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Old 05-02-2009, 04:11   #31
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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
The production of Halons is prohibited around the world (Montreal Protocol of 1994), however the USE of existing halons is NOT prohibited.
In Australia I was advised when doing my fire training as part of my coxwains, halon is banned and all halon extinguishers are to be handed in.
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Old 05-02-2009, 07:02   #32
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always have a 5 gal bucket of water next to the alcohol stove--so WHEN it starts aflame you can put out the fire., do not panic--pour water over the fire and the alcohol will stop burning. water is the material of choice for exrtinguishing alcohol fire--it will dilute the fuel so it will no longer burn.
I was taught not to pour water on an alcohol fire in my coastal class.

What you have in that bucket (or just wet, sitting on the counter) is a large soaked towel. It is used to drape over the whole stove. The same is to be done for a grease fire in the home. The excitement is over in a few seconds.
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Old 05-02-2009, 07:19   #33
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I had an expensive lesson regarding fire extinguishers. I moved an inexpensive fire extinguisher from my boat to my home and unfortunatley had cause to use it one day when I had a stove fire. Even more unfortunate was the fact that it didn't work. The safety "pin" was actually not a pin, but rather a piece of plastic wedged between the trigger and the unit itself. Pulling out the piece, bent the trigger so it could not depress.

The end result was that instead of a slightly singed kitchen cabinet, I ended up with a totaled kitchen, smoke damage to everything in the house and a little time in the ICU. Repairs took 6 months and 1/3 of the home value.

A hard learned lesson that going cheap on safety gear can cost a lot.
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Old 05-02-2009, 11:27   #34
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Dilute the fuel? Hmmm....My fire control training said you need three things for a fire;
Heat, fuel, oxygen. AFAIK using water on an alcohol fire doesn't put it out by "diluting" the fuel, but rather because an alcohol flame is a cold flame, and the water can absorb so much heat that it quenches the combustion process.

Anyone who has never used an extinguisher--especially those damned dry powder ones--should ask their local USCG Aux or fire department when their next training/demo day is, because most of them will conduct demos with extinguishers. And if not, take the oldest extinguisher you have and sacrifice it to training.

Rule of thumb is that the common dry powder extinguishers that are about a foot tall, are sufficient to put out a waste basket fire. And that the fire will double in size about every 30 seconds, so either you use it fast on something small, or you get the hell away from the fire. (Especially if it contacts any type of upholstery foam, most of those give off very toxic gasses when burned.)
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Old 05-02-2009, 11:41   #35
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Alcohol is no longer a fuel when combined with enough water as it is miscible. Definition of 100 proof, ratio of alcohol high enough in water to burn, 50% for ethanol.

John
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Old 05-02-2009, 15:52   #36
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What a great thread, just another thing on the list of things to learn, I love this hobby.

Gmalan thanks a ton for sharing your experience.

I always found it confusing as to which extinguishers to use in what conditions. More so the question comes into play on a boat exactly which extinguisher should be placed where.

I found this chart that seems to explain things a little better.
Fire Extinguisher Chart

Does anyone have a Fireport in their Engine bay? Which Extinguisher would be best to mount near it? I can't seem to find any recommendations for engine fires.
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Old 05-02-2009, 16:10   #37
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What a great thread, just another thing on the list of things to learn, I love this hobby.

Gmalan thanks a ton for sharing your experience.

I always found it confusing as to which extinguishers to use in what conditions. More so the question comes into play on a boat exactly which extinguisher should be placed where.

I found this chart that seems to explain things a little better.
Fire Extinguisher Chart

Does anyone have a Fireport in their Engine bay? Which Extinguisher would be best to mount near it? I can't seem to find any recommendations for engine fires.
From:
BoatUS.com - Seaworthy Magazine

The solution is to leave the hatch closed and fight the fire either with a fixed extinguisher in the engine compartment or with a portable extinguisher discharged through a fire port (a small opening into the engine compartment), which is why dry chemical extinguishers of any class are inappropriate. Blindly spraying a chemical extinguisher through a fire port does little or nothing to stop an engine fire because the chemical isnít being directed toward the base of the flames. A gaseous extinguisher, on the other hand, extinguishes the fire by affecting the oxygen supply. The same extinguisher that wasnít effective in the wide-open spaces of a boatís cabin will be much more effective in a cramped engine compartment.
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Old 05-02-2009, 17:31   #38
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While at anchor in the Chesapeake, my original pressurized alcohol stove broke a fitting while cooking and shot flaming alcohol around the galley. Luckily, the stove was mounted in a drop in area of the counter...I grabbed it out of the galley, and flung it out the companionway, past the backstay and into the bay. God rest it's soul. Picked up a Force Ten two burner propane drop-in in Annapolis, no more problems!
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Old 05-02-2009, 17:52   #39
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Originally Posted by Christian Van H View Post
While at anchor in the Chesapeake, my original pressurized alcohol stove broke a fitting while cooking and shot flaming alcohol around the galley. Luckily, the stove was mounted in a drop in area of the counter...I grabbed it out of the galley, and flung it out the companionway, past the backstay and into the bay. God rest it's soul. Picked up a Force Ten two burner propane drop-in in Annapolis, no more problems!

that visual made me choke on my ice cream-i am glad i wasnt drinking something!!---there seems to be a rash of suicidal stoves---all alcohol.......go figger......force 10 is awesome---i installed a 3 burner into my ericson-----want one in my formosa--i would settle for a 2 burner here......
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Old 05-02-2009, 21:27   #40
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My $0.02....the price of engine room fire suppression systems is outrageous.

The problem is that there is no real competition...they all cost about he same

Sounds like price fixing to me.
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Old 05-02-2009, 21:40   #41
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I think we will start looking for a metho alternative, still not sure that gas is the alternative, LPG is too dangerous !

Kero ? Smelly sometimes but burns hot. Still needs primimg to start.

Sushi and salads ?
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Old 06-02-2009, 11:53   #42
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Chief, last time I looked into them the problem was the technology. First, the gas. Either they use Halon gas (scavenged and pricey) or one of the pricey replacements for it, with a bulky bottle. Expensive either way, a pox on the heads on the folks who banned Halon production.

Then there is the flame detection. Either you use a simple heat melt gizmo like ceiling sprinklers use (unreliable) or one of the optical flame sensors which IIRC respond to ZUV light from gas flames. DAMNED expensive, that's NASA technology. Effective, but expensive.

Which means there are only a few technologies to use, all with price points. Or, the fireport and a CO2 bottle. Or, a messy (and still not cheap) foam supression system sourced from the auto racing suppliers, with a manual pull handle to release it.

There are apparently only so many ways to skin this cat, and not enough of a mass market to bring the economies of scale into it.

FWIW there are fire retardant paints on the market--I don't know how well they'd last in an engine room, but that's something to consider using as well. (Not just reluctant to burn, but they slow the progress of a fire.)
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