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Old 01-06-2021, 04:26   #1
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Fire extinguisher in engine room question

Hi Iím refitting largely due to an insurance requirement an automatic 1kg powder extinguisher in a yacht engine room

Iím aware of the issue around dry powder but I canít easily get FM36 or FM2000 locally

The mercury in the one I have is rated at 72 degrees C.

I wonder is that a little low fir an engine room , Iíve seen others set at 80 or even 90 degrees C

Any ideas comments ?
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Old 01-06-2021, 05:26   #2
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Re: Fire extinguisher in engine room question

Dunno what the requirements are but I would think that if air at the extinguisher location was getting close to 72C, something seriously bad is about to happen.

I might be wrong though...
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Old 01-06-2021, 05:29   #3
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Re: Fire extinguisher in engine room question

Built-in fire suppression systems can typically be activated both manually or automatically. All have a tank that can be located somewhere in the engine room area (according to the manufacturers specifications) and these extinguisher tanks automatically discharge their fire suppressant at a pre-set point.

For instance, the Fireboy system automatically discharges when the temperature reaches 175 degrees [F].
https://www.jamestowndistributors.co...t-detail/13033

I recommend the excellent comprehensive article, on the subject, by Steve D’Antonio:
“Fixed Firefighting Systems” ~ by Steve D’Antonio
“... Automatic FFE systems are designed to discharge in seconds when oil in a glass vial in the bot-tle’s nozzle reaches 175įF (79įC); the vial shatters, and the clean agent is released ...”
https://stevedmarineconsulting.com/w...reEx125_03.pdf
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Old 01-06-2021, 05:43   #4
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Re: Fire extinguisher in engine room question

160-165 degrees Fahrenheit is common for sprinklers, so I think you are OK there.

Let me pontificate on engine room fire suppression for a moment, assuming you are concerned for more than satisfying your insurance company. Dry chem is abrasive, corrosive, destroys electronics, makes one hell of a mess, and is not all that effective on class A fires. Those are anything other than pools of fuel. Halon derivatives are very expensive and not good for the environment.

What works for me is large quantities of carbon dioxide. It's cheap and can flood an engine room as does Halon. You can afford enough to really flood, with gas squirting out all the cracks from your engine space.

I made an engine room sprinkler system with 40 pounds(!) of CO2. It's copper tubing in a loop around the space, nozzles, and can be activated from outside the engine room in two locations. My system is manual, but I'm not expecting the engine room to ignite when I'm not around. That's effective, non-destructive fire suppression. The only thing it won't do is get rid of the heat from a class A fire. For that, there is water.

I also use an ordinary 165 F fuseable link to trigger a fire warning at the instrument panel.
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Old 01-06-2021, 05:52   #5
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Re: Fire extinguisher in engine room question

Have you considered an Aerosol Fire Suppression system?
These are tiny single cylinder packages that are inert and can be shipped worldwide even by air.

I have two Firepro units one in each engine room.
https://www.firepro.com
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Old 01-06-2021, 08:58   #6
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Re: Fire extinguisher in engine room question

I prefer a heat sensor that warns me of a possible problem and I have a car-type dash cam that I can look at and keep my eye on things. Smoke will tell me if there is a hot surface. Before I would activate an extinguisher I would want to turn off the engines as I do not want gunge entering the manifolds and I don't want the engines to be drawing in air and feeding a possible fire.
Dry powder would be the last resort as it really makes such a mess and you will be forever cleaning up the powder for years after. CO2 is great. It is quick and does take some heat out of the situation. It is always my first thing to grab. My dry powder extinguishers are only onboard for the insurance company who I am sure has never been close to a real fire on board.
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Old 01-06-2021, 09:23   #7
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Re: Fire extinguisher in engine room question

I have a heat sensor and alarm inside the engine compartment. I also have a BIG CO2 extinguisher mounted in the adjacent locker (there wasn't room in the engine compartment) but plumbed through into the engine box. There's an easily accessible lanyard that can be pulled to trigger the CO2 if/when necessary.
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Old 01-06-2021, 09:31   #8
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Re: Fire extinguisher in engine room question

Quote:
Originally Posted by tkeithlu View Post
160-165 degrees Fahrenheit is common for sprinklers, so I think you are OK there.

Let me pontificate on engine room fire suppression for a moment, assuming you are concerned for more than satisfying your insurance company. Dry chem is abrasive, corrosive, destroys electronics, makes one hell of a mess, and is not all that effective on class A fires. Those are anything other than pools of fuel. Halon derivatives are very expensive and not good for the environment.

What works for me is large quantities of carbon dioxide. It's cheap and can flood an engine room as does Halon. You can afford enough to really flood, with gas squirting out all the cracks from your engine space.

I made an engine room sprinkler system with 40 pounds(!) of CO2. It's copper tubing in a loop around the space, nozzles, and can be activated from outside the engine room in two locations. My system is manual, but I'm not expecting the engine room to ignite when I'm not around. That's effective, non-destructive fire suppression. The only thing it won't do is get rid of the heat from a class A fire. For that, there is water.

I also use an ordinary 165 F fuseable link to trigger a fire warning at the instrument panel.
one needs to read up on each firefighting method. CO2 on a small vessel is great provided- the engine room must be sealed-all ventilation etc so i.e. are the engine room dampers auto-closing? If not- CO2 is a waste of time. CO2 will displace all oxygen- smother the fire- and anything living as well- so if CO2 floods you can not go inside without understanding the environment(aka how do you certify fire out) and you can not open the enclosure without introducing oxygen.
last, reignition from heat is now a problem.
class A is incorrect assumption for an engine room. Engine rooms are class B, C,and D. Understand that as well.

pushing aside the environment discussion-a fire on the vessel at sea is a matrix of environmental problems- Halon vs oil spill vs your health.

My suggestion is look at what is available for your vessel size, research each system, your budget, and if insurance acceptable (not just your company but others).

But if you want to see what fire does- look to this weeks container ship fire in Sri Lanka.
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Old 01-06-2021, 10:16   #9
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Re: Fire extinguisher in engine room question

Quote:
Originally Posted by tkeithlu View Post
160-165 degrees Fahrenheit is common for sprinklers, so I think you are OK there.

Let me pontificate on engine room fire suppression for a moment, assuming you are concerned for more than satisfying your insurance company. Dry chem is abrasive, corrosive, destroys electronics, makes one hell of a mess, and is not all that effective on class A fires. Those are anything other than pools of fuel. Halon derivatives are very expensive and not good for the environment.

What works for me is large quantities of carbon dioxide. It's cheap and can flood an engine room as does Halon. You can afford enough to really flood, with gas squirting out all the cracks from your engine space.

I made an engine room sprinkler system with 40 pounds(!) of CO2. It's copper tubing in a loop around the space, nozzles, and can be activated from outside the engine room in two locations. My system is manual, but I'm not expecting the engine room to ignite when I'm not around. That's effective, non-destructive fire suppression. The only thing it won't do is get rid of the heat from a class A fire. For that, there is water.

I also use an ordinary 165 F fuseable link to trigger a fire warning at the instrument panel.
+1. Dont forget to factor in all the spaces linked to your engine compartment - bilges, etc.
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Old 01-06-2021, 12:39   #10
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Re: Fire extinguisher in engine room question

If you have an automatic fire extinguishing system in the engine room make sure it is installed correctly. The engine should shut off automatically when the extinguisher fires otherwise it will be ingested and exhausted, doing no good.
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Old 01-06-2021, 15:01   #11
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Re: Fire extinguisher in engine room question

Interesting. Unless you are using CO2, how do you do that?
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Old 01-06-2021, 23:01   #12
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Fire extinguisher in engine room question

Thanks for the tips guys

My main concern was the heat rating might be a bit low
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Old 02-06-2021, 03:41   #13
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Re: Fire extinguisher in engine room question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clivevon View Post
Interesting. Unless you are using CO2, how do you do that?
Many of the automatic systems have a sensor on them that triggers when the system dumps. They make relay boxes that can handle shutting down engines, turning off blowers, etc. when the system goes off.
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