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Old 11-14-2020, 11:58 AM   #1
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New kind of Fire Extinguisher

Bumped into this today, a new kind of fire extinguisher.

Seems like it would be good for fires on-board, says its good for A, B, C & K type fires. Doesn't make a huge mess, no toxics like Halon (but the smoke from any boat fire is still something you don't want to breathe). And it doesn't age out like most conventional extinguishers.

https://elementfire.com/

Anyone here in the TF brain-trust have any experience with these?
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Old 11-14-2020, 12:10 PM   #2
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You would still have to carry the traditional certified fire extinguishers since these are not UL approved.
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Old 11-14-2020, 12:30 PM   #3
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Too bad!
Quote:
IS ELEMENT CERTIFIED?
Originating in Italy, Element has been certified for sale in Europe by CE and TUV. Institutionally it has been tested and certified for use by multiple international military and police groups who have adopted it for active use.

In North America, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is responsible for the certification of fire extinguishers. UL does their testing to a standard that contains a form (physical shape) component followed by a performance component. Because Element's form does not fit inside of UL's guidelines of what a traditional fire extinguisher looks like (i.e. compressed gas cylinder with a hose and measurement gauge) it is immediately passed over for performance testing. At present UL is being campaigned to update its standards to recognize the different form offered by Element and allow it an opportunity to be tested and certified.

Until the standards are updated Element cannot be used to substitute extinguishers in regulated environments that require a UL (or UL endorsed) certification. Element can however be freely used as an supplement to the extinguishers used where regulation exists.

There are no restrictions in non-regulated environments (car, home, personal garage, etc.) allowing Element to be used freely.
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Old 11-14-2020, 02:24 PM   #4
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strange that it is lit like a flare.

I understand UL's caution. Everyone knows what a traditional extinguisher looks like and how to use it.
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Old 11-14-2020, 02:33 PM   #5
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It sounds to good to be true. If it is true, why is not being talked up by the traditional fire safety consumers? Why is being marketed through fast pitch super hype direct to consumer channel? I saw a lot of hype but I didn’t see any substance. I will stay open minded but I need to see some substance before I jump on the band wagon.
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Old 11-14-2020, 02:54 PM   #6
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Website has lots of pretty pics, long on hype, but really short on any type of facts.

Not certified for use in USA, not UL certified, not USCG certified . . . claims it fights type A, B, C, and K fires, but no qualitative specifics (just as an example: 4AB, 12C)

One video demonstration of how to deploy, would have been better if it had been used to actually put out a fire . . . .
Call me skeptic, but I'll pass until it is UL listed, USCG certified, and endorsed by the National Fire Prevention Association . . .
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Old 11-14-2020, 03:07 PM   #7
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A lot of safety gear is not approved for various reasons. Much of the survival gear I had in the USCG wasn't approved by anyone outside USCG aviation.

Can always by one and try it yourself...it just might be that much better.
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Old 11-14-2020, 06:39 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by slowgoesit View Post
One video demonstration of how to deploy, would have been better if it had been used to actually put out a fire . . . .
Call me skeptic, but I'll pass until it is UL listed, USCG certified, and endorsed by the National Fire Prevention Association . . .
+1. Call me a skeptic also but I'd have to see it in operation before I'd get one.
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Old 11-14-2020, 07:13 PM   #9
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A lot of safety gear is not approved for various reasons. Much of the survival gear I had in the USCG wasn't approved by anyone outside USCG aviation.

Can always by one and try it yourself...it just might be that much better.
Totally agree, much of our over water ALSE gear wasn't approved for General Aviation, but a lot of it was good stuff. The companies providing specific stuff to the military doesn't have a lot of incentive to go through the testing certs for general use, HOWEVER every fire ext. we used on aircraft was UL listed, and in many cases USCG approved as well. If they really want to get into the US market for fire extinguishing agents, I can't see any reason why they wouldn't want to have their equipment UL listed, USCG approved, and endorsed by Fire Prevention people. . . . . unless there is some reason it can't, or won't pass . . .

I'm not from Missouri, but I'm still kind of a "Show Me" guy. You say it puts out fires? SHOW ME! You say it will work in an enclosed engine room? SHOW ME! I can see a lot of advantages to it . . . if it works, but bottom line, SHOW ME!
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Old 11-15-2020, 09:14 PM   #10
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Halon is not toxic.

All the fire extinguishers on an airplane are halon.

Don't be afraid of it, it's the best firefighting stuff available.
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Old 11-15-2020, 09:37 PM   #11
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Halon is not toxic.

All the fire extinguishers on an airplane are halon.

Don't be afraid of it, it's the best firefighting stuff available.
I have one on the boat, charged but one last use, no more refills.
Quote:
It's still legal to have a halon fire-suppression system on your boat, but because of Environmental Protection Agency regulations due to the damaging effect of halon on Earth's ozone layer, these systems haven't been produced in the United States since 1994.
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Old 11-15-2020, 09:39 PM   #12
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Halon is not toxic.

All the fire extinguishers on an airplane are halon.

Don't be afraid of it, it's the best firefighting stuff available.
Halon is not "non toxic", it is low toxicity. Also, in most situations halon is unlikely kill you. But if the concentration is high enough, it can cause breathing problems. In one place I worked, if the halon system discharged, someone had to go into the space and make sure no one had been overcome by the halon.

Halon hasn't been manufactured since 1994. Existing halon can be used and can be recovered from old systems to be used in another system. However, there are lots of laws about bringing new halon systems into this country.

There are alternatives. Halon is an ozone depleting gas.

Because there is no residue, if a halon system discharges when no one is around it may take some time before you realize it is empty (like the next time the bottles are inspected). Meanwhile you are unprotected.
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Old 11-15-2020, 09:45 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by GoneFarrell View Post
Bumped into this today, a new kind of fire extinguisher.

Seems like it would be good for fires on-board, says its good for A, B, C & K type fires. Doesn't make a huge mess, no toxics like Halon (but the smoke from any boat fire is still something you don't want to breathe). And it doesn't age out like most conventional extinguishers.

https://elementfire.com/

Anyone here in the TF brain-trust have any experience with these?
Looks like some sort of inert gas generator. Maybe CO2? Ironic that you basically have to light a flare to put out a fire.

One problem is that once you set it off, it just continues to operate until depleted. What happens in you are in an enclosed space and this thing is still spewing out whatever it generates even after the fire is out.

With a fire extinguisher you only use what you need and could have some agent in reserve in case of relights or flareups that occur later.

For $80 you can be several fire extinguishers.
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Old 11-15-2020, 10:10 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xsbank View Post
All the fire extinguishers on an airplane are halon.
Wonder why they made us (the crew) operate a water extinguisher too every time during equipment training.
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Old 11-15-2020, 10:16 PM   #15
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Thanks for the feedback.

I used to design equipment that had to be assembled with UL certified components. And I delt with pursuing UL certification for new stuff. That was very expensive and timeline consuming. The UL book has no rules in it for this new fangled style of extinguisher, someone gets to pay for that. I remember that from when my engineering efforts were pushing the bleeding edge of technology.

I see they show C E listing, but as I recall, there is not much reciprocity with UL. I'll dig around a bit more on that.

And yeah, show me a vid putting out an electric panel fire on a boat.
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Old 11-15-2020, 10:27 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by ssobol View Post
Looks like some sort of inert gas generator. Maybe CO2? Ironic that you basically have to light a flare to put out a fire.
Actually, according to this "spec sheet" it uses potassium:
https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/30...escription.pdf

I suspect it's not so much lighting a fire as exposing the potassium to oxygen (which I suppose, technically, is a kind of combustion.) I'm not sure I completely follow the chemistry, but it does seem like it should work as advertised.
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Old 11-15-2020, 10:34 PM   #17
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Their demonstration is very unimpressive. It's like you have a pan on your stove and spray it and it will put it out. But what about a blazing fire. What about someone vouching for it. Why haven't they taken some to a fire fighting training facility and really tested them. I think you could take a couple of dozen to MPT's fire center and leave there knowing if you have anything or not. Why not a comparison test in such a center?

Only reasons I know not to have such tests is either A) too lazy to do so or B) they know they won't look good. I have to believe it's B right now. There are too many places they could test and demonstrate how good it is.
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Old 11-21-2020, 08:22 AM   #18
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Aside from the performance concerns, i have been boating for 40 years. Ive been pulled over many times by coasties or law enforcement for safety checks. Always had a successful and friendly interaction.

I would bet my boat that when I pulled that thing out, and said it was my fire extinguisher, the coasties would literally fall off the boat laughing.

It took them a few years to accept the electronic flares.

Just some funny thoughts
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Old 11-21-2020, 09:24 AM   #19
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Be great if it gets certified here. Find a lot people don’t know to rap, shake and turn over their fire extinguishers routinely. They just look to see if the arrow is in the green and good enough. If these work out sounds like they would function even if never moved before needed. Also get questions about the fire blanket in the galley. Cleaning up after a fire extinguisher goes off is a chore. A fire blanket over a pot is a “my bad” and a chuckle.
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Old 11-21-2020, 09:58 AM   #20
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If a fire is large and the heat contained in a small space, those extinguisher sticks won't let you get close enough to the fire to use them. You have to get close because they don't spray like a traditional fire extinguisher does. I could see them being useful for a galley fire or BBQ grill deck fire if the wind isn't strong. This is my opinion from what I've seen in videos.
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