Compatibility of CO2 Extinguisher Components

Posted by Michelle Howard
Friday, March 14, 2014
Figure 1: The obsolete diffuser on the right is cast differently than diffusers used today. Note the longer neck and placement of diffuser holes. The newer diffuser on the left is compatible with standard discharge hoses and has a shorter neck to allow it to properly seat when the hose is connected. See Figure 3 for how to determine if you have a CO2 extinguisher fitted with an obsolete diffuser that may be incompatible with standard industry discharge hoses.

A recent marine casualty investigation of a shipboard fire onboard a U.S. flagged vessel in the Hampton Roads Captain of the Port (COTP) zone raised serious concerns with regards to carbon dioxide (CO2) fire extinguisher servicing.  During shipboard fire-fighting operations a crewmember attempted to fight a fire using a 15lb CO2 extinguisher, but the extinguisher failed to properly discharge and only seeped from the neck of the extinguisher.  The fire was eventually extinguished by another crewmember using a dry-chemical fire extinguisher.



Following this shipboard fire, U.S. Coast Guard Investigators took the CO2 extinguisher that failed to discharge into evidence and had it analyzed by a fire-fighting servicing agency.  It was determined through this analysis that the extinguisher failed to properly function as a result of an obsolete diffuser that was incompatible with standard industry discharge hoses.



The incompatible combination of an obsolete diffuser and a standard industry discharge hose prevented the neck of the diffuser from properly seating when the discharge hose was connected.
 


The fire-fighting servicing agency that helped examine this CO2 fire extinguisher is currently taking steps to issue an agency wide safety alert requiring fire servicing technicians to replace any diffusers meeting the description of the one provided to the right in Figure 1.
 


This recent marine casualty highlights the importance for fire-fighting servicing agencies to ensure they are using fire extinguishers and components compatible with one another.  The use of components incompatible with one another, which happened in the case described in this safety alert, could have resulted in a much more serious marine incident.  To help reduce marine casualties similar to the one described in this safety alert, the U.S. Coast Guard strongly recommends the following measures:


 

  • That fire-fighting servicing agencies check all CO2 extinguishers during annual fire-fighting equipment servicing onboard contracted vessels and remove any diffusers of the same type and design as the one shown to the right in Figure 1.  These obsolete diffusers should be replaced with new diffusers that are compatible with the standard discharge hoses used in service today.
  • That fire-fighting servicing agencies, when discharging CO2 fire extinguishers as a part of periodic servicing (e.g. hydrostatic testing), discharge the extinguishers with the discharge hoses connected to ensure compatibility of all components and overall functionality of the extinguishers.  In the case described in this safety alert, doing so would have likely identified the inoperability of the extinguisher years before it was needed to fight a shipboard fire.
  • That marine employers and vessel operators conduct organizational audits and inspections of CO2 fire extinguishers currently in service and check for obsolete diffusers that may be incompatible with the standard discharge hoses in use today.


It is requested that any obsolete CO2 fire extinguisher diffusers that are identified as a result of this safety alert be reported immediately to the Sector Hampton Roads Investigations Division by calling (757) 668-5540 or emailing IO.SectHR@uscg.mil.



This safety alert has been forwarded the U.S. Coast Guard’s Fifth District and U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters for distribution nationwide.  Any questions regarding this alert may be directed to the Sector Hampton Roads Investigations Division using the contact information provided above.

 

Maritime Reporter September 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Nordic American Offshore Declares Dividend

Nordic American Offshore Ltd. today announced that its board of directors has declared a dividend of $0.45 per common share for the third quarter 2014. This is the same as for the second quarter 2014.

Bollore Africa Logistics Sees Profit Plunge in H1

First half 2014 profit at shipping company Bollore Africa Logistics plunged to 5.89 billion CFA francs ($11.48 million) from 9.45 billion CFA francs in the same period last year,

Ocean Rig, Petrobras Agree to $1.1b Drill Ships Lease

Cyprus-based Ocean Rig UDW Inc said on Monday that it signed a $1.1 billion three-year contract with Brazil's state-run oil company, Petroleo Brasileiro SA, to

News

Nordic American Offshore Declares Dividend

Nordic American Offshore Ltd. today announced that its board of directors has declared a dividend of $0.45 per common share for the third quarter 2014. This is the same as for the second quarter 2014.

Missouri River Basin is Booming

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Missouri River Basin Water Management Division is maintaining above normal releases at the four lower dams on the Missouri River.

Bollore Africa Logistics Sees Profit Plunge in H1

First half 2014 profit at shipping company Bollore Africa Logistics plunged to 5.89 billion CFA francs ($11.48 million) from 9.45 billion CFA francs in the same period last year,

Marine Equipment

New Standard for LNG Cargo Containment Systems

Wilhelmsen Technical Solutions (WTS) said it has successfully completing the gas trial for the first LNG carrier built to a Boil Off Rate (BOR) of 0.08% per day.

Twin Disc Offers Virtual and Real EJS Experience

Visitors to the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, October 30–November 3, 2014, can experience what it’s like to control a diesel-powered, conventional driveline

Messer to Debut MetalMaster Xcel

Messer Cutting Systems said it has answered the call from manufacturers that have been demanding a faster, more accurate way of producing cut parts. Messer’s

Coast Guard

Smith Brothers Chrtisten New Tug

Smith Brothers, Inc., Chesapeake Bay-based barge and marine equipment charter company, recently added the tug Capt. Kenneth to its fleet of inland and truckable tugs.

Falmouth CGOC Joins National Network

Falmouth Coastguard Operations Center (CGOC) will become part of the new Coastguard national network for the first time this week. Work has been carried out

USCG Search For Boater Missing 50 miles South St Marks, Florida

The Coast Guard is searching for a missing boater 50-miles south of St. Marks, Florida, Sunday. Missing is George Taylor, 60, from Tallahassee, Florida, who

Maritime Safety

Maritime Reporter @ 75: The Daily Cartoon

Maritime Reporter & Engineering News was founded by John J. O'Malley (1905-1980) in 1939, and today ranks as the world's largest audited trade publication in the world serving the maritime industry,

Cruise Ship Returns to Texas after Ebola Concern

The Carnival Magic cruise ship was en route back to the United States on Saturday with a passenger from Texas who might have handled specimens of the first Ebola

MEPC Approves Draft Polar Code

Draft Polar Code approved by IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee A key step on the way to a mandatory Polar Code for ships operating in Arctic and

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Naval Architecture Pipelines Port Authority Salvage Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2296 sec (4 req/sec)