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Old 09-17-2014, 12:03 PM   #1
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Fire control

How do ya'all feel about fire extinguishers...abc, co2 and so forth. Advantages, disadvantages...
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Old 09-17-2014, 03:46 PM   #2
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I think ABC dry chemical fire extinguishers makes a lot of sense on a boat. Several handy 5 pound units would be perfect.
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Old 09-17-2014, 04:58 PM   #3
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I think you are a fire engineer if I recall correctly...and ABC is what is commonly recommended....but my practical experience with boat fires once they get going...foam seems to be the best.

So in reality I have a pecking order that I am working towards....

A modern halon if not too pricy or a CO2 one for use around electronics and my engine....or one of the installed types left on manual while aboard.

A couple BCs for if engine room stuff gets beyond Halon/CO2

A couple ABCs for galley/stateroom areas.

And a couple of the inexpensive foam types from a big box store...though I should really investigate the foam ones more as I'm assuming it's a generic foam and not anything out of the ordinary.
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Old 09-17-2014, 05:27 PM   #4
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Bozo

You got it mostly right. However, you are doing what I tried to avoid and that is to make it complicated.

Foam is good stuff but it needs to blanket and that is why is is so good on a liquid pool fire. Foam would not be my first choice. CO2 and clean agent systems need to be contained and need the ventilation and rotating machinery to shut down and we have had the shut down argument before.

Give me a couple of good size ABC dry chemicals and I can (so can you) put out a lot of fire. The clean up is not that bad.
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Old 09-17-2014, 05:32 PM   #5
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I thought that the A in ABC baked to a hard covering and was tough to clean up...it is why I've been told to not use ABCs on hot engines as the cleanup was terrible...then again like many old wives tails in boating...that could be form a previous generation ABC extinguishing agent.

I used to do hands on training with fire extinguishers and most people are truly amazed how much fireball drychem will knock down and what it will put out. I have also seen a dozen drychem extinguishers fail to dowse a boat and only a little foam was needed to float into spaces the drychem wasn't getting to.
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Old 09-17-2014, 06:53 PM   #6
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I have heard the corrosive effect is a real nightmare for both electrical and electronics and for that reason should be last ditch. Available but still last ditch. Thoughts.
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Old 09-17-2014, 07:54 PM   #7
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I thought that the A in ABC baked to a hard covering and was tough to clean up...it is why I've been told to not use ABCs on hot engines as the cleanup was terrible...then again like many old wives tails in boating...that could be form a previous generation ABC extinguishing agent.

I used to do hands on training with fire extinguishers and most people are truly amazed how much fireball drychem will knock down and what it will put out. I have also seen a dozen drychem extinguishers fail to dowse a boat and only a little foam was needed to float into spaces the drychem wasn't getting to.
The "A" agent in a 1A:5BC home extinguisher is hard to clean up but so is the fire damage if the deck and bulkheads get going. If cleanup is a concern, use B:C only type drychem or CO2. We once had a fire call where a bass boat OB caught fire. The passengers swam to shore. We had a Honda pump in our fireboat and could not put it out without sinking it. We grappled it, drug it to shore and foamed it AFFF.
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Old 09-17-2014, 08:40 PM   #8
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We recently purchased a automatic fire suppression system.

It is activated by heat or manual operation only. It is very simple...

There is a heat sensitive material that holds the discharge valve closed. If the heat sensitive material melts the valve opens discharging the tank.

If you want a manual release there is a wire wrapped around the heat sensitive material that will pull it out, discharging the tank.

If the tank discharges there is a switch that opens. With the switch closed a pair of relays are activated allowing the engines and generators to run. If either relay fails a light on the dash goes out, so you can replace it. If both relays fail a second light on the dash goes out indicating a discharge.

If there is a discharge both engines and the generator stop. There is a bypass switch on the dash in case of a accidental discharge so you can restart the engines.
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Old 09-17-2014, 08:55 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ksanders View Post
We recently purchased a automatic fire suppression system.

It is activated by heat or manual operation only. It is very simple...

There is a heat sensitive material that holds the discharge valve closed. If the heat sensitive material melts the valve opens discharging the tank.

If you want a manual release there is a wire wrapped around the heat sensitive material that will pull it out, discharging the tank.

If the tank discharges there is a switch that opens. With the switch closed a pair of relays are activated allowing the engines and generators to run. If either relay fails a light on the dash goes out, so you can replace it. If both relays fail a second light on the dash goes out indicating a discharge.

If there is a discharge both engines and the generator stop. There is a bypass switch on the dash in case of a accidental discharge so you can restart the engines.
We just had a Fireboy system installed that does essentially the same thing.
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Old 09-17-2014, 09:15 PM   #10
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Interesting. We have to update the old halon fixed system. There seems to be a conflict in the installation. The oxygen depletion systems depend upon the engine compartment being sealed up air tight. My boat has NO ability to seal either side of the engine compartment vents. Have to figure out fire dampers in both air intake and exhaust.
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Old 09-17-2014, 09:42 PM   #11
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We just had a Fireboy system installed that does essentially the same thing.
Mine is a fireboy system as well.

The only thing I did was to build my own engine shutdown system.
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Old 09-17-2014, 09:44 PM   #12
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Interesting. We have to update the old halon fixed system. There seems to be a conflict in the installation. The oxygen depletion systems depend upon the engine compartment being sealed up air tight. My boat has NO ability to seal either side of the engine compartment vents. Have to figure out fire dampers in both air intake and exhaust.

The fireboy systems are engineered with excessive suppressant to make up for the vents on a engine room.

All you need is a shutdown system for diesels.
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Old 09-17-2014, 10:45 PM   #13
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The fireboy systems are engineered with excessive suppressant to make up for the vents on a engine room.



All you need is a shutdown system for diesels.

Kevin,
I have a Fireboy system that came with the boat. I was thinking of getting it recertified, shouldn't I be able to pull the tank and bring it to an industrial extinguisher shop for this? Would you be interested in sharing how you set up the engine shut down system?
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Old 09-17-2014, 11:15 PM   #14
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Based on Risk, Likelihood and existing controls I have I'm place, I determined that two good general purpose extinguishers in my engine room/bilge would suffice. Once I've finished building the upper super structure I'll install two similar and possibly a foam type to cover most bases without going over the top.


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Old 09-17-2014, 11:34 PM   #15
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Kevin,
I have a Fireboy system that came with the boat. I was thinking of getting it recertified, shouldn't I be able to pull the tank and bring it to an industrial extinguisher shop for this? Would you be interested in sharing how you set up the engine shut down system?
Thanks


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Actually, according to the owners manual all you need to do is weigh the canister every 6 months. Then just initial and date the card.

The engine shutdown system is easy. First thought is if you are not an electrical/electronics professional buying Xinex's shutdown panel is probably the safest bet.

I wanted to do my own panel for several good reasons, namely to avoid any single point of failure.

The concept of the engine shutdown system is that it interrupts the 12 volts going to the key switch when the unit discharges. Its that simple

So, I ran the 12 volts to the key switch through two separate relays. Either relay can supply power to the key switch.

Here's a schematic
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Old 09-17-2014, 11:42 PM   #16
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Its worth thinking carefully about where to mount your fire extinguishers. You want them handy when required, but not so close to the likely source of the fire that they cannot be accessed safely.

Regarding cleanup... - that's not really a concern of mine if a fire breaks out. I just want the fire out, and no one injured. The insurance company can worry about the cleanup if it is a problem and the boat is still salvageable.
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Old 09-18-2014, 04:40 AM   #17
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CO2 would be my recommendation. Dry chem makes a mess and could mess up electronics that otherwise may have not been damaged.
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Old 09-18-2014, 06:15 AM   #18
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Give me a couple of good size ABC dry chemicals and I can (so can you) put out a lot of fire. The clean up is not that bad.

Depends , sometimes switches and circuit breakers will refuse to operate .

Gets expensive to replace most of them..
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Old 09-18-2014, 06:37 AM   #19
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I fought a commercial vessel fire for over three hours and you would be surprised how much can go wrong. Went through every portable extinguisher in a few minutes. Lost fire pump (elec.) due to all the electrical shorting out and blowing circuit panels. Steel transmitted heat from one to the next compartment. Radar blew up, spare freon bottles blew up, eventually used gas operated de-watering pumps with fire hoses and two teams of two to extinguish the fire. Fire never made it to engine room so the boat was not completely lost. It is possible to put out an engine room fire with water but luckily we did not have to perform that task.
The best protection is to know the resources available and plan your actions then hope for the best.
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Old 09-18-2014, 06:43 AM   #20
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here is the article about the fire
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