Prior to using a fixed fire system, especially CO2, always have a full muster! Why? This Navy video shows the inside view of what happens when this deadly gas is released.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkCFcIy9SnI[/youtube]

How about when a 75lbs bottle explodes:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_wa4jZ5_qk[/youtube]

Why not to use CO2 on a Class D fire:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqErrNvns4o[/youtube]

Some facts from the EPA:

The amount of carbon dioxide needed to reduce the oxygen level to a point at which various fuels are prevented from burning is relatively high and is also at a level where humans will suffer undesirable health effects.

At concentrations greater than 17 percent, such as those encountered during carbon dioxide fire suppressant use, loss of controlled and purposeful activity, unconsciousness, convulsions, coma, and death occur within 1 minute of initial inhalation of carbon dioxide .

Source: EPA- CO2 Use as a fire suppressant.

gCaptain Tip:

We know of one confirmed instance where CO2 extinguishers were used on a fire. In this case the electrical cabinet remained hot so after initial uses that the firefighters continued to discharge CO2 thinking the fire was still burning. It wasn’t. Soon enough CO2 had built up in the space that the men had to evacuate after experiencing dizziness and headaches. Lessons Learned 1. don’t discharge CO2 in small spaces 2. remember that CO2 does not cool the fire or its surroundings.

LINKS:

(Article Originally Posted July 2007)

Share →
  • Pingback: Danger - Fire Extinguisher « Bob Couttie’s Maritime Accident Casebook()

  • Pingback: YouTube - CO2 Fixed Firefighting System Release()

  • Pingback: BuildHome » The Dangers of CO2 use in Firefighting - Videos()

  • http://www.maritimeaccident.org Bob Couttie

    If I can add my thruppence worth: It’s a good ideato ensure that CO2 is the right technology and in the right place. On the Maersk Doha a fire broke out in the EGE and the CO@ drench system was fired in the Engine room. CO2 is heavier than air and the EGE was in the funnel casing above the engine room. It wouldn’t have worked anyway because the EGE fire was over 1,000 c and was being fed by water already there (water dissociates into hydrogen, a fuel, and oxygen, which is what a fuel needs to burn) so it was self-sustaining.

    Oh, and only 7 out of more than 200 cylinders of CO2 actually went off.

  • http://www.maritimeaccident.org Bob Couttie

    If I can add my thruppence worth: It’s a good ideato ensure that CO2 is the right technology and in the right place. On the Maersk Doha a fire broke out in the EGE and the CO@ drench system was fired in the Engine room. CO2 is heavier than air and the EGE was in the funnel casing above the engine room. It wouldn’t have worked anyway because the EGE fire was over 1,000 c and was being fed by water already there (water dissociates into hydrogen, a fuel, and oxygen, which is what a fuel needs to burn) so it was self-sustaining.

    Oh, and only 7 out of more than 200 cylinders of CO2 actually went off.

  • Carl

    Back in the mid-90's the Navy had a fatality (I think maybe two people died) in a paint locker while maintenance was being performed on the CO2 system. A lot of questions were raised because the door to the space was open and the sailors were standing only a couple of feet from the entrance. How could they not just step out into fresh air when it happened?

    One of the investigators decided to recreate the accident, wearing an SCBA. He wrote about the experience in a Navy magazine, I think it was Fathom, and it was very interesting. He was very surprised to how fast everything happened. He described the locker almost instantaneously filling with a cloud of CO2. It was very loud and disorienting. In the end, it was not difficult to imagine how the sailors died even though they were steps from safety. CO2 is not something to mess around with.

  • Carl

    Back in the mid-90's the Navy had a fatality (I think maybe two people died) in a paint locker while maintenance was being performed on the CO2 system. A lot of questions were raised because the door to the space was open and the sailors were standing only a couple of feet from the entrance. How could they not just step out into fresh air when it happened?

    One of the investigators decided to recreate the accident, wearing an SCBA. He wrote about the experience in a Navy magazine, I think it was Fathom, and it was very interesting. He was very surprised to how fast everything happened. He described the locker almost instantaneously filling with a cloud of CO2. It was very loud and disorienting. In the end, it was not difficult to imagine how the sailors died even though they were steps from safety. CO2 is not something to mess around with.

Sign up for the gCaptain Newsletter!

Over 31,000 people receive the gCaptain email newsletter every single day. Get the maritime and offshore industry headlines that matter sent straight to your inbox. Or LIKE us on Facebook!

We will not share your email address with anybody for any reason