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Old 17-11-2006, 16:47   #1
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Fire

Maybe I just missed it, but I did not see any discussions in the any cruisersforum about fire. Since we have a cat, thought I'd focus here for now as not many Monos have engines under their bunks, but I'm sure there are some similar stories there!

We are about to move onto our 42' Manta Cat with 30hp Volvos under the two aft berths. If a fire were to start in either compartment, we would probably lift the bunks up (they are on hyrdaulics) and shoot our extinguisher(s) in. Haloran? DryChem?

If a fire were to start at the nav station or other area in the main salon, we think that dry chemical would probably be best. 5lb? 10lb? But maybe a Gas(halon replacement) type would be good to start with, with drychem as backup?

Also note that we have separate 'mech compartments' for water maker & pumps and such, and another for the generator (only accessible from on deck).

Does anyone have experience and recommendations for best type of extinguisher, size and method?


Some interesting stats can be found at: http://www.boatus.com/seaworthy/fire/default.asp

1)AC and DC wiring/appliance 55%

2) Engine/Transmission Overheat 24%

3) Fuel Leak 8%

4) Miscellaneous 7%

5) Unknown 5%

6) Stove 1%

Thanks.
Cheers!
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Old 17-11-2006, 17:02   #2
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First,
Never open a compartment that has an active fire. This will add air to the fire and cause more damage.

A good practice would be to PRE drill ports with access to the engine rooms and wiring behind the panel. This will allow you to insert the hose of the extinguisher and discharge the contents.

On to your questions.
If you can find Halon it's a better choice. Dry Chem makes a mess. CO2 would be another option.
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Old 17-11-2006, 18:02   #3
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Fire ports can be purchased at West Marine for about $15. I highly recommend them for the reason Pat just mentioned. Great subject.
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Old 17-11-2006, 18:11   #4
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Old 17-11-2006, 18:22   #5
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I thought I remembered $10, but I would rather guess high.
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Old 17-11-2006, 18:40   #6
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Dry chem is very corrosive to electronics; and it gets everywhere. If you use it to put out a small fire in the salon, you could still do big $$$ damage to your electronics. If halon is available, I'd use that. Other options include CO2 or fire-fighting foams. AFFF (aqueous film-forming foam) is mixed with water and is brilliant for fighting liquid fires (fuel/grease), as well as class A fires. Having a sprinkler system in each engine compartment, as well as remote fuel shut-offs would be a good bet.

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Old 17-11-2006, 21:37   #7
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What ever you decide...........

DON'T use halon in the same compartment that you are in. It disapates the oxygen and may put you out as well as the fire.

Halon was really designed for auto discharge in engine compartments and oil rooms, set off by heat. That's one reason you don't see it on the market much. It doesn't work out of doors very well, just in basiclly sealed rooms.

Thru a fire port would be fine.........................._/)
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Old 18-11-2006, 00:45   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delmarrey
DON'T use halon in the same compartment that you are in. It disapates the oxygen and may put you out as well as the fire.

Halon was really designed for auto discharge in engine compartments and oil rooms, set off by heat. That's one reason you don't see it on the market much. It doesn't work out of doors very well, just in basiclly sealed rooms.

Thru a fire port would be fine.........................._/)
I thought Halon was banned worldwide now as it is just about the worst greenhouse gas around?

Anyway, you can't get it in the UK anymore but there is now a Halon 'replacement' available. Don't now what it is though. Anyone know?
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Old 18-11-2006, 01:08   #9
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Phil and MaryAnne, Yes we have had good discussions on this subject and a search will get you to some good info, but it is a subject that can not be over done, so don't apologise for bringing it up again.

Mike, Yes you are right. Halon is banned (supposedly worldwide), but I imagine there will be old systems still installed ready for use. It is banned for the reason of cutting big holes in the Ozone, but also it is considered a very dangerouse gas to use when people can be exposed to it.
I have a large CO2 extinguisher for engine compartment. The engine room remains sealed and the extinguisher is fitted so as it's nozzle is through the bulkhead and the extinguisher body is on my side.
I have another powder extinguisher in the Pilot house and another powder in the Galley. Hmmmm, never gave the after consiquences of powder any thought before. Maybe I should review that one.
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Old 18-11-2006, 05:53   #10
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I wasn't sure about Halon - I know they got rid of the 'old' environmentally unfriendly variety, but I thought there was a 'greener' version available. If you take a fire-fighting course, they stress the "fire triangle" - that is you need 3 things for fire: fuel, heat and oxygen. Most extinguishers work to remove one of those things from the "fire equation". CO2 displaces oxygen - works great in confined spaces, but if you vent it too quickly the latent heat can re-ignite the fire. Also CO2 is a greenhouse gas - though I don't think it's as hard on the atmosphere as the smoke from a burning boat. Halon - the old nasty stuff - not only displaced oxygen, but also interrupted the chemical reaction within the fire. Very effective, but as with CO2 could re-ignite once oxygen returned. Dry chem, as I recall creates a barrier between the fuel and the oxygen. Water is effective for a couple of reasons - it removes heat, it puts a barrier between the fuel and oxygen, and the resulting steam is a smothering agent.
Wheels seems to have a good set-up but I would check the dry-chem. I don't know if they make any that are less corrosive, but that might be advised. For use around electronics, I'd stick with CO2 or Halon.

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Old 18-11-2006, 14:19   #11
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there is an easy solution to fires on engines undewr beds, build outboard pods outside and remove the dead weight, your boat will love you for it and with the motors being outside a bucket of sesawater would make an effective extinguisher i would think
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Old 18-11-2006, 15:13   #12
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Sean,
That's not a good solution. The seawater if not rinsed imediatly will corrode everthing in sight. An engine, even after a fire can usualy be saved and reused.
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Old 19-11-2006, 00:18   #13
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yes but it would be a quick respose thing and yes you could rinse it after the nerves have calmed with fresh
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Old 19-11-2006, 02:48   #14
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Seawater or corrosive powder or anything that can put out a fire would be ok for me if I had a fire at sea. I would worry about the mess (hopefully the insurer would) after the fire was out. 1st priority would be getting the fire out. If not, the electronics would be fried any way.
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Old 19-11-2006, 02:51   #15
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There are numerous Halon substitute products, for both Flooding & Streaming applications.

Total Flooding Agents are where a specific concentration of extinguishing agent is achieved in an enclosed area by discharge of an automatic system. SNAP has approved alternatives for halon 1301.
Streaming Applications are where and extinguishing agent is directed to a fire using portable fire extinguishers. SNAP has approved alternatives for halon 1211.
Goto: http://www.epa.gov/ozone/snap/fire/index.html

Further information:

US EPA Halon Fact Sheet: http://www.epa.gov/ozone/snap/fire/qa.html

National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) www.nfpa.org


National Association of Fire Equipment Distributors (NAFED) www.nafed.org


Aircraft Rescue & Fire Fighting Group ARFF) www.arffwg.org

Fire Suppression Systems Association (FSSA) www.fssa.net

Halon Alternatives Research Corporation (HARC) www.harc.org

National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) www.nist.gov

Montreal Protocal www.esd.worldbank.org/mp

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