Topic: Ricky Bobby - You're on Fire! Now what?
I'd like to visit the proper protocol for use of the fire suppression system. There seems to be some differences of opinion on what to do. Specifically, when to pull the handle
The expressly stated purpose of a fire suppression system is to protect the driver. What are the factors when deciding when to pull the handle. This will vary greatly depending upon the situation.
Step 1: See fire
Hit the kill switch and put the car in neutral. Fire is generally caused by oil or fuel. If you're still moving and your car is in gear, your oil pump is still working. Putting the car in neutral will stop the pump. The kill switch will eventually stop the flow of both fuel and oil, but there is no guarantee that will extinguish the fire. That engine crud you've avoided cleaning makes a great fuel source. Maybe you've shot a rod through the side of the pan and and your headers are being fed by 5 quarts of dinosaur juice.
Step 2: Is the fire in the cab?
Yes-Stop the car as quickly as possible and get out. If you can remember to leave it in gear or put it in park, all the better. If possible pull off the track. Pull the suppression handle on your way out of the car. The reason you pull the handle on your way out is you will be blinded by the activation of the system. This is the way it was taught to me at the Lemons rookie meeting in 2019. If you are hung-up or being actively burned, pull the handle. The suits we wear provide a minimum of 10 seconds until you begin experiencing second degree burns.
2A-If you get hung-up or are incapacitated, pull the handle in the hope the system extinguishes the fire and then continue to try and exit the cab.
Preface: this was not taught in the Lemons safety meeting and is something that will not be condoned by many.
Step 3-If the fire is not in the cab and isn't a giant inferno. I am going to coast to the nearest corner station or rescue worker. Remember the engine is already dead. When I get to the area I plan to stop, I will pull off the track, put the car in gear(or put it in park if you drive an automatic), exit the vehicle, and pull the handle. I'm sure many of you are cringing at this. If I feel I can safely get the car off the track I want to be near someone that A has an extinguisher, and B might be able to help pull me out if I get stuck. The corner worker is under no obligation to do either and you shouldn't expect help. If you get it, all the better. They're not in safety gear.
When exiting the vehicle remember you're on a hot track. Other drivers may have no idea your life is in danger. Do your best to pull off the track.
Never put yourself in danger to save your car. You'll be able to buy a lifetime of Lemons vehicles for the cost of one trip to the burn unit.
I see Flames.
I hit kill switch
I pull off track and put it in gear, if possible
I get out of car
I pull handle on way out