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  #11  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Re: Inspecting fire extinguishers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Azzarac View Post
I'd like to add that my time spent in corporate facilities management we were tasked with inspecting and maintaining all of our fire extinguishers. All those found to be out of date would be taken to a "safe area" where all of our first responders would get the chance to extinguish a live fire in a trash barrel. It always surprised people as to how critical aiming was and that you couldn't simply spray a burst of chemicals willy-nilly. Most folks instinctively attack the flame instead of the base of the fire which would inevitably spread the fire instead of putting it out. If you have an extinguisher you are replacing I would highly recommend trying it out or taking it to your city's fire chief and inquire about demonstrations on how to properly use a fire extinguisher.
Once in a while the fire company that does our safety inspections brings in a fire pan and lets everyone who wants to try putting the fire out. It is a great idea! I think everyone should try it so they know what to expect in a real emergency. My son learned how to use one when he was six!

I also think that would be a good use for outdated flares! How many people have actually fired a flare gun? Why not set a date with local authorities when people can fire flares under controlled conditions?
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Re: Inspecting fire extinguishers

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Originally Posted by chuck53 View Post
A buddy of mine teaches the Power Squadron Boating safety class. According to him, basic marine extinguishers are stamped on the bottom (and mine are) with the year of mfg. As long as the guage is in the green and they are 12 years old or less, they are good to go.
Both of mine were more than 12 so I bought 3 new ones...one for each sleeping cabin and own within arms reach of the galley and engine room.

FYI, if you have an extinguisher without a date stamp...it is way more than 12 years old. One of mine was and it is no longer in service.
Actually, I just checked one in the engine room today (5 years old, a pretty white one) and it was dead center in the green, but light as a feather. I doubt seriously it would have been much use in a fire, but all you who say "check that it's in the green and you're good to go", here's hoping you don't have that happen when you need one, for real!
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Re: Inspecting fire extinguishers

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Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
In my recent pre purchace survey one of the few high priority safety findings was that my fire extinguishers did not have documentation of a current inspection. The recommendation was to have a certified inspector check them yearly.
MedSailor
ABYC -
It is an ABYC recommendation. It is not a USCG or Transport Canada requirement.

Transport Canada TP1332E - 10.4.2
Requires the instructions of the manufacturer be followed however this does not apply to pleasure craft.


Code of Federal Regulations, Title 46, Sub-part 25.30 -
Does require six month inspections however this does not apply to pleasure craft.
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Re: Inspecting fire extinguishers

Paying to certify an extinguisher annually is silly. However, this thread has motivated me to check mine. All in the green. We go way beyond the minimum requirement, which I think is more important than excessive inspections. We have 6 aboard.

As a bit of thread drift, I would encourage everyone to watch Yachting Monthly's, Crash Boat Series, on Fire. Pop off a powder extinguisher down below and you better know blindly how to get out. It will go zero/zero visibility in one second. Very valuable watch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aL_VdzjM-24
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Re: Inspecting fire extinguishers

In the US, the local Power Squadron arm of the USCG will do a free 'safety check' which is for many reasons a good thing to do

When my boat was recently checked the inspector looked at the gauge and the date (stamped on bottom), which was all he did, bringing my attention to the date stamp. A couple of my extinguishers were near the 'empty' so I replaced. But that was all he did, just have a look at the gauge and the stamp
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Re: Inspecting fire extinguishers

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Paying to certify an extinguisher annually is silly. However, this thread has motivated me to check mine.
Lol! Maybe so, but it takes the onus off the volunteers that do the safety inspections, and it satisfies the requirements of the insurance companies. The fact that one's boat gets an annual safety inspection is sometimes reflected in the insurance premiums. Besides, I would hope that people who own boats worth close to a quarter million dollars might be able to pony up the cost of a latte to ensure their fire extinguishers are up to date! Believe it or not I have been approached by owners of far more valuable boats than mine, wanting to borrow my current flares and fire extinguishers so they can pass inspection! No wonder sailors have a reputation of being cheap!
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Re: Inspecting fire extinguishers

If a dry chem extinguisher has been sitting a while, turn it upside down and shake a bit to fluff .Big ones, you can feel the soda fall back and forth.Little ones are only a bit better than none . While you're at it check the gauge and dates.
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Re: Inspecting fire extinguishers

Thanks for all the good info. BTW, I'm not trying to be cheap here (though I knew that comment was coming ) What I'm trying to do is figure out if this is really necessary and if so, why.

It's more the hassle and the fact that it's not user-serviceable and I don't know what goes into an inspection. From my (lack of) understanding, fire extinguishers are generally low maintenance items. I was aware of the soda-caking issue and I go give them a shake from time to time. I also have some mounted horizontally, which hopefully would help. What I'd really like to see is the ABYC regs, but really that's probably irrelevant to my case because once the surveyor puts it on the survey and it goes to the insurance company, you'd best comply. I'm sure I can be arguing ABYC regs till the cows come home, but if my boat burns down (for any reason) the insurance can now point to my lack of compliance with the surveyor's recommendation if I don't do what the surveyor says.

BTW, here is the exact text of the finding. I do love that my current surveyors DO cite chapter and verse with findings.

2. **Found: All fire extinguishers without current inspection tags. Recommendation, have
extinguishers re-certified or replaced. IAW NFPA 302. **, ABYC A-4 AP 6.3 At one year
intervals, a full maintenance check should be made by a qualified fire extinguishing system service
facility in accordance with the manufacturer’s maintenance instructions. A tag should be attached
showing the date of such maintenance check.

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Last edited by MedSailor; 4 Weeks Ago at 03:10 PM.
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Re: Inspecting fire extinguishers

Slightly off topic, but...

A soaked towel or fire blanket can make a lot of sense in the galley.

Water, unless fuel, 110v, or electroninics are involved, is effective and available. And the electroninics are going to be toast with the dry chemical hits them anyway.

And a lot of other contingencies.

Not sayin' you don't want to have the extinguishers, just sayin' that when they fail (or fail to finish the job--they generally only give a few bursts) you should quickly move on to plan b. I've had to deal with a few incipient fires in refineries over the years, and the key is clear thinking and rapid addaptation of the plan to the situation.
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Re: Inspecting fire extinguishers

Thanks for the fire blanket reminder. I put it on my christmas list last year and forgot all about it after Santa snubbed me. I'm pretty sure I will need to buy it because I haven't been good this year. hehe

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