Engine Compartment Fire Exstinguishers

Chris_Robb

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I have to replace my old automatic BCF extinguishers, and can only find powder types in the chandlery which are supposedly suitable for an engine fire.

What happens if the engine is running when all that powder goes off, and gets sucked into it. I know it will put the fire out - which is better than burning the boat totally, but will I still have a working engine? Surely there must be a replacement to Halon which won't damage the engine?
 

Chris_Stannard

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Try L&G marine 01326374646. I am waiting for a quote for a CO2 extinguisher.
I do not believe powder is very effective as it has to be fitted high and has a limited range. Foam is okay for bilge fuel fires, but slides off surfaces that are not horizontal.

If you find anyone else let me know

Chris Stannard
 

vyv_cox

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Why do you have to replace your BCF? Halon is so much better than anything else that it is madness to replace with something inferior unless absolutely imperative. If the weight of the extinguisher has not changed it is still OK. When push comes to shove, install a foam extinguisher very visibly and hide the halon under the sole boards for actual use.

Foam is far better for engine fires than powder but it is more difficult to obtain. Powder is widely available in chandlers, not because it is better, but because it is cheaper and more widely available to them.
 

alant

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I understood that halon had been banned & no longer available. Alternative recommended is CO2, but to obtain similar capacity the cylinders are much, much, larger.
 

Chris_Robb

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My old BCF extinguishers are almost empty, so hence the need to change. I have a manual Halon and yes I would love to get hold of some more.

The old exstinguishers pre-dated halon I think!
 

vyv_cox

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Halon

You will find it difficult to buy (it is still available in "undeveloped countries" whatever they are) but there is no compulsion to remove existing extinguishers until, I think, end next year.

CO2 could be OK for an engine compartment, although heavy as you say, but useless on deck.
 

JohnR

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I picked up a 6kg and 4 kg halon extinguishers recently from an independant extinguisher guy. He has to replace them in public places etc and was quite happy to pass them on for £25. Look in Yellow Pages for such people.
 

gunnarsilins

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Remember, there is a reason....

...for banning halon extinguishers!
I am more concerned for the future of our enviroment and our kids health than the nuisance of having clumsier CO2 extinguishers in my engine compartment!
 

vyv_cox

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Re: Remember, there is a reason....

Which is more damaging to the environment? Discharge of a 2kg CFC extinguisher, whose chemical composition will be rendered harmless by the extinguishing process, or the burning of a couple of tonnes of GRP, PVC coated wires, 20 gallons of diesel, paint, polyester ropes, etc., etc.

It is widely accepted that the banning of Halon was a knee-jerk reaction to holes in the ozone layer. There is little doubt that uncontrolled and widespread release of Halon in training was contributing to the accumulation of CFCs in the atmosphere, although hardly comparable to releases due to refrigerants and electronics component manufacture. But to ban the extinguishant that is far and away the most effective known was irresponsible and unnecessary. There will inevitably be deaths as a result of this decision and it is very debatable whether those lives will be lost in a good cause.

I trust that you will never be faced with fighting a blaze with your CO2 extinguisher.
 

BarryD

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Re: Remember, there is a reason....

Vyv what you say is true - and there are alternatives to Halon they just havn't found themselves into the smaller boat market yet - FMS200, or Argonite to mention two.

You slightly emotive post is immaterial - the rule has been made and Halon is no longer supposed to be used. What fine would you accept for the keeping your halon installation? Are your great great grandchildren going to say thanks pal we'll just put on factor 100 because you wouldn't give up one of your toys?

All FWIW, IMHO and NWGOI
 

JohnR

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Re: Remember, there is a reason....

If my boat catches fire 100 miles offshore I want something which will put the fire out, not something that is so ineffectual that I will admire 40 tons of GRP and 10 tons of fuel oil blazing away whilst I sit in my life raft waiting for the RAF to find me.
 

gunnarsilins

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JohnR and Vyv, please...

...enlighten me!
I´ve have been told that CO2 is perfectly suitable for putting out fires in closed engine compartments!?

Besides, I dont believe the enviromental problem would be so big if all halon extinguishers only were emptied when they must - in case of a fire!
But the problem is probaly the same as with fridges, most of them will just be thrown away into nearest scrapyard when they are old without beeing emptied in a proper way.

I know there are strong movements against the ban of halon and freons.
Who should I trust?
The industrial financed lobbyers - or the enviromental organisations?
 

coliholic

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Re: Remember, there is a reason....

Spoken by a true environmentalist who doesn''t contribute to global warming by burning tons of petrol in his four V8 engines. Or have I missed one;-).

Just because Halon's been made illegal doesn't alter the fact that it is the best extiguishant and that the ban was ill conceived and poorly thought out. So much so that the military are exempt from the ban on it. Only poor old joe public has to use an infinitely inferior product.

BTW I liberated three 2.5KG Halon extinguishers from the company doing our annual office fire safety check. They said we had to change to CO2 and were going to charge us for taking them away, so I took them and saved the company money into the bargain.
 

JohnR

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Re: JohnR and Vyv, please...

The halon extinguishers I mentioned are just that, extinguishers. For the engine room I have a fully automatic system with the new American halon replacement, which isn't yet approved for UK use because the lazy b**s haven't got round to testing it yet. I need the halon because it works better than anything else, when the extinguishers are tired and knackered I will dispose of them in an approved disposal site (which has not yet been set up).
You are aware that the local authorities are having to rent land to store old fridges until the incinerators for burning halon come into operation possibly later this year.
 

ccscott49

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Why do you have to replace them? You can get halon extinguishers re-filled with re-cycled halon. They are without doubt the most effective extiguisher, we all know that. They only become a problem when set off un-neccessarily, when they are used in a real firew, they pose no threat to the environment. I would not dream off doing away with mine, I want to know I have the best protecting me and mine. I think we are getting carried away here with the "I want my kids to not use 100 factor" Try stopping industry emitting greenhouse gasses, try stopping the third world using CFC's in fridges etc. Come on chaps wisen up a little! Remeber what clinton said, "I'm all for environmental controls, as long as it doesn't cost one American job"
 

JohnR

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Governemnt Health WarningFire Exstinguishers

Remember the government health warnings: if they say something is safe it certainly isn't and if they say it is dangerous to health then it is quite the opposite. I eat raw meat, uncooked eggs, have not been vaccinated against MMR (because the vaccine hadn't been invented when I was young) and I am still alive and will continue to take no notice of government warnings.
 
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