cause a spark. the thing to do is FIRST attach the NEGATIVE to a strong ground on the vehicle as far from the battery as possible.. THEN connect the positive.. follow this same procedure on the car giving the jump as well.

when you remove the cables, remove them in the same order.. meaning.. remove the positive first then the negative from the jumpee vehicle, THEN remove the positive then negative on the jumper vehicle.. this will reduce the chance of shorting the battery and having it explode...


also.. any rags that have been used in the shop for any type of flammable liquid should NOT be stored inside.. if you do, put them into a bucket of fresh water so they can't pile up and spontaneously combust....

Love is a burnin’ thing,

And it makes a fiery ring

Bound by wild desire --

I fell into a ring of fire.

I fell into a burnin’ ring of fire --

I went down, down, down

And the flames went higher,

And it burns, burn, burns,

The ring of fir, the ring of fire.

The taste of love is sweet

When hearts like ours meet.

I fell for you like a child --

Oh, but the fire ran wild.

I fell into a burnin’ ring of fire --

I went down, down, down

And the flames went higher,

And it burns, burn, burns,

The ring of fir, the ring of fire.

I fell into a burnin’ ring of fire --

I went down, down, down,

And the flames went higher,

And it burns, burn, burns,

The ring of fir, the ring of fire.

The ring of fire (and Fade)

johnny cash rules...

I hear the train a comin'; it's rollin' 'round the bend,

And I ain't seen the sunshine since I don't know when.

I'm stuck at Folsom Prison and time keeps draggin' on.

But that train keeps rollin' on down to San Antone.

When I was just a baby, my mama told me,

"Son,Always be a good boy; don't ever play with guns."

But I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die.

When I hear that whistle blowin' I hang my head and cry.

I bet there's rich folk eatin' in a fancy dining car.

They're prob'ly drinkin' coffee and smokin' big cigars,

But I know I had it comin', I know I can't be free,

But those people keep a movin', and that's what tortures me.

Well, if they freed me from this prison,

if that railroad train was mine,

I bet I'd move on over a little farther down the line,

Far from Folsom Prison, that's where I want to stay,

And I'd let that lonesome whistle blow my blues away

I hear ya man. Although, I favor good ol punk rock I think J.Cash is pretty cool..

Yamaben, you're extinguisher person is correct. It's not really wise to leave an extingiusher on the ground. The biggest reason though is because of fire code requirements. I spent six years as a proffessional firefighter, and after a few hundred fire inspections I firmly believe that fire education is still coming up VERY short in this country. Not only should you have type ABC extinguishers available to you and your customers ( or in your home) they need to be serviced, and mounted corretcly above 3 feet, and below 5 feet off of the ground ( working off memory here folfs, so if my measurements are incorrect please jump in) The reason is simple.. It has to be easy to see, find, and use by anyone in a wheel chair, or on their own feet. Never leave one on the ground, or put in a closet, cabinet etc.. In your garage I'd recomend 2. One next to the the man door into your home, or outside, and one near the rool up door. In plain sight, and in a place where you do not have to enter into the garage far to access it, and have fast egress if the fire should grow faster than your extinguisher can control.

Good luck.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now