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Old 14-03-2012, 10:44   #1
F51
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Fire Extinguisher Nomenclature

I have searched without success for a definition of what constitutes USCG type B1 and B2 fire extinguishers. My minimum requirements are for two B1 and one B2. That's all well and good, but it seems that only the USCG uses those designations for fire extinguishers. The NFPA uses codes such as 1A 10BC (I'm looking at an approved FE right now). This is a 3-pound bottle. I went to try to find a B2 unit and even one twice the size was still a B1. How can they be different sizes and still be the same code? Any body know where I can find a sheet comparing the USCG codes to the NFPA codes? Thanks.
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Old 14-03-2012, 10:52   #2
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Re: Fire Extinguisher nomenclature

try calling a fire extinguisher shop--they should know
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Old 14-03-2012, 11:15   #3
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Re: Fire Extinguisher nomenclature

First table half way down the page.

BoatUS BoatTECH Guides: Fire Extinguishers

Doesn't matter how big it is, it has to say USCG B-1 or B-2. Anything smaller than B-2 gets a B-1 rating.
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Old 14-03-2012, 14:08   #4
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Re: Fire Extinguisher nomenclature

Fire extinguishers are assigned designated numbers in accordance with how many units of the test criteria they can extinguish.

Can't remember, with enough certainty to state here the details of the test units, but taught this stuff in the 70s in the FD.

NFPA 10 is the written standard guide.
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Old 14-03-2012, 17:38   #5
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Re: Fire Extinguisher Nomenclature

Here's the legal whole story.>>> Electronic Code of Federal Regulations:
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Old 14-03-2012, 20:27   #6
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Re: Fire Extinguisher Nomenclature

Quote:
Originally Posted by F51 View Post
I have searched without success for a definition of what constitutes USCG type B1 and B2 fire extinguishers. My minimum requirements are for two B1 and one B2. That's all well and good, but it seems that only the USCG uses those designations for fire extinguishers. The NFPA uses codes such as 1A 10BC (I'm looking at an approved FE right now). This is a 3-pound bottle. I went to try to find a B2 unit and even one twice the size was still a B1. How can they be different sizes and still be the same code? Any body know where I can find a sheet comparing the USCG codes to the NFPA codes? Thanks.
Note that to meet USCG regs it must be explicitly USCG approved (meaning it has their codes and markings on the side) so I don't think the conversion chart would do you much good. For example, I had perfectly good South African extinguishers on my boat originally, but had to replace them with USCG approved extinguishers to operate in US waters. And, yes these codes are used only by the USCG. Simple summary on p. 21 of this document http://www.uscgboating.org/assets/1/...ations/420.PDF. This only presents the B-1 and B-II categories, but the USCG classifications for portable fire extinguishers go up to category V (big beast on wheels that you roll down the dock). As I recall, the full specs for all categories are listed in the CFRs. The USCG categories only specify pounds of fire suppressant material, not physical size of the device, so in theory you could find a physically larger one in any given class.

Although one B-II will meet the requirements on your vessel, my personal preference is to have multiple extinguishers, in multiple locations, because the marine environment is tough on the valves -- if you press the lever on your one B-II and nothing happens then you are screwed -- ditto if the fire is between you and your one extinguisher (remember the Fed requirements are minimal requirements for recreational vessels -- no harm, or violation, in exceeding them as long as you also meet them).
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