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Old 17-03-2012, 15:24   #46
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Re: diesel engine fires

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Originally Posted by minaret View Post
The batteries, starter, and alternator are all potential fire sources. I sure am glad I got my Halon system with my boat! Wonder how long the halon supply will last? There must be loads of the stuff if they didn't even mention it to me. All they said was "no problem, nice system!".
Took my Halon fire bottle to my local fire extinguiser contractor and he indicated Halon is illegal and if the CG boarded the boat I could get fined.

Regarding diesel engine fires, I started a fire once when some fuel from bleeding injectors was instantly ignited by some shorted wires. Considering the ammount of money invested in your vessel a fire suppression system for the engine room seems like a no brainer.
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Old 17-03-2012, 16:04   #47
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Re: Diesel Engine Fires

i read a recent story on an electrical fire that was actually extinguished by the diesel fuel released as a result of the short on the metal tank.
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Old 17-03-2012, 20:31   #48
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Re: Diesel Engine Fires

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I'd be careful to check the vendor before buying halon on ebay. There's a huge market in counterfeit and contaminated R12, has been for decades. Wouldn't be surprised if some of the "halon" extinguishers weren't halon, or weren't up to full weight either. I'm sure some are legit, just caveat emptor because there's really no way to tell which djeni is in the bottle.
You have a point there. Mine has a seal from an inspection in '97 and the weight and pressure check out. I'll have to wait for a fire to fined out if I have the right stuff
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Old 17-03-2012, 20:37   #49
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Lightbulb Re: diesel engine fires

[QUOTE=cburger;910565]Took my Halon fire bottle to my local fire extinguiser contractor and he indicated Halon is illegal and if the CG boarded the boat I could get fined.

I doubt that. Halon is still available from recycled material. Costs a bunch, but is is still legally available. He might be trying to scare you into an "upgrade". I'd check it out with the CG before I tossed my extinguisher - OR you could ship it to me, I'll even pay the freight!.
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Old 17-03-2012, 21:38   #50
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Re: diesel engine fires

depends on where he is located. In Australia, yellow (Halon) fire extinguishers are illegal to own or use on a fire, unless an essential use exemption has been granted. The us bans discharge by intent but it is still legal to own a existing halon system.
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Old 17-03-2012, 22:00   #51
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Re: diesel engine fires

Thanks for the info. I forget that this forum casts a world wide net. The freight on a FX would be quite a bit from down under.
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Old 18-03-2012, 00:08   #52
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Re: Diesel Engine Fires

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Originally Posted by FuzzyFeat View Post
Powder will put out the fire, had one in the Galley and it snuffed it out just fine, however, we are still cleaning it up. Now have a Halon extinguisher at that location.

Halon Extinguishers can often be found on eBay. I picked one up for 1/3 the cost of a refill.
You do not want to be in the same space when discharging Halon. It will kill you fairly quick. It was designed for confined spaces, not open air, to chemically kill fires. The lungs will not take it. CO2 just displaces the oxygen. Halon changes the air chemically.

Read this MSDS, especially section 4. http://amerex-fire.com/wp-content/up...ON-ENGLISH.pdf

Quote:
Contact with acids can evolve highly toxic hydrogen chloride.

ROUTES OF ENTRY, SYMPTOMS OF ACUTE EXPOSURE: WARNING-If rescue personnel need to enter an area in which a release of Halon 1211 has occurred, they should be equipped with Self- Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) and appropriate personal protective equipment. High concentration of this gas will create an oxygen-deficient atmosphere, creating the risk of asphyxiation.
EYE CONTACT: Release of a high-pressure gas may result in airborne objects. INGESTION: Ingestion of this gas is not a likely route of industrial exposure.
INHALATION: Inhalation of high concentrations of this gas may lead to heart arrhythmias. High concentrations of this gas can cause an oxygen-deficient environment. Individuals breathing such an atmosphere may experience symptoms which include headaches, ringing in ears, dizziness, drowsiness, unconsciousness, nausea, vomiting, and depression of all the senses. The skin of a victim may have a blue color. Under some circumstances of over-exposure, death may occur, due to the displacement of oxygen. The effects associated with various levels of oxygen are described on the following page.
Another reason it is being fazed out.
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Old 18-03-2012, 01:19   #53
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Re: diesel engine fires

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Originally Posted by minaret View Post
Didn't know they were phasing it out as an ozone depleter. Western Fire Safety handles mine and didn't even mention it at the last refill. Thanks for that!
I didn't know you could still use Halon anywhere in the world. It's been banned in Europe for at least 10 years!
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Old 18-03-2012, 09:44   #54
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Re: diesel engine fires

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I didn't know you could still use Halon anywhere in the world. It's been banned in Europe for at least 10 years!
What's really stupid is some one(s) went through all the time and expense to invent a product that works really well for its designated purpose and then it gets banded because it might get into the atmosphere. My Halon unit is 20 YO.

So, which would be worse, a little Halon, or lots of toxic smoke from a huge fire that could have been stopped?

I see this crap happening all the time. Good working products disappear off the shelves in the name of environment or health. So why don't they just ban cars completely? No! They just have to nit pick us a tiny little bit at a time until we're helpless. What about airplanes? They are worse then cars as far as PPM per person. But yet they just keep building them.
From what I've seen going on in the pass 60 years, I could write a book.........

3 products that have disappeared in the last couple of years is Rolaids, Robitussin cough drops, Excedrin & others I can't think of for now. All these, and more, I have used for YEARS w/o ill affect and now they are gone over night w/o warning. It seems they want one to rely on a Doctor to get anything that works. The rest are just placebo's.
Rant over, for now!
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Old 18-03-2012, 09:57   #55
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Re: Diesel Engine Fires

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Originally Posted by delmarrey View Post
You do not want to be in the same space when discharging Halon. It will kill you fairly quick. It was designed for confined spaces, not open air, to chemically kill fires. The lungs will not take it. CO2 just displaces the oxygen. Halon changes the air chemically.

Read this MSDS, especially section 4. http://amerex-fire.com/wp-content/up...ON-ENGLISH.pdf



Another reason it is being fazed out.
--which is what I was referring to earlier re: suffocants.
In fire science terminology, a suffocant is described as a gaseous, or airbourne medium which when introduced into confined spaces, will not support life.
High expansion foam, for instance, developed by the British for underground fires such as coalmines, is basically soapsuds. With a thick, wet towel over the nose, one can remain, with reasonable comfort within the foam for long periods of time.
I have done so many times, when teaching "entrapped procedure" for shipboard fire-fighting.
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Old 18-03-2012, 11:08   #56
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Re: Diesel Engine Fires

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Originally Posted by delmarrey View Post
You do not want to be in the same space when discharging Halon. It will kill you fairly quick. It was designed for confined spaces, not open air, to chemically kill fires. The lungs will not take it. CO2 just displaces the oxygen. Halon changes the air chemically.

Read this MSDS, especially section 4. http://amerex-fire.com/wp-content/up...ON-ENGLISH.pdf



Another reason it is being fazed out.
\


Of course. CO2 also will kill you in an enclosed space. If you note Halon 1211 is still rated 2 as a moderate health risk.

I have looked at a few sites for more information on 1211 and find that no one treats it as a killer. Below is a quote from Edenbourough University: Facts about Halon Fire Extinguishing Systems – Edinboro University
Exposure to Halon 1301
The effects of Halon 1211 and 1301 on humans have been studied extensively. Halon 1211 and 1301 are not considered carcinogens or cancer suspect agents according to the National Toxicology Program, the International Agency for Research on Cancer or OSHA.
Personnel can be exposed to Halon for up to six minutes with no noticeable effects or risk. Halon is used because rapid dispersion and its ability to mix evenly will usually prevent serious exposure problems. High levels of Halon 1211 and 1301 could result in the following symptoms: lightheadedness, giddiness, shortness of breath, cardiac irregularity, and unconsciousness. These symptoms are reversible and will diminish if the victim is removed from the area of exposure."
CO2 is my preferred choice. However Halon has three times the fire supressing power of CO2 and the cost of a bottle is more than I care to spend. Perhaps if I come across a used one I will change out.
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Old 23-03-2012, 06:11   #57
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Re: Diesel Engine Fires

Juts some pictures & FYI......

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Old 23-03-2012, 07:19   #58
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Re: Diesel Engine Fires

Fuzzy, that Edinburgh study is correct, and the non-toxicity was a major selling point when Halon was invented.

HOWEVER.

What they studied was doubtlessly Halon itself. The situation becomes totally different, oopsie, when Halon is actually used on a fire. Some of the Halon combusts and the combustion products are nasty stuff.

This is very similar to the refrigerant gasses used in household refrigerators, i.e. plain old "freon" from a leaking old fridge, passing through the pilot light in your oven, turns into phosgene gas and may cause a heart attack, IIRC.

The bottom line is that even a brush fire can be deadly. Years ago I helped put one out, and no one realized there was poison ivy in the brush. Most of us had skin reactions, we were told later that if we had INHALED more of the smoke, our lungs would have swelled up and there would have been major respiratory complications.

And that's "all natural" and organic.

Bottom line, any fire extinguisher you can use with one hand will last less than 30 seconds. A fire will also typically double in size in 30 seconds if left alone. So whatever you use, take a deep breath, HOLD IT, discharge the fire bottle and then get the * out of there and into fresh air again.

Don't breath the smoke, don't breath the extinguisher crud, get in and get out unless you are "in the business".
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Old 23-03-2012, 07:40   #59
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Re: Diesel Engine Fires

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I am researching fire suppression systems for my boat and come across a lot of systems for engine rooms. It occurred to me that I have never heard of a diesel engine fire on a boat but surely they must happen to warrant all the attention by the fire suppression companies? Or is this just marketing? A quick Google seach of "diesel engine fires" doesn't turm up much. Anybody ever experienced one? How did it start?
I've had two in 18 years both electrical. Moving quick with an extinguisher ended them both. My wife gives me a hard time about having fire extinguishers EVERYWHERE on the boat but they only work if you can reach out and grab one. I read a story here on cf about a guy who lost his boat to fire. He said he didnt expect his extinguisher to empty out so soon. In the engine compartment especially I want to be able to drop the one I've emptied and grab the next quick.
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Old 02-08-2012, 18:29   #60
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Re: Diesel Engine Fires

The subject of fire came up in my design to-do list, so I thought I'd look at CF's fire threads...

I spent 10 years in the fire protection industry in Australia, so I've got a reasonably general knowledge of fire fighting substances and systems...

One interesting device I had in my hands once was based on a fire suppression system for the Soviet APC's; the old BMP's that were gasoline-fueled (yeah, must have been really popular vehicles...NOT).

It was a pyrotechnic system, meaning a little canister with mechanical or electric actuation, in some cases automatic, no piping or pressure....big plus for reliability and simplicity. I forget the actual manufacturer and specs, as it was more of a novelty, though we did make an exploratory trial in the local small boat market...slip owners at marinas. Tighter than a frog's bum, that lot were; the Scots may have invented copper wire by fighting over pennies, but this bunch were something else. We did get a fair few sales of the little powder extinguishers, probably no need to go into the delights of those.

Anyway, I did a little search and found this system...it sounds to be much the same:

Computer Room Fire Suppression Systems -- Fire Protection Systems, Fire Prevention Equipment, Fire Suppression Systems, Fire Control, Fire Extinguishers

I wasn't keen on CO2, other than for cooling beer or eradicating cane toads....NAF and FM200 didn't appeal either because of the piping and pressure and corrosion and toxic combustion by-products etc etc. Good old BCF is no longer available except for critical use permits (unless there's a legacy unit or two out there...hang on to those if you have them), and junkies used to sniff it for a high.

Water of some kind should usually be available on a boat, so there's the option of pumps or the good old Mk 1 Bucket, and also foam additives for seawater, so there's one system for me to look at, anyway. Hmmm, I wonder how many cruisers have a monitor on deck? Might come in handy for all sorts of things....

The pyro-device seems a possibility for the engine space/galley....will certainly look into it much closer. Anyone got one, or similar? Experiences with it? My search continues...
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