What is Cold Fire Extinguishing Spray?
Cold Fire is a water soluble, multi-purpose fire suppressing spray featuring a plant-based, biodegradable, non-toxic formula that’s safe for use around kids and pets.
Unlike traditional fire extinguishers, the company claims you won’t have to worry about pulling pins or operating complicated triggers. Instead, you just need to push Cold Fire’s button just like any other spray can and it will fight all classes (more soon).
This way, Cold Fire promises to quickly, cleanly, and safely stop fires using a USA-made formula—the same one used by first responders!
There’s no doubt that Cold Fire’s small size and ease of use seem like advantages.
But when you’re faced with flames in the real world, how well can you expect Cold Fire to work compared to traditional fire extinguishers? Are there other options?
Here, we’ll provide all the key information you need to make an empowered purchase.
Traditional Fire Extinguishers vs. Aerosol Sprays
For a fire to occur, three things must be present (known as the fire tetrahedron): 1) A fuel source, such as wood or gasoline, 2) a heat source, and 3) an oxidizing agent, like oxygen.
With this in mind, the basic idea behind nearly all fire extinguishing methods is to remove oxygen from this equation. The only difference is the exact formulation used to accomplish this.
How Traditional Fire Extinguishers Work
While there are many different agents that can be used in fire extinguishers, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are five types, which are classified by letter:
- A: Ordinary materials such as cloth, wood, and paper
- B: Combustible/flammable liquids like grease, gasoline, oil, and oil-based paints
- C: Electrical equipment that is plugged in, like appliances and tools
- D: Flammable metals
- K: Vegetable and animal oils, as well as fats used in cooking appliances
Of these, A and B models are what you’ll typically find for in-home use, although ABC models (also known as tri-class, or multipurpose, extinguishers) are exceptionally common.
Often, they’ll feature the dry chemical monoammonium phosphate, which melts at 351°F and immediately smothers the fire. This is ejected from a canister weighing between 2 and 30 pounds using a propellant like compressed nitrogen.
Other common dry chemicals used in traditional extinguishers include sodium bicarbonate (smothers flames with a cloud of carbon dioxide) and potassium bicarbonate.
While their lifespan can vary depending on the chemical used, most in-home fire extinguishers will last between six and 12 years and will cost you somewhere between $20 and $60.
How Do Aerosol Spray Extinguishers Work?
Comparatively, aerosol fire extinguishers typically come in cans between 12oz and 16oz in size and work just like any other spray-based products, including hair spray and bug spray. Simply point, press, and spray.
We’ll talk more about this soon, but most aerosol fire extinguishers use some sort of liquid that reacts with oxygen to produce a foam, which then smothers the fire.
Because of their more diminutive size, aerosol spray extinguishers are intended to put out small fires that might occur in the house (kitchen, garage, etc.) and won’t last anywhere near as long as traditional extinguishers; usually 2-3 years.
However, they’re often rated to fight all fire classes (A through K), Cold Fire included. They’re also easier to store out of site under cabinets, in pantries, and on shelves in garages and sheds.
How much will you pay for this compact size? Let’s discuss next.
How Much Does Cold Fire Cost?
One can (13.5 fl. oz.) of Cold Fire will cost you $19.99 plus $7.99 S&H. You’ll also be able to purchase additional cans during checkout for an additional $7.99 fee each.
Each can includes a handy wall mount.
Regardless of the number of cans you purchase, Cold Fire comes with a 60-day money back guarantee, less S&H. Keep this in mind if you order more than one can.
Refund requests can be handled by calling Tristar Products customer service at 973-287-5147.
Are there other aerosol spray fire extinguishers like Cold Fire? If so, how do they compare?
Which Aerosol Fire Spray Is Right for You?
Unlike traditional fire extinguishers, there are currently only four different aerosol fire extinguisher brands, Cold Fire Included. Here’s how their basics specs compare:
|Brand||Size||Price||Chemical Agent||Ideal For:|
|Cold Fire||$13.5 oz||$19.99 + $7.99 S&H per can||Water soluble, plant-based, biodegradable, non-toxic formula||Small fires (no specifics)|
|Fire Command||$16 oz||$29 (2-Pack)||UL-certified foam concentrate, zero-VOC nitrogen propellant||Kitchen grease fires, grill fires, gasoline fires, campfires|
|First Alert Tundra||14 oz||$13 - $20 per can||Non-toxic, biodegradable foam. Propellant contains no CFCs||Grease, fabric, wood, electrical. No fires larger than you can safely fight from 3-4 feet|
|Fire Gone Fire Suppressant||16 oz||$9 - $16 per can||Biodegradable foam||Small fires (no specifics)|
While Cold Fire was too new for any customer feedback at the time of our research, most of these other options had 4-star ratings or higher online.
In general, compliments referenced their compact size that fits just about anywhere, their ease of use, and their eco-friendliness/lack of toxic chemicals.
In fact, the only complaints we encountered were for Fire Gone, many of which referenced broken or otherwise damaged spray nozzles.
Obviously, since Cold Fire is brought to you my a completely different manufacturer, there’s no way to know what you can expect. But feedback for these other products can certainly help give you a better view of the bigger picture.
What Do We Know About Cold Fire’s Manufacturer?
Speaking of which, Cold Fire is manufactured by Tristar Products, the second largest name in the ASOTV industry.
Because of their size, as well as the fact that they’ve been in the business for more than two decades, Tristar has delivered hundreds of hits, including recent ones like the Copper Wear line, Flex-Able Hose, Fusion Juicer, and the Power Pressure Cooker XL.
Many of these tend to come with 2.5-star average ratings or lower, based on customer complaints citing less-than-stellar quality or performance, as well as unhelpful customer support.
Again, we’re not saying you should expect any of the same with Cold Fire, but it’s important that you have all the information.
Does Cold Fire Deserve a Place In Your Home?
While the HighYa staff didn’t use Cold Fire firsthand or test it against other models, this doesn’t mean that we can’t come to an informed decision about the product based on what we learned elsewhere online, as well as from competing products:
Pros: Compact size. Relatively inexpensive. Ease of use. Non-toxic chemicals. Most brands claim to be effective for addressing all fire classes (A-K). Cleanup is as easy as wiping with a cloth.
Cons: Don’t last anywhere near as long as regular fire extinguishers. No pressure indicator, so you can only hope it works when needed. Most don’t meet NFPA 10 requirements. Contents under pressure, so often not suitable for storage in automobiles.
As we mentioned at the beginning, Cold Fire's (or any other aerosol fire extinguisher's) benefits are difficult to overlook. But when you focus on the safety aspect of the cons, we think this alone is enough of a reason to explore all your options.
To this last point, when faced with the decision between traditional and aerosol options, Consumer Reports recommends buying “a conventional fire extinguisher with a gauge that meets NFPA 10 requirements,” and which contains more flame retardant that can be delivered quicker and longer.
What's more, Consumer Reports' testing revealed that some of these aerosol models could actually cause a grease fire to flare instead of going out!
Did you decide to take a leap of faith with Cold Fire? Did you have to use it in an emergency? How well did it perform? Would you buy again? Tell us about it in your review below!
Thankfully I have not used them yet. My local FD highly recommends these; they put the additive in all their pumper trucks' reservoirs.
NB: for electrical fires, don't use until power is cut off (unplug item, kill the breaker) as Coldfire is water-based (with an organic additive). The creator of Coldfire lives in a neighboring community, so the FD connected directly with him and are highly confident in the product. I've bought two for our townhouse. My FD recommends every year or so to test by releasing a tiny bit of spray. The cans are intended to be emptied completely on fire. I've decided that $25 is a fair price to stop a fire.
Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend