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Author Topic:   Fire extinquisher life
triblet posted 03-30-2002 10:04 PM ET (US)   Profile for triblet   Send Email to triblet  
What's the life of a fire extinquisher on a
boat? Till the first fire or Y years. What's


JoeyP posted 03-30-2002 11:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for JoeyP  Send Email to JoeyP     
A fire extinguisher can last a number of years as long as you maintain it. This is done by making sure there is no visible rust on the cylinder, the extinguishing agent powder does not become hardened or caked, and the pressure gauge reads a full charge.

You cannot test fire a dry chemical extinguisher. If it is accidentally discharged or used for a relatively short period of time it either has to be replaced or taken to a be cleaned and recharged. This would have to be done by service company. I recommend that once a month you remove the extinguisher from its bracket and examine it. Hold the extinguisher upside down and tap it with a rubber mallet. This ensures the powder does not cake up. Check the gauge. Over a period of time the seal can go bad at the cylinder neck and slowly leak the pressure down. By keeping the extinguisher stored in a somewhat sheltered compartment and making periodic inspections it shoould last a number of years. Most importantly, it will be a reliable piece of emergency equipment should a fire occur.

Outraged posted 03-31-2002 03:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for Outraged  Send Email to Outraged     
Another way to check it is to weigh it.
simonmeridew posted 03-31-2002 08:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for simonmeridew  Send Email to simonmeridew     
This brings up a related issue.:
I try to keep my boat USCG legal. Flares, lights, PFD's etc. So I picked up a CG Aux. pamphlet at a recent boat show which listed among other equipment required, the fire extinguisher, besides being the right kind, size etc, needs to be inspected peridically. So I thought, well a good time to buy a new marine fire extinguisher, so off to West Marine. When I got it home I discovered it wasn't "inspected", there was a piece of thin cardboard in the box with a series of places for the "inspector" to check, date and initial, but it was completely unmarked. I guess I'm somewhat bummed because I thought a new fire extinguisher would at least have a current date, inspection code or expiration date somewhere on it. Even the flares I have do have an expiration date stamped on them. Looks like I wasted $20. on a redundant fire extinguisher.

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