I have a Sea-Fire Stinger system on my boat. Would these, by any chance, be "Stingers" with the red tubing attached? If so, the electric connection is probably only going to a helm status gauge. As such, you can disconnect the wires without any risk. It's only the melting of the red tubing that triggers release of the gas.
I thought I'd offer the above info because it's what I know from experience. I suspect, however you may have a larger, more sophisticated Sea-Fire system on your boat.
Dave, the ones I'm familiar with can be removed after you do a few things.
First, there is a safety pin that should be installed to protect against an unintentional discharge. It's like the safety pin that you remove from a handheld extinguisher, except this one should normally be removed so the automatic release can work. Hopefully the pin is dangling from a chain or cord. You also might find the pin neatly installed. This actually happen quite often, and disables your fire system. If it's installed, be thankful you haven't had a fire, and remember to remove it when you reinstall the bottle.
Second, with the safety pin installed, remove the remote cable release, if you have one. This is a cable release that leads to a manual release pull handle that will be located somewhere right outside the ER entrance. I don't know if these are required, so you may or may not have one. Don't attempt to disconnect it without first installing the safety pin. That's how you WILL accidentally discharge the bottle.
Third you can disconnect the plug for the pressure switch. It will not discharge the bottle. The pressure switch just indicates to the shut down system that the bottle is still full and it's OK for the machinery to run. When the bottle discharges, pressure is lost, the switch opens, and the engine(s) are shut down so they don't suck all the fire suppressant out of the ER.
Now you can remove the bottle.
Note that with the pressure sensor plug removed, your shutdown system should alarm, and you won't be able to start the engine, generator, or anything else that it controls. To silence and/or override the system to enable starting things, you press the appropriate buttons on the shutdown control panel. I think there is a silence button, and an override button.
No safety pin "feature" in this system. HOWEVER, I'm glad TwistedTree mentioned Saftey Pins, as this subject is one of my pet peeves. My prior, powder system had such a pin. The boat was delivered from the factory (on a truck) with this pin in place, which I guess was prudent. It amazes me, though, how many dealers (who supposedly "prep" new boats) don't have a clue about pulling these pins. I've been on some demo rides for new yachts over the years and generally, I see the pin(s) STILL not removed, although the boat is in use!!
Thanks for the replies. They answer more questions then the manual does!
The pin I knew about (not that I was able to find it). I guess the biggest issue was the pressure switch. I didn't know if/how it could be removed as the wires to it are all crimped. Anyone know how that switch can be removed?
I was hoping to give myself a little more room to work on the port side of the engine instead of having the large canister in my back.