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Old 04-03-2021, 12:36   #1
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fire extinguisher recommendations

I need to purchase all new extinguishers and was looking for recommendations. (B-I and B-II) Is Kidde a good option, even though it had a big recall?
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Old 04-03-2021, 15:21   #2
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Re: fire extinguisher recommendations

Don't get one of the recalled ones.
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Old 04-03-2021, 16:02   #3
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Re: fire extinguisher recommendations

Avoid the powder ones, go for water with additifs if allowed in your country.
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Old 04-03-2021, 18:26   #4
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Re: fire extinguisher recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by CAArias View Post
I need to purchase all new extinguishers and was looking for recommendations. (B-I and B-II) Is Kidde a good option, even though it had a big recall?

I started a thread on this a while ago.


Most sailors purchase inexpensive fire extinguishers for compliance. Purple K extinguishers are more effective on most marine hazards e.g. gasoline, diesel, cooking oil/grease. CO2 extinguishers make less of a mess which is a very real consideration.


I ultimately opted for compliance extinguishers because scenarios where fire extinguishers make a meaningful difference in a marine environment are hard/impossible to find. Usually people use them and find they are ineffective given the highly combustible nature of fiberglass, wood, and other boat components.
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Old 04-03-2021, 18:28   #5
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Re: fire extinguisher recommendations

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Originally Posted by sailormed View Post
Avoid the powder ones, go for water with additifs if allowed in your country.
sorry must ask why you say 'avoid the powder ones' ? they have always worked well for me...a bit messy but that is the least of your worries

water based extinguishers are not recommended for electrical or flammable liquid fires

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Old 04-03-2021, 19:13   #6
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Re: fire extinguisher recommendations

I was once told that buying fire extinguishers containing Sodium Bicarbonate made cleanup much easier than those containing monoammonium phosphate - the latter is extremely corrosive to electrical components and will require replacing any electronics that get even a little exposure. Both will meet the BC requirement. Here's a Sodium Bicarbonate one

https://www.shopjfi.com/kidde-2-5-lb...inguisher.html

But once you need a fire extinguisher on a boat, it's not clear that cleanup is your biggest worry.
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Old 05-03-2021, 07:40   #7
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Re: fire extinguisher recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
I started a thread on this a while ago.


Most sailors purchase inexpensive fire extinguishers for compliance. Purple K extinguishers are more effective on most marine hazards e.g. gasoline, diesel, cooking oil/grease. CO2 extinguishers make less of a mess which is a very real consideration.


I ultimately opted for compliance extinguishers because scenarios where fire extinguishers make a meaningful difference in a marine environment are hard/impossible to find. Usually people use them and find they are ineffective given the highly combustible nature of fiberglass, wood, and other boat components.

Thank you so much!
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Old 05-03-2021, 09:10   #8
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Re: fire extinguisher recommendations

Yeah, we went over this a few months ago.

First, 10-year sealed lithium powered smoke and CO detectors.

It's highlighted for a different size boat, but you can read the table and see that you need 4 extinguishers. This is from NFPA 302: Fire Protection Standard for Pleasure and Commercial Motor Craft which is available for free at NFPA.org

That would be considered best practice. Anything else is just personal preference. Myself, I'd just use water on Class A fires, and CO2 everywhere else. A lot of this extinguisher talk really depends on how gutty of a person you are and how much firefighting you really plan on doing.

Most important in my view is the discharge port for the engine compartment. A simple 4-6" access port would be very effective.

You might also consider a fire blanket. They're very effective for many fires.

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And causes of boat fires:


https://boatus.com/expert-advice/exp...-of-boat-fires


As far as brand goes, they're all UL listed. They all pass the same testing. As far as recalls go... they happen *shrug*
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Old 05-03-2021, 09:35   #9
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Re: fire extinguisher recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by CAArias View Post
I need to purchase all new extinguishers and was looking for recommendations. (B-I and B-II) Is Kidde a good option, even though it had a big recall?
The recall was three years ago, so you probably could not find even a used one that was due for recall. Kidde replaced all of the ones sent in, so other than old ones where people did not pay attention and send them in, you cannot find one. The replacement ones had a modified handle, so not an issue any longer.

Personally, I carry two "compliance" ABC's to show the authorities. I also carry two Halotron 2.5 lbs that I would actually use - they are not marked US Coastie compliant. I helped clean-up a boat after someone used an ABC powder extinguisher, and it was horrible work - the stuff is actually sticky and corrosive. Obviously, it's better than losing the boat or your life. BTW: just like every other safety device, it's a good idea to practice with an expiring one. Most people don't know that those smaller ABC's fully discharge within about 8 seconds. Oh, +1 for fire blankets in the galley - much better than squirting chemicals around at pressure.
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Old 05-03-2021, 10:00   #10
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Re: fire extinguisher recommendations

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Originally Posted by John_Trusty View Post
I helped clean-up a boat after someone used an ABC powder extinguisher, and it was horrible work - the stuff is actually sticky and corrosive. Obviously, it's better than losing the boat or your life.
Yeah, most people have never used them. They're awful. They also wreak havoc on all your mucous membranes (eyes, nose, throat, lungs, etc). They also reduce visibility very quickly.

Quote:
BTW: just like every other safety device, it's a good idea to practice with an expiring one.
Seconded. Especially if you can try it in an enclosed area.

Quote:
Oh, +1 for fire blankets in the galley
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Old 05-03-2021, 14:53   #11
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Re: fire extinguisher recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlF View Post
I was once told that buying fire extinguishers containing Sodium Bicarbonate made cleanup much easier than those containing monoammonium phosphate - the latter is extremely corrosive to electrical components and will require replacing any electronics that get even a little exposure. Both will meet the BC requirement. Here's a Sodium Bicarbonate one

https://www.shopjfi.com/kidde-2-5-lb...inguisher.html

The bicarbonate ones are the least effective of the dry chemical types pound-for-pound. Keep in mind that the ratings don't tell the whole story.

Quote:
But once you need a fire extinguisher on a boat, it's not clear that cleanup is your biggest worry.
Obviously you've never done it. A MAP fire extinguisher discharged in a boat in the absence of fire (e.g. vandalism) will give you a cleanup job that takes more than a day. Some of the powder is very fine and it ends up everywhere. Some items will be impossible to clean and will have to be discarded.


In an actual fire, especially if water is also used for extinguishing purposes, it's even worse, forming a residue that is difficult to remove by any means, and corrosive.


The conclusions I came to are:


  1. For compliance just use the cheap disposable ones at any chandlery, possibly with a better bracket.
  2. If you are going to actually put out fires with dry chemical then Purple K is your best bet. It is less messy than MAP and more effective on fuel and oil. It is more costly mainly because you have to jump from disposable consumer extinguishers to industrial-quality ones.
  3. If you care about residue then CO2 is probably your overall best choice. They are expensive but sometimes can be found used.
  4. If you care about actual extinguishing performance then one of the foam extinguishers is your best bet. They cannot be allowed to freeze and are expensive to purchase and maintain.
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Old 05-03-2021, 15:05   #12
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Re: fire extinguisher recommendations

I prefer the A/B/C rated to cover all bases. When mounting consider mounting one OPPOSITE the galley, rather than IN the galley. The galley is a potential source of fire and you don't want to have to reach in or around the fire to grab the extinguisher). Even if fully engulfed, anyone can grab the extinguisher off side of the boat and go to work on the fire.

The same goes for the engine hatch. I have an automatic (fireboy) system in the engine compartment, however I also have one right next to the deck hatches on both ends (one end is also for the galley). I also keep them near the helms in the event of an electrical fire and near the main electrical panel (also doubles for the engine compartment).

I also keep them in the staterooms, but that is more for blasting a path to get out.
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Old 06-03-2021, 09:45   #13
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Re: fire extinguisher recommendations

I had a big fire on my boat and will never buy the cheap Kidde dry chemical extinguishers again. I highly recommend the 5lb Halotron extinguishers. They are expensive but donít leave the mess if ever needed and are highly effective at smothering a fire. Click image for larger version

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Old 08-03-2021, 10:47   #14
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Re: fire extinguisher recommendations

Dry chem will destroy anything it touches, and is not that effective against a class A fire. The cheap way to flood the boat without entering it is CO2, which you can buy in 20 pound cyliners at a welding supply and then pipe into the boat with copper tubing. Bunches less expensive than Halon. I carry 40 pounds, with valves in the spaces before and after the engine room.

Whatever you buy, realize that fiberglass resin burns like greased paper, and produces a smoke that is lethal in its own right. To me, that means put your fire extinguishers as near exits as weather will permit. You want to be essentially outside the boat when you grab the fire extinguisher, because you may have second thoughts.

Consider as well small fire port(s) for the engine box. That fire could be confined, not in the fiberglass, and you would not want to open the big hatches around it, letting oxygen in.
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Old 08-03-2021, 10:58   #15
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Re: fire extinguisher recommendations

ABC dry chem is useful as a quick grab for if you don't know exactly what's burning, although it's messy and quite corrosive to electronics (and aluminum). It's also not the most effective choice in many cases.

If you've got a fuel fire, you're better off with either Purple K dry chem (BC rated) or foam. If you've got an electrical fire, you want a clean agent (CO2, Halotron, etc.) to avoid destroying electrical / electronic stuff. If you've got burning fiberglass, you need either a significant quantity of foam or an incredibly large amount of water.

Be aware, clean agent extinguishers have some limitations. Unless the fire is in a confined space that you can flood with the agent, it'll knock the fire down, but as soon as the stuff dissipates, if it hasn't had enough time to cool, the fire may re-start.

Ideally, I'd have a fixed system in the engine room along with Purple K or foam near the engine hatch. Put a clean agent extinguisher near the electrical panel. Maybe a foam or class K wet extinguisher (not the same as Purple K) in the galley. And then ABC dry chem everywhere else.

It also might not hurt to add a port around or in the electrical panel to allow you to flood the space behind it with extinguishing agent easily depending on how it's all designed and placed.
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