Warning On Total CO2 Extinguishers

 fire extinguisher, Maritime Safety Forum, MSF  Comments Off on Warning On Total CO2 Extinguishers
Jul 192011

Marine Safety Forum has issued an alert regarding faulty  2kg and 5kg aluminium CO2 fire extinguishers manufactured between 2006 and April 2011.

TOTAL, a manufacturer of portable CO2 fire extinguishers has contacted Lloyds Register to advise that faulty extinguishers have been identified in service. In a small number of cases the valve has failed and released unexpectedly. This has the potential to cause serious injury as the valves may be ejected at high speed. We have been further advised that, although these extinguishers were primarily used on land, a number have been supplied to the marine industry.

The affected extinguishers are 2kg and 5kg CO2 aluminium cylinders and were manufactured between 2006 and April 2011. The screw thread on the valve cannot be seen.

The following brands are affected: Continue reading »

Bracket Caused Exploding Fire Extinguisher – Check Yours NOW!

 Accident, fire extinguisher, Safety Alerts  Comments Off on Bracket Caused Exploding Fire Extinguisher – Check Yours NOW!
Jun 082010

imageNow would be a good time to go and check your bracket-mounted fire extinguishers. Although this particular extinguisher apparently exploded off of a bulldozer a similar incident could well happen aboard ship.

Over time, the head of a bolt supporting the bracket damaged the fire extinguisher cylindre, producing fatigue cracks that weakened it sufficiently for it to burst, tear off the bracket and fly several metres. Fortunately no-one was hurt.

Two other bracket mounted fire extinguishers showed a dangerous amount of wear from the metal retaining strap.

Continue reading »

Are Your CO2 Safety Pins Unsafe?

 close call, fire extinguisher, fire safety  Comments Off on Are Your CO2 Safety Pins Unsafe?
May 112010


It’s a forehead slapper, but if you want your CO2 extinguisher system to work when needed it might be a good idea to check, right now, that the safety pins have been removed from the cylindre valves.

Yes, it does happen.

Says a Marine Safety Forum alerts: “During an annual certification of critical equipment on a vessel, a contractor identified the safety pins used for transporting and disabling the system on the CO2 Cylinders had not been removed from the valves. This matter was brought to the attention of the Master on the bridge who subsequently removed the pins and informed the company byn incident report form for the identified near miss.

Continue reading »

Citadel Compliance Might Kill Seafarers

 fire extinguisher, fire safety, multraship  Comments Off on Citadel Compliance Might Kill Seafarers
Oct 182009

image News that seafarers have been killed inside a ship’s ‘safe room’ or ‘citadel’ as Somali pirates tried to shoot their way in has highlighted the sad fact that mandating safe areas on a ship does not mean that they’ll be used wisely. While full details of the incident have not been released, and probably never will be, the fact is that having a safe room on a vessel without understanding the role it actually plays in ship defence is as pointless, and possibly as dangerous, as putting lifeboats on a ship but not telling or training and drilling the crew to use them properly.

The principles of defence are as old as warfare, from the castles of medieval Europe and earthworks of Saxon Britain to the coastal churches of the pirate-infested Philippine islands in Spanish times and the Moro kotas of Mindanao in the early 20th century so familiar to “Black Jack” Pershing and occupying American forces. The system that so often made it difficult to capture a citadel then is just as valid today.

Continue reading »

Danger – Fire Extinguisher

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Oct 242007

Fire extinguishers can be deadly, as this recent safety flash from the Marine Safety Forum shows. We’ve mentioned this before on Maritime Accident Casebook and I’d like to hear about other cases that you might be aware of through our confidential reporting contact at confidential@maritimeacident.org.

Always remember, a fireextinguisher is a pressurised vessel that corrosion or poor maintenance can turn into a bomb.

Safety Flash
A fatal injury occurred resulting from the operation of a gas cartridge-type dry chemical powder-filled fire extinguisher. Upon activating the fire extinguisher, the bottom of the extinguisher body failed. The fire extinguisher propelled upwards and struck the fire extinguisher operator in the neck and chin area resulting in fatal injuries.

Lessons Learned
There were signs of corrosion on the base of the extinguisher and it is thought that this may have contributed to the fire extinguisher failure. As a precautionary measure it is advised that all cartridge-type fire extinguishers (in simple terms those which do not have a pressure gauge attached) should be inspected immediately. Those which show signs of significant corrosion or severe pitting should be removed from service and replaced.
Recommended Actions Visually inspect all gas cartridge operated fire extinguishers that are located in potentially corrosive environments. Check for signs of significant corrosion or severe pitting on the body and base of the fire extinguisher. Where there is a sign of corrosion or severe pitting
on the extinguisher, take the extinguisher out of service immediately and replace it with a new unit.
During inspection, accessories such as rubber bases or mounting brackets should be removed to ensure a complete visual examination of the unit. If you are in doubt of the severity of the corrosion, take the extinguisher out of service and have it tested in line with
manufacturer’s guidelines.

Potentially corrosive environments include:
• fire extinguishers stored outside, unprotected from the weather
• fire extinguishers stored in wet/damp environments or in standing water
• fire extinguishers stored near marine environments, jetties, platforms, shipping or
any facility located near salt water
• fire extinguishers stored on or near chemical processing facilities
NB: An investigation team is currently working to determine the system causes of the incident and will report in due course. This may result in further recommendations.

 Posted by at 11:53

Exploding Fire Extinguisher

 corrosion, explosion, fire extinguisher  Comments Off on Exploding Fire Extinguisher
Aug 162007

One of those ‘it probably won’t happen to you’ situations, but then, they always are:

An old foam-filled fire extinguisher was found among the debris of an engine room which was being prepared for dismantling. When an attempt was made to move the extinguisher it exploded, causing several injuries.

It turned out that the shell of the extinguisher failed because of heavy corrosion – a dnger in any pressure vessel (Yes, including those shaving cream cans).

Fire extinguishers should of course be checked and serviced regularly and you might take a look at extinguishers store in damp or exposed locations.

Check out the original report in MFB15 available at the CHIRPS website.

 Posted by at 11:29