Author Topic: FIRE SUPPRESSION SYSTEM  (Read 22477 times)

Offline Shipwreck

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FIRE SUPPRESSION SYSTEM
« on: October 04, 2008, 01:08:05 PM »
So, let's talk FIRE.

I want to protect our submarine and future guests from one of my worst fears, fire.  But I also want to preserve the historical aspects of the boat, while meeting local fire regulations.  I would hate for anyone taking personal photos of what they believe to be 'the way it was' of the boat only to find all these red fire extinguishers dotting their pics upon development.

So, I wanted to ask other boats hwo they handle this.  What type of fire fighting tools/plans/aspects do you have/use?

What about evacuation plans?  In the event of a fire, do you have a plan in place for evacuating the boat?

These answers could help me a lot in my proposals.  Thanks!

B
Sincerely,

Bradley Wynn
PO Box 711
Oklahoma City, OK 73101-0711
OFC/FAX:  (405) 601-1950
CELL:  (405) 833-1727
bradley@scriptfolio.net
www.ussbatfish.com

Mission Statement:   “The USS Batfish War Memorial remembers those who have served, preserves the legacy they leave behind, and educates those who come after, of lives touched by war in the fight and hope for peace.”

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Offline JohnG

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Re: FIRE SUPPRESSION SYSTEM
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2008, 03:50:22 PM »
Just an idea for the Batfish....

There are alot of places we could put the extinguishers and they not be in line of site. Kinda in the "back corners" of a compartment. Behind the bunks, engines, mess hall tables, etc. They are easily accessable but not like you said in every camera shot. Just an idea.

Oh and as for a evacuation plan...."If there is a fire....RUN!"  ;D
"If crime fighters fight crime and fire fighters fight fire, what do freedom fighters fight?" ~George Carlin

Offline MWALLEN

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Re: FIRE SUPPRESSION SYSTEM
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2008, 04:51:16 PM »
I agree with John...just make a map available showing where they are.
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" - Edmund Burke

Offline JTheotonio

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Re: FIRE SUPPRESSION SYSTEM
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2008, 03:36:03 PM »
Evacuation plan is easy - turn so NOT facing fire and RUN until you reach open hatch in either torpedo room - forward or aft!
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From the Forward Torpedo Room

John

Offline JohnG

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Re: FIRE SUPPRESSION SYSTEM
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2008, 04:02:55 PM »
Depending on fire code maybe make the hatch in the Crews mess able to be opened. Not sure if we would want to do that but just an idea and a 3rd exit.
"If crime fighters fight crime and fire fighters fight fire, what do freedom fighters fight?" ~George Carlin

Offline Lance Dean

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Re: FIRE SUPPRESSION SYSTEM
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2008, 05:41:49 PM »
Evacuation plan is easy - turn so NOT facing fire and RUN until you reach open hatch in either torpedo room - forward or aft!

Well, if you didn't see fire, you could easily run into the fire.  The boat seems to suck air through it like a vacuum, pulling smoke along with it.

Offline JTheotonio

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Re: FIRE SUPPRESSION SYSTEM
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2008, 05:53:47 PM »
Second clue to fire in a lot of smoke is heat - don't go towards the heat.
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From the Forward Torpedo Room

John

Offline Shipwreck

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Re: FIRE SUPPRESSION SYSTEM
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2008, 04:10:14 AM »
Fire Code will have a lot to do with what will ultimately be decided, but this is something pretty important when you have a high visitor rate.

Truth be told, if any of yo have worked a tour - its like herding cattle through.  If you remember, there is barely enough space for two people to pass, let alone a whole group!

So imagine a fire breaks out onboard - doesn't matter where - what are the implications?  What to do?  How to fight it?  How to evacuate?  Etc. etc. etc.

To post a sign 'You are Here" and evacuation arrows or such would probably look bad, but may be required by code.  Hiding extinguishers behind bubks and such might be great unless the person who has to fight the fire is a visitor and not a staff or volunteer member, then they're left wondering where an extinguisher is.  Taking on a fire might be the only way to give folks time to get out safely.

Would extinguishers be adequate?  Should there be a fire suppression system?  Perhaps a dry chemical system to cause less damage?  The list goes on and on.  I want to know what other boats have done or are doing?  With the crazy electrical systems onboard and all the renovations constantly going on, fire is a REAL possibility.  The ONLY ship ever constructed fireproof was the ocean liner SS United States - years later.  So trust me, that sub will BURN if given the chance - or the spark.

So, what are other boats doing?
Sincerely,

Bradley Wynn
PO Box 711
Oklahoma City, OK 73101-0711
OFC/FAX:  (405) 601-1950
CELL:  (405) 833-1727
bradley@scriptfolio.net
www.ussbatfish.com

Mission Statement:   “The USS Batfish War Memorial remembers those who have served, preserves the legacy they leave behind, and educates those who come after, of lives touched by war in the fight and hope for peace.”

Member Batfish Living History Association: www.ss310.com

Offline MWALLEN

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Re: FIRE SUPPRESSION SYSTEM
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2008, 08:35:00 AM »
Quote
Would extinguishers be adequate?  Should there be a fire suppression system?  Perhaps a dry chemical system to cause less damage?  The list goes on and on.  I want to know what other boats have done or are doing?

The ONLY person that can adequately and correctly answer these questions will be the local fire department.  Our local fire codes may be different than other areas and what is required for them may be different for us.  See if you can get them out next Saturday and go through the sub with you.

My 2 cents.

Mark A.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2008, 08:36:55 AM by MWALLEN »
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" - Edmund Burke

Offline Darrin

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Re: FIRE SUPPRESSION SYSTEM
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2008, 09:25:45 AM »
Mark A. is correct the only person that can answer all of your questions about a fire on your boat and the local fire codes is your local fire dept, here are a few basic things that they will probably tell you what you can do in case of a fire on your boat.

In case of a fire what can you do???

1.) CALL 911
2.)  Get EVERYONE out of the boat ASAP and do a head count of all visitors and vol's to make sure that all are off the boat
3.)  IF 1 fire extinguisher didn't put the fire out DON'T try to be a hero and go back into the compartment for 1 more try, because you maybe come a casualty
4.)  SECURE ALL ventilation to that compartment if possible and watertight doors (hopefully your boat will be water tight enough that it may smother the fire out due to lack of oxygen)
5.)  IF it is an electrical fire secure the power to the boat ASAP
6.)  Be prepared to talk the fireman through your boat.. What that means is IF they are not familiar with your boat and it is FULL of smoke (and yes even a small fire will fill it within seconds) and all power is off they will more then likely be disoriented quickly and then they will struggle to have to get your fire out.
7.)  Ask Fire and Emergency services if they would like to come to your boat and do some training during theirs and yours slow times, everything from the general walk through with no gear on to having full gear on and a dark baggie put over their mask to simulate smoke and pulling the 1 1/2" lines through the boat (unpressurized) so they will have an idea of what they need to do in case of your boat being on fire.

With Holloween just around the corner you can get the fog machines for next to nothing and they do not leave any residue when used, see IF you can get permission to bring one onboard and "smoke out" a compartment...... This will show you and the rest of your volunteers how fast your boat will go from being able to see everything to barely able to see your hand in front of your face in a matter of a minute (depending on how much ventilation you have running and how tight your boat is and obviously what compartment you are using. I recommend using the After engine room because of the size of the compartment and you do have a hatch to open so you can ventilate the compartment relatively easily with just a box fan laying across the hatch pulling it all out.

While I am no longer qualified Fire 1&2, I have been on a submarine full of smoke and it was not fun at all and I WAS qualified on that boat and knew were everything was and had a operational fire main onboard and it was still a struggle and luckly no one got hurt because the immediate actions did put the fire out and after the reflash watch was set we ventilated the boat out and we stayed at sea and had it all cleaned up by the time we got into port.

My .02 cents worth

Darrin

Offline JohnG

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Re: FIRE SUPPRESSION SYSTEM
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2008, 12:44:36 PM »
To Shipwreck- Once we get the high volume of patrons hopefully we will have tour guides or the like with the patrons and trained in what to do.


Darrin's idea of using a fog machine I think is a good idea. We already have some extinguishers on the boat, but using a fog machine would be a great way to see what we are up against. I think if I fire did break out on the boat though that it wouldn't be anything big. No much on the boat can burn. But then again weirder things have happened.
"If crime fighters fight crime and fire fighters fight fire, what do freedom fighters fight?" ~George Carlin

Offline Mark Sarsfield

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Re: FIRE SUPPRESSION SYSTEM
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2008, 01:13:15 PM »
We could definitley recreate a fire with fog and by killing the lights with only flashlights and emergency lighting operational.  Currently our water tight doors are locked open.  I understand the want to do that (in case someone breaks a hand on a door slamming on them), but for a fire, sealing off the doors and ventilation makes sense.  We should probably zip-tie the doors open, but with a weak enough zip-tie that a good yank will break the plastic.

Regards,
Mark Sarsfield
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"If you have one bucket that can hold 5 gallons and one bucket that can hold 2 gallons, how many buckets do you have?" - IQ test from Idiocracy

Offline emeacho

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Re: FIRE SUPPRESSION SYSTEM
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2008, 01:20:55 PM »
I don't know why you are so concerned about hiding fire extinguisers.  The boats had them (at least in the 60's and 70's) and they were usually in plain sight.  Dry chemical would be best, CO2 - forget it, not good for sustaining life in confined spaces (like submarines).  If you are concerned about fire plans, consider installing a PA system.  On most boats the 1MC is OOC, so run some cabling (it can be hidden behind or in cableways) and some speakers (they can also be hidden in places where they can still be heard).  The PA can be used to alert visitors to evacuate and how.

Offline Mark Sarsfield

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Re: FIRE SUPPRESSION SYSTEM
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2008, 01:31:00 PM »
We're working on a new PA system and I agree that we should use the existing exinguisiher holders - I posted that somewhere else.  Using dry chemicals is a good point, since you don't want to asphyxiate the crew with CO2.

Regards,
Mark Sarsfield
USS Batfish reenactor



"If you have one bucket that can hold 5 gallons and one bucket that can hold 2 gallons, how many buckets do you have?" - IQ test from Idiocracy

Offline Darrin

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Re: FIRE SUPPRESSION SYSTEM
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2008, 02:41:58 PM »
This is a first hand account of the USS Bonefish (SS 582) that caught fire in 1988, the compartments that were on fire reached 1200 degrees and to put that into perspective it WARPED the bulkheads it was so hot...

A Crewmember's Recollection of the Fire in 1988

The report below was contributed by QM2/SS Richard (Rick) Neault, U.S. Navy Ret. It is dedicated to the three men who gave their lifes aboard the USS Bonefish (SS 582).

At the time of the accident I was on watch in the control room. I was a Quartermaster and at the time was a third class (Qm3/ss). We were operating with the USS Carr (FFG 52) and the JFK (CV 67) doing war games. The Carr had asked us to go deep to commence an operation, we were at periscope depth (PD). We started to go down to 250ft and the boat took on a down angle. At that time, the maneuvering room called up and said they had lost the ground on the battery well. The officer of the deck (OOD) told them to wait until we reached depth and then send a man into the well to see what was wrong. After we had reached 250ft, a man was sent into the battery well to find the problem when he then called out fire in the berthing spaces. The battery well is located under the berthing spaces. From there it gets kinda foggy for me as I did not monitor the phone communications. About 15 minutes after the fire alarm was sounded, there was a loud bang and the boat began to shudder. Instantly the boat filled with smoke. VERY thick and heavy black smoke. It came rushing into the control room and filled the room in about a second. By then the CO had already ordered us to PD, but when the smoke filled the compartment, the CO ordered an emergency blow. We surfaced, unfortunately the OOD was not wearing an emergency air breathing device (EAB). He was unable to get the hatch open and unfortunately succumbed to smoke inhalation. His name was Lt. Ray Everts. A quick side note, all three of the men who died in the fire were fairly new onboard. I had just had a conversation with Lt. Everts about the Quartermaster division on the Bone. He said that we were the best Qm division he had worked with thus far in his Navy career. He was a good guy. After we had surfaced, we were eventually able to get the control room hatch open and start one of the diesels. We used it to suck the smoke out of the compartment. The men fighting the fire were trying to get to the flames. Unfortunately, the fire was in the insulation that was located behind the walls in the berthing compartment. We would have had to remove the bunks and then the walls in order to get to it. They sure tried though. After we had been surfaced for about 15 minutes there was another loud bang and once again the compartment filled with heavy smoke. This time it flamed out the engine and aparently it had melted through an air line. At that point the CO realized that the fire was now being fed by this air line and the only thing left to do was to abandon ship and lock down the hatches and hope it burned itself out. Unfortunately, Robert (Bob) Bordelon (RM1/ss) had some sort of medical emergency (heart attack??) in the radio room and was already unconscious. YN3 Todd Lindgren was at the midships hatch waiting for his turn to go topside when he snapped (freaked out) and disappeared into the smoke. The Doc tried to locate him but was unable to due to the smoke. He was 20 years old, old enough to die for his country, but too young to buy a beer. RM1 Bordelon was less than a year from retirement. The official cause of the fire was an electrical short across the battery bus ties that eventually caught the insulation on fire. The Garbage Disposal Unit (GDU) in the crews mess had a leaky valve. That valve had apparently been leaking for some time and the salt water ate through the decking into the battery well. When we made our angle to go down to 250ft, the water that had pooled poured into the well and caused arching and sparking and from there it is now history. Had there been an explosion due to the buildup of hydrogen gas (as some sub experts claimed), you wouldn't be reading this because I would be dead. Several of the crew of the Bone have been subsequently retired from the Navy for various reasons, including myself. Mainly because of the rumor and speculation surrounding the accident. Unfortunately, those of us who wanted the subs to be our career have had a hard time readjusting to civilian life. It isn't that we were blamed by the Navy, its just that crews on board other boats felt that we didn't do enough to save our shipmates, even though they were not there to actually be aware of what happened.


This post was not to meant to make anyone sad or depressed or even mad, I posted it to show the readers here that tragedy's do happen and that a fire on a submarine is nothing to joke about or try to be a super hero in trying to put the fire out especially if you don't have any kind of breathing apparatus on.