I'd like to install an automatic fire extinguisher in the engine compartment of my Malo 36.
What are the pros and cons of the various types (powder, CO2, foam, etc.)?
What is a "halon replacement" fire extinguisher and where can one be sourced (at a reasonable price)?
All advice welcome.
Results 1 to 10 of 21
25-02-10, 21:36 #1Registered User
- Join Date
- Nov 2009
Engine Compartment Fire Extinguisher
26-02-10, 07:13 #2
I'm sure some people will be able to share some good info, in the past I've read quite a few posts on the subject (I seem to remember in the motor boat forum).
If you give the search option a go I think you'll probably find some good discussions on the subject.
26-02-10, 08:40 #3
Halon replacement is the way to go.
But, if you have an automatic extinguisher, you must have some way of stopping the engine BEFORE the exstinguisher goes off, because when that happens the engine vents the extinguishant through the exhaust in seconds leaving nothing to tackle the fire!
You need to solve this problem, and I am not sure how without some very expensive systems.
I solve the problem by having an additional couple of manual extinghuisers which can be injected manually through a keyhole to the engine compartment, but this means going down below when there is a fire......
CO2 - very heavy canisters, also a large volume is needed, so I don't think it is really a practicle solution in small boats.
Also consider how you turn off your diesel tap if this is in the engine compartment.
26-02-10, 14:22 #4Registered User
Location : Me: Johannesburg South Africa Yacht: Durban East Coast Africa
- Join Date
- Nov 2001
"But, if you have an automatic extinguisher, you must have some way of stopping the engine BEFORE the extinguisher goes off, because when that happens the engine vents the extinguishant through the exhaust in seconds leaving nothing to tackle the fire!"
What I did in the past and will do on my new boat is to fit a fire/smoke detector in my engine box with 2 remote operated extinguishers and a viewing port.
If the detector goes off I can check the engine box without opening it and if a fire is found, I can shut down the engine and operate the first extinguisher. If that does not kill the fire the second one can be used.
If I an in a place where I cannot shut off the engine due to safety reasons I can still monitor the fire until it is safe to shut down and deal with the fire.
26-02-10, 15:18 #5
Powder may bugger your engine but rather that than the boat burning down to the water line sinking! I would think in many cases unless you have a sealed engine compartment (which most yachts don't have) then halon/halon replacement would do more harm you than put out the fire. C02 would just get sucked into the engine and the fire would carry on.
I'm sure that most insurance companies would rather replace a buggered engine than a replace a whole boat, which is what they would have to do if you didn't stop the fire.
Me I've got an automatic 2Kg dry powder extinguisher, I'm happy as I know it will put out a fire. The rest I can deal with later, but I'll still be afloat and manoeuvrable.Drinking rum and playing music with my friends.
26-02-10, 17:15 #6
Halon or its substitute extinguish the fire by chemical means and it will not reignite. Contrary to urban myths, halon is not poisonous. It is as unpleasant to breathe as the smoke is, but it will do no more harm. I assume the substitute is the same, although it was introduced after my fire-warden duties were over.
I carry all three: a large foam one for engine fires, halon substitute for something that really works when needed and powder as a last resort.Answers to some technical queries at http://coxengineering.sharepoint.com
26-02-10, 17:46 #7Registered User
Location : Levkas
- Join Date
- Dec 2009
Halon or halon substitute is the way to go and as previously stated, reignition is a distinct possibility with dry powder.
26-02-10, 17:51 #8
27-02-10, 10:05 #9
Surely and engine room full of CO2 would stop the engine too?
27-02-10, 12:54 #10
Engine Space Fire Protection
Halon replacement is the way to go. Without getting into arguments about stopping the engine, we have a 2Kg equivalent auto gas, bought from FIRE PROTECTION CENTRE LIMITED - very good prices and service (we also bought more extinguishers from them, including an auto gas one for the bow thruster compartment).
All approved by a surveyor for coding.
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