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Old 02-20-2008, 05:23 AM   #1
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Fire Extinguishers

OK, what does everybody think about fire extinguishers on board? I think you canj't have too many, or too big. I have more than the minimum number, as well as one BIG one in the main saloon right by the aft doors. I also still have a working Halon system in the engine room.

Kidde used to make a foam extinguisher which was great, but they can't be recharged/refilled and expire after five years. They don't make them any longer... what's up with that?

What do you guys use for fire extinguisher equipment on board? Likes, dislikes, good deals?
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Old 02-20-2008, 12:37 PM   #2
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RE: Fire Extinguishers

We have eight extinguishers on board. Two of the foam units in the main cabin since they don't corrode metal or electronics, two large dry chemical in the forward cabin, two large dry chemical in the aft cabin, one large dry chemical on the flying bridge near the barbecue and a halon in the engine room.
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Old 02-20-2008, 06:35 PM   #3
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RE: Fire Extinguishers

The "required" extinguishers are dry chem that have current inspection tags. One forward, one aft, and one big one in the main cabin near the helm & hatch.

There's also a Halon unit in the main cabin. That would be the first one I'd grab given a choice. It doesn't have a current inspection tag, but since Halon can't "leak down" like a dry chemical, so long as I can feel the liquid still inside, I'm good with it.

The three expired extinguishers from when I bought the boat can't be refilled economically - but more than likely still work fine. So they live on the fly bridge with the life jackets.

I figure the next step after discharging one or more of the "required" units in the cabin will be to get out of the cabin and into life jackets. If I'm foolish enough to try to continue fighting the fire, I'll grab one or two of the old ones on the FB and head back down.
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Old 02-20-2008, 06:42 PM   #4
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RE: Fire Extinguishers

Does anyone use Carbon Dioxide (CO2) extinguishers at all?
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Old 02-21-2008, 03:33 AM   #5
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RE: Fire Extinguishers

YES! Co2 is on board as the primary unit to use in a fire.

The tiny crap the USCG requires is on show where it can easily be seen , found during a boarding.

Powder use will probably cost each and every electrical switch and gage to be replaced.

Even have a CRASH AXE , as the Canadians seem enamored of them.

We also have the cheapest set of USCG "approved" flairs , with their short shelf life for the "inspectors".

Should help actually be required, the 37MM parachute flairs , way out of date, would be first to be used.

Have fired off mid 1940's !!! parachute flairs and 7 or 8 out of 10 still work.

Our on board pyro stash is all from the 80's , so should still be excellent , and have a visibility of 10X the USCG required crap.

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Old 02-21-2008, 05:43 AM   #6
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RE: Fire Extinguishers

Marin, where did you get the foam* units, and are they still good? The reason I ask is that I'm really sold on those, and Kidde used to make them, available at Home Depot. However, they were only good for five years, and after expiration, you couldn't service them. They then stopped making them, and when I called nobody seemed to know why. I'm sure they didn't sell enough of them. I've never found another reasonably priced source for portable foam units, so I don't have any such capability on the boat now.

The reason I was thinking about this topic was that I had a grease fire in my kitchen at home the other day and had to use the fire extinguisher there to put it out. No big deal, but it made a mess and blisted some paint right above the stove. Thank goodness I had the fire extinguisher handy!
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Old 02-21-2008, 07:35 PM   #7
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RE: Fire Extinguishers

I have personally seen Mac demonstrate these foam units, very impressive. Although more costly than dry chem, the foam is far superior. I am glad to know I have a large foam unit aboard.

http://www.macthefireguy.com/fire_safety_products.htm

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Old 02-21-2008, 07:58 PM   #8
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RE: Fire Extinguishers

Keith---

The foam units are proably the same as yours only we got them at West Marine. They are not USCG approved, primarily because they just came with wall hooks to hang them on. We modified a couple of dry-chem mounts to hold them. They are out of date but the pressure is unchanged so there is no reason they shouldn't work. They are mounted side by side just inside the main cabin door. They are not a factor in our meeting the USCG requirements but are preferable to dry-chem at the helm console. They are still listed on the Kidde website under "older" fire extinguishers. The specifications say they are rechargeable although we have never inquired into this.
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Old 02-21-2008, 07:59 PM   #9
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RE: Fire Extinguishers

Good discussion. I like to see folks with lots of extinguishers. I'm impressed with those who will take time to go to a class and really learn how to use them. I like to see that people will take the time each month to make sure they are ready to use.

Boat fires happen all too often. We had one in Tacoma Saturday night with 4 boats damaged. My Ladder company went to the fire that night and then when my crew came on they spent most of Sunday pumping and keeping things afloat. I picked a good weekend to be off duty or I'd have been covered in oil and slop like they were.

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Old 02-21-2008, 10:32 PM   #10
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RE: Fire Extinguishers

Ken---

Has the cause of the Tacoma fire been determined yet? It's always good to find out why a fire occurred so we can take steps to make sure that particular problem doesn't happen on our own boats.
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Old 02-22-2008, 03:16 AM   #11
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RE: Fire Extinguishers

Practical Sailor covers this in a recent issue>

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Old 02-22-2008, 09:01 AM   #12
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RE: Fire Extinguishers

The cause and origin haven't been released yet. From the amount of paint and other supplies aboard it may have been an accidental oversight of items left too close to a heating source. Or because it is the heating season it could be a malfunction in that equipment. I'll try to track it down.

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