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Old 07-29-2018, 11:32 AM   #1
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Fixed fire extinguisher inspections

I have a fixed automatic fire extinguisher system in my engine room although it is not required for my size boat. My question is, not that I have the system, are annual independent inspections required or can I self inspect as with the hand held extinguishers on the boat?
The USCG refs are not clear to me.
Thanks
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Old 07-29-2018, 12:41 PM   #2
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Most of the fixed systems in older boats are halon. The only reliable way to check them is to pull them out and weigh them. They will have a range of weights that is good. I take mine to a fire extinguisher company and they look it over for obvious damage and then weigh it. They charge $10 to do it. Most of the fixed systems have never been checked, ever. I do Vessel Safety Checks and regularly come across original systems that are 20+ years old and have never been signed off for a check. Your insurance company may make you get it checked if you have a survey and it is noted on the survey. Mine did when I bought the boat. Ran across a 54í Hatteras yesterday that had one huge system for the 2 engine rooms. It was plumbed in with iron pipe so I donít know how they will get it checked, probably wonít check it...
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Old 07-29-2018, 03:08 PM   #3
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This was forwarded to me minus the attachment, dated December 14, 2016.

Attached are our recommendations for periodic inspections of any of our Fireboy systems (old & new) as well as a letter from the US Coast Guard stating when & if a hydrostatic test is required. Basically, the inspection consists of weighing the unit on a certified scale, to verify it weighs what is indicated on the label, the label is readable, the gauge (if applicable) is in the green, and a visual exam to verify there is no visible rust or corrosion on the cylinder. If it passes all these items, then it is ďgood to go.Ē Any local Fire Protection or Fire Extinguisher company with a certified scale can perform the inspections. For any kind of service (repair or refill), the system must be sent back to the factory. Our Fireboy systems do not have an expiration date.

Based on the information you provided, your system is an old 1301 Halon system and these systems are exempt from hydrostatic testing (see attached letter from the USCG). Also attached is an exempt letter for your records. This letter should stay with the boat as long as the Fireboy is there. If it eventually gets replaced, you can discard this letter. If your Fireboy fails an inspection or discharges for any reason, it must be replaced. We can no longer service the old Halon systems. We didn't have a CG 700 model number, but we did have a CG70 or 70CG system. The current replacement model number for this system is CG20375227-B.

If you have any further questions, please let me know. Thank you for using Fireboy-Xintex products!

Sincerely,
Lori Anderson
Customer Service
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Old 07-29-2018, 04:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SailorGreg View Post
I have a fixed automatic fire extinguisher system in my engine room although it is not required for my size boat. My question is, not that I have the system, are annual independent inspections required or can I self inspect as with the hand held extinguishers on the boat?
The USCG refs are not clear to me.
Thanks
Are you in Newport, RI? I used Tiverton Fire Extinguisher& Safety to come inspect and tag the old CO2 systems on my Hatteras. The guy even took the launch out to the boat which we had on a mooring in Westport (MA) harbor. Might want to give them a call.

Do you know what system you have?

I would not be so concerned about the CG as much as having a usable system.

Quote:
Ran across a 54í Hatteras yesterday that had one huge system for the 2 engine rooms. It was plumbed in with iron pipe so I donít know how they will get it checked, probably wonít check it...
They can be checked and tagged (see above, and the PO had it done pre-survey when the boat was in Baltimore too)

My 56MY had that set up, and another one in the generator space. When it came time to have it recertified (being a CO2, not Halon), I had a fire extinguisher company (in this case New Bern) that knew those systems who actually came out and removed the big canisters and completely refurbished and recharged them. The dates that this had been done (previously and then) were etched into the cylinder.
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Old 07-29-2018, 04:51 PM   #5
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If your system has engine, generator and blower shut-downs making sure they are functional is also part of the inspection. Xintex may not service Halon systems but if you call around some of the outfits that service commercial accounts may. ABYC (voluntary standards) required systems 2009 and later all boats diesel and gas.
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Old 07-30-2018, 07:16 AM   #6
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Our boat is less than 2 years old and the system does tie in auto-shutdown features. There is a sight gauge. I can test the auto-shutdown features and read the guage. I am thinking that with all this, removing and weighing the tank, which is no small task, is overkill and would not add to my safety so I would only bother if the USCG required it.
To that point, the USCG regs get a little confusing. Some portions of the reg suggest that "rechargeable" systems need to be weighed annually, while other portions suggest that systems with visual pressure guages do not need to be weighed. And since I have more than three portable units, the basic requirement is satisfied by these and the fixed system is over and above the requirement.
So the question is, for either a USCGA courtesy inspection or an actual USCG stop, what happens if there is no inspection tag on the fixed system. Or can I tag it myself?
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Old 07-30-2018, 07:51 AM   #7
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Why don't you just have a company that specializes and is licensed in these inspections and repair/maintenance of marine extinguishers come evaluate it for you? Or talk to the CG directly if their approval is all you care about? Why entrust the safety of your vessel to some anonymous strangers on the internet, who haven't seen your system?

If the boat is only 2 years old, unless the system is broken, there is typically no need to have it pulled and taken to the shop.
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Old 07-30-2018, 03:57 PM   #8
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USCG does not require these systems or inspections for recreational craft. I have not heard of anyone given a problem over one. If you take paying passengers it would be smart to have it certified by a tech. Otherwise, it sounds like you have covered all the bases as far as dealing with the USCG.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SailorGreg View Post
Our boat is less than 2 years old and the system does tie in auto-shutdown features. There is a sight gauge. I can test the auto-shutdown features and read the guage. I am thinking that with all this, removing and weighing the tank, which is no small task, is overkill and would not add to my safety so I would only bother if the USCG required it.
To that point, the USCG regs get a little confusing. Some portions of the reg suggest that "rechargeable" systems need to be weighed annually, while other portions suggest that systems with visual pressure guages do not need to be weighed. And since I have more than three portable units, the basic requirement is satisfied by these and the fixed system is over and above the requirement.
So the question is, for either a USCGA courtesy inspection or an actual USCG stop, what happens if there is no inspection tag on the fixed system. Or can I tag it myself?
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