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.
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.
- Worst case – Routine Inspection of the Fixed CO2 Fire
Extinguishing System that led to the Death of Four
- An in-depth EPA report after 4 MSC fatalities
- Use of a CO2 Extinguisher – VIDEO
(Article Originally Posted July 2007)