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Old 11 August 2006, 09:00   #1
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Fire suppression

I have done a search on here, read all the posts discussing the subject and come to the conclusion that if I can find a suitable one I am going to get a plastic AFFF extinguisher.

But I didn't see any mention of alternative fire-suppression solutions.

What I'm thinking of is that on every domestic heating boiler there is a shutoff valve that when it gets above a certain temperature, a blob of solder melts (or something) and shuts off fuel flow into the unit so you don't keep pumping fuel into the flames...

Does any such thing exist for a RIB? It seems like a sensible idea (maybe the outboard has one fitted inside the cowl - but I haven't seen any mention of it in the book)

Mine - at the moment - doesn't even have a stopcock on the fuel tank, an odd oversight when it was screwed together, and that will be sorted before too long so that if the **** hits the fan I can whip the seat off and isolate fuel and battery in a few seconds. But I was just wondering about other ideas to reduce the risk or do you think it is overkill?
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Old 11 August 2006, 09:32   #2
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The best extinguisher to carry is a green Halon one - of course they have now been banned except in certain cases - I am sure a burning RIB/Car will damage the environment a lot more than the Halon but of course the experts know far better!!! Failing Halon AFFF is the next choice as you say.

Inboards tend to have the protection you mention - outboards don't seem to - probably cos they are outboard. The most common cause of fire is electrical - make sure everything is fused that can be and you have a battery kill switch.

Failing that jump into the sea - my boat carries 500L of petrol - full I am not so worried by when the tanks are empty in hot weather it does get a bit worrying!!!
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Old 11 August 2006, 09:42   #3
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How is Halon going to be effective in an open space? It'll just blow away.
Gaseous extinguishers are only any good in enclosed spaces - plumbed into the engine cowling would be good.

Halon has been banned for use on boats for some time but there are "green" alternative gaseous extinguishers that can be used if appropriate
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Old 11 August 2006, 09:44   #4
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AFF (acqueous filming foam) is a reasonable second best, now that Halon has been withdrawn. A second dry powder extinguisher is a useful idea, but be careful about contents becomign "packed" if it's not mounted properly.

The best system is well stored extinguishers and quick reactions - it's no good if you have to pull the contents of a locker out to find the extinguisher!

Mind you, we work with oil (and soon LPG) tankers so we tend to be a bit paranoid!
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Old 11 August 2006, 12:15   #5
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Sorry - I wasn't clear - I am going to get an AFFF extinguisher anyway - just wondering about this idea I had as additional protection?

My RIB has less than 100L Codders - so I'll be out of the burns unit before you
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Old 11 August 2006, 12:58   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Searider
How is Halon going to be effective in an open space? It'll just blow away.
Gaseous extinguishers are only any good in enclosed spaces - plumbed into the engine cowling would be good.

Halon has been banned for use on boats for some time but there are "green" alternative gaseous extinguishers that can be used if appropriate
It all depends - obviously most electrical fires will occur in the console or in under deck spaces. Halon is very effective even if just aimed at the base of a fire - for example a car engine fire which becomes an openish space once the bonnet is lifted!!! On an outboard it would need to be directed into the cowl - as would any other medium.
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Old 11 August 2006, 15:08   #7
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Fire blanket? Or as suggested on my PB2 - when the fire ext. runs out a jacket dipped in the sea and wrung out placed over burning engine.

Cod - would rather use powder inside console than any gas, probably even halon. Might make a mess but it does work - and doesnt 'diffuse' away as easily.

Stephen - does your fuel tank have a 'quick' disconnect fitting on it like connects the fuel line to your engine? almost as good as a stop cock.
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Old 11 August 2006, 16:17   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polwart
Stephen - does your fuel tank have a 'quick' disconnect fitting on it like connects the fuel line to your engine? almost as good as a stop cock.
Erm <slightly embarrassed pause> no I don't think so ... I think it is securely attached at the tank end then there is just the primer bulb and a hose straight to the engine. I don't think there is one at the motor end either, unless it is inside the motor cowling - I am pretty sure the whole lot goes in through a big sort of grommet thing together. I know the fitting you mean though, as I just bought one while I was on holiday, for the 6hp aux that arrives next week so I can use an external tank with that.

Good idea though - will look into it
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Old 11 August 2006, 17:31   #9
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Steve, have you looked at Boat Save Cannisters? Got 2 on my RIB to supplement the usual ABC extinguisher. Supposed to be a suppressing foam to smother fire & prevent re ignition. Never used them & hope never have to but sounded a good idea - but I'm a sucker for sales talk
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Old 11 August 2006, 17:54   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polwart
Fire blanket? Or as suggested on my PB2 - when the fire ext. runs out a jacket dipped in the sea and wrung out placed over burning engine.

Cod - would rather use powder inside console than any gas, probably even halon. Might make a mess but it does work - and doesnt 'diffuse' away as easily.

Stephen - does your fuel tank have a 'quick' disconnect fitting on it like connects the fuel line to your engine? almost as good as a stop cock.
A console is a lot more enclosed than a car engine compartment with the bonnet up - Halon works fine - I have used it several times. Unlike CO2 it doesn't just smother - it actually interupts the combustion process. 1kg of Halon is equiv to 10kgs of CO2. You do NOT need to flood totally with Halon.
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