surface and provides a vapor seal. The effective range of AFFF extinguisher discharge is 15 to 20 feet from the nozzle
to the base of the fire. Discharge time is 55 to 65 seconds for a 5-gallon container.
Section VII. PORTABLE FIRE EXTINGUISHERS
6-15. GENERAL. Most fires are small at origin and in the typical ship are rapidly discovered. They can be easily
extinguished if the appropriate application method, proper type, and amount of extinguishing agent are readily available
and promptly applied.
Section VIII. OPERATION OF FIRE EXTINGUISHERS
6-16. CO2 EXTINGUISHERS. CO2 extinguishers are most effective when used at a-distance of 5 feet or less from the
outer tip of the horn to the edge of the fire. When using CO2 extinguishers, the fire fighter should get as close to the fire
as possible for maximum effectiveness and should fight the fire until the fire is out and cool enough not to reflash. The
most commonly used method of application is to start at or near the edge of the fire and direct the discharge in a slow,
side-to-side sweeping motion, gradually progressing toward the base of the fire. CO2 application should be continued
(even after the flames appear to be extinguished) to allow added time for cooling and to prevent any reflash from
adjacent hot surfaces or open fingers of flame.
On fires involving electrical equipment, discharge should be directly into the source of the flames. It is important to
deenergize the equipment as soon as possible to eliminate the potential source of reignition.
Care must be taken when transporting a CO2 extinguisher; at 800 F the bottle has a pressure of
about 1,000 psi. If the valve is broken, it will cause the bottle or valve to become a missile,
causing serious personal injury.
A used fire extinguisher should be returned to the Damage Control Locker where it should be recharged if possible or
clearly and obviously labeled to identify the fact that it needs to be recharged. A good practice is to remove the horn and
hose assembly to prevent attempted use of an empty extinguisher. Replacement extinguishers should be returned to the
appropriate storage rack as soon as possible.
The lead seal should be checked on all fire extinguishers before being passed into an affected
compartment to ensure an empty bottle is not sent to the fire.