The Last of the very popular Marine USCG approved type portable FOAM Fire Extinguishers, lost their approvals, we have been told, in 1970.These included basically the Water and Foam types.
Amerex Corporation (amerex-fire.com) a major US Manufacturer, of Commercial and Industrial Fire Extinguishers in the United States, following extensive R&D, has now unveiled the new 2.5Gallon, Model 250CG AFFF Foam Fire Extinguisher, with the 810CG Bracket, that has been granted USCG approval as a Type A Size II and Type B Size II, when installed using the 810CG Bracket. It carries a UL rating of 3A:20B.
Congratulations to Amerex for their efforts, and dedication to the Maritime Industry.
This Fire Extinguisher is suitable for (Class A) Ordinary Combustibles, and (Class B) Flammable Liquid fires. It has the unique capability as an application to flammable liquid spills to prevent ignition. It has exceptional fire knockdown and penetrating ability, for use on deep seated Class A fires, and easier cleanup than the traditional Dry Chemical agents. The Fire Extinguisher is painted red, and utilizes a Chrome plated Brass Valve Body, with a stainless steel shell, which all offer superior corrosion resistance in the Marine environment. The Valve has a schraeder filling inlet, allowing easy recharging, using Compressed Air or Nitrogen, when using the Amerex Charge, and potable water.
This type of extinguisher is extremely beneficial for applications such as ignition prevention, bilge fires, solid combustible deep seated Class A fires that burn in, and are extremely difficult to extinguish when using agents applied on the surface. They are described in 46CFR Table 95.50-15, as allowable in areas that include, communicating corridors, galleys, paint and lamp rooms, baggage, mail, and specie rooms, storerooms, carpenter shop, boiler rooms, machinery spaces, and certain auxiliary spaces. That accounts for quite a few areas of any vessel, as described in the CFR.
This is truly a milestone in the Industry, as it once again allows the end user the much needed option from the Dry Chemical, Carbon-Dioxide, and Halogenated Agents, to have a liquid based Agent which would be excellent for Spill Fires and many Class ‘A’ Fires.
These Fire Extinguishers as defined in 46CFR 95.50-5(c) and 95.50-10 can be located in several different locations on board vessels, because they carry an A rating as well.
Portable Fire Extinguishers, are generally the first recourse when encountering a Fire situation, and having all the alternatives available on board a vessel, out at sea, can be critical towards extinguishing the fire. Many vessels do not have Fixed Fire Suppression Systems, and rely only on portable hand held units, so the availability of this unit certainly gives them the option of a liquid based agent that is effective on Class A & B Fires, and also acts as an inhibitor when applied on a fuel spill etc.
Dry Chemical Extinguishers are effective, but have issues with corrosive powder and extensive cleanup, Co2 Extinguishers are gaseous, and not messy, but the gas will evaporate, Halogenated extinguishers are extremely effective, but again an evaporating gas, very expensive, and impacting the Ozone. It is not surprising, that we find many foreign Ocean liners, with Foam as the largest compliment of Portables.
AMEREX has granted National marketing rights to Western Fire & Safety Co, of Seattle, WA, (westernfireandsafety.com) who will be offering these to the Industry, along with participating ABS (eagle.org) Approved Service Providers in the contiguous United States and Territories, that are ABS certified organizations, and committed to Marine Safety.
The Fire Equipment Industry, has again taken a bold step by offering the Maritime Industry, a much needed option, and we can expect to see the AFFF FOAM Portable Fire Extinguishers making a comeback in Marine, in a big way. The first of the Extinguishers will be on display at SNAME in Houston on the 19th of October, and equipment is expected to be available commercially by November 2005.