December 11, 2017 at 8:08 am #8942
Fire Safety While Cruising
One of the things that has often concerned me while cruising is the ability to hear a smoke alarm while the vessel is operating. We have smoke detectors installed in the Sleeping Cabins, Engine Room, inside the Main Electrical Panel (sniff any hot wires early), behind the Helm Dash, etc. The detectors seldom alarm, but when they do we fully investigate.
My main concern has always been “will we be able to hear an alarm when we are cruising for hours and hours on the flybridge” (especially the engine room alarm). Well I think I have found a relatively inexpensive solution!
First Alert make a smoke alarm that is battery operated (2 AA Batteries) is “Wirelessly Interconnected” and has, not only an easy to hear alarm, but also sound an additional “Voice” alarm that tells you the location of the alarm that set off the warning!
We have installed them in the locations mentioned above, but also one under the dash on the flybridge. Now when an alarm sounds at any one of the alarm locations, they all sound off, but what I really think is cool is they all also announce the location of the alarm that set off the alarm (where the smoke has been detected). Note that the locations it can announce (9 different locations) are geared for a residence (kitchen,utility room, guest bedroom,etc). So for one in the engine room we chose to set the location as “Basement” the Pilothouse we chose “Office” , etc.
I cannot yet comment on how frequently they false alarm, but they are well made, easy to install, and easy to setup and relatively inexpensive to purchase. They look like an easy solution to provide an “early warning” to a problem best known sooner, than later! You may want to check them out (I have no connection).
Great Harbour GH47
AGLCA# 8109 MTOA# 4686
December 19, 2017 at 11:32 am #8948
Dick & Phyllis HermannParticipant
We installed a similar (earlier) model SCO500 in May 2016. We think they are a great solution. The locations in parentheses are the names that come programmed in the detectors.
1. Master Stateroom (Master Bedroom)
2. Galley (Kitchen)
3. Guest Stateroom (Guest Bedroom)
4. Engine Room (Utility Room)
5. Salon (Living Room)
6. Bosuns Locker (Basement)
7. Lazarette (Hallway)
False alarms do happen, most often in the galley. We can avoid them by turning on the exhaust fan (see below) and opening a portlight on the opposite side of the galley for cross-ventilation. When we forget to do that soon enough, we just twist the alarm out of its mount and slide the battery tray out until after we are done cooking. (We are still protected by the other six units.)
Our alarms will also chirp a “detector error” message when we transmit on VHF radio with the antenna lowered to a horizontal position – usually when passing under bridges. Lately, however, we found that if we tilt the antenna forward instead of aft, we don’t get the “detector error” message. Another good suggestion that I got from another forum was to use our portable VHF radio at those times.
PS, about that “exhaust fan” – we mounted a Caframo Scirocco 12V 3-speed 7-inch fan at about 0930 next to the portlight so it locks out of the way while the portlight goes up and down, and locks into position close to the screen when in use. Works quite well for us.
Great Harbour N37 Avocet
December 24, 2017 at 5:30 pm #8954
Speaking of fire safety, I noticed my Fireboy Halon system in the engine room is not even wired to the indication at the helm. I realize it will discharge at 175 degrees but the system should be coupled with an automatic engine shutdown and a bypass to restart the engines if necessary. Is this an installation shortcoming with our boat or is this common with other GH’s?
December 25, 2017 at 6:21 pm #8956
Dick & Phyllis HermannParticipant
Avocet’s engine room is protected by a Sea-Fire FD600A cylinder using FM-200 (HFC-227ea) agent with Sea-Fire 131-440 Engine Shutdown Relay Module and Engine Interrupt/Restart System Panel at the helm. The cylinder will automatically discharge at 175 degrees F.
I just tested the system shutdown function last week. The alarm is loud and piercing, as it should be. I was able to silence and reset the alarm from the helm, enabling a restart.
I believe that is standard operating procedure for most engine room fire suppression systems. If this functionality is missing, I would contact an authorized Fire-Boy installer pronto.
December 26, 2017 at 7:08 am #8958
Thank you Dick. I discovered this during the purchase…it’s as if they started installing the system, went to lunch and never came back to it. ???
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