I'm no pro, but I've had to use them more often than I'd have ever expected. And that's without smoking, in or out of bed.(G)
Yes, I figure there are enough other ways to save the ozone layer.
>>Class A fires worry me the least because I have an endless supply of water available
True. The problem is getting the water to the fire. You need to get to the bucket, fill the bucket, get the bucket to the fire, and repeat. ClassA fires tend to double in size every 30 seconds, and if your upholstery is burning, that's enough time to fill the cabin with toxic fumes. So grab-and-squirt beats the bucket brigade on time.
>>Having a foam extinguisher for the kitchen
The Kidde is a dry powder, same dry powder as "household" ABCs, just a different discharge pattern. Not as vigorous a blow but it should still work as a BC extinguisher and leave just the same mess. Actually, a less caustic mess, since there are two different powders in use these days, and the "kitchen" and "marine" ones often use the less caustic powder because apparently those picky consumers, they get upset about thousand dollar stoves and such rotting out after a fire. Go figure, huh? (G)
>>don't use the C02 one when people are below" etc. Halon and Halotron seem to be
Well, if I'm using any extinguisher, anyone who is below ought to be hoisting their butts out the forward hatch or some other exit and getting on deck ASAP. Even dry powder is going to stop their breathing pretty dramatically if they stay below.
I think a CO2 or Halon bottle is best deployed by being fixed in place, with the horn extending through a "fire port" or into the engine spaces. With a suitable placard about "PULL FOR ENGINE FIRE" or something similar. You'll see those on a lot of commercial boats, a pull handle in the cockpit that remotely discharges a bottle in the engine space. Remember, if you have an engine fire and open the compartment, there may be a huge flareup as extra air gets to the fire. So you want to be able to gas-flood that compartment without opening it.
A plain heavy wool blanket, a cheap itchy one from the thrift store, should work as a fire blanket. Impregnated with sodium silicate solution if you prefer, as that also dries to be a fire retardant. I don't know why, fire blankets have just gone out of style. Maybe because there's a risk that it will pull the flaming pan of oil towards the user?
>>Walmart's <$20 extinguishers. Seems wasteful though to be buying 3 of those every year just to comply.
Unless you're a commercial vessel, I don't see any reason to replace them annually.
that is strictly a "regulated vessel" requirement, or a municipal building code requirement. My one remaining Halon bottle is an antique. I weigh it once in a while, and as long as it weighs full charge weight, I'm not going to question it. Same of CO2. If the postage scale says it is still up to weight--either it is still full of inert gas, or someone broke it, discharged it, and put in lead and ether to fool me. (Hey, thrillers have to be based on real life event, don't they?(G)
BTW, CO2 and Halon and the replacements all have their own issues. CO2 can cause frostbite and makes an unholy noise that might cause a new user to drop it. Halon (arguably) turns into carcinogenic gasses when combusted, and is available as a liquid AND a gas, two types. Whatever you decide on, try to check it out with the local FD or at least in videos beforehand.
And remember, firemen have no sense of humor if you offer them marshmallows on sticks. They prefer the little ones, in cocoa. (WEG)