Aquarium Safety

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man i wish i would have seen this earlier

Being a firefighter for the last 20 years having smoke/CO/and extinguishers in the house at least one each on each floor is a GREAT idea however, what needs to be taken into consideration are the areas their being put in. Has anyone in here actually used a dry chem. extinguisher?? aka ABC/BC/PurpleK extinguisher?? the ones who have can tell you that they make a HUUUUUUGE mess!!! In the kitchen your not going to want a ABC ext. but a BC or a PurpleK and of course you might even consider the classic CO2 ext. Florida Joe does bring up a great point in this hobby...there is a large amount of electrical items running in a small area and a larger chance of a electrical fire however, my suggestion (high one at that) is for your tank area i would go for a CO2 style ext. and not a dry chem. First off, if there is some type of electrical issue/fire the biggest/best thing to do is, remove the current causing the problem, run to the main box and trip the breaker...thats of course if the breaker itself hasn't failed/malfunctioned, if it did then flip the main! REMOVE the current and the issue will subside, go back to the area in question and if there is visible flame then by all means knock'er out with the can, sorry extinguisher

by using a CO2 ext. your going to put the fire out and the only thing your gonna have to clean up is the burnt wire now if you use any type of dry chem. good lord you'll be cleaning up for days let alone what it can do to your fish, which my guess would be kill them in no time at all. Once you have discharged your ext. even if its a little squirt its done you cant just put the pin back in and slap it back on the wall and have it work again later on. You will have to have it serviced which is the next issue. A LOT of the Ext. sold out there wally world H depots lowes etc. are NON-SERVICABLE aka throw aways.
Blah i didnt mean to get into this this far im sorry, basically i wanted to say/suggest is to re-think the choice of Ext. for your tank. if i can find a pic from a fire we had where the home owners hit it with the can i'll share that and you will see the huge mess it made.
Originally Posted by florida joe

At about 4am my smoke alarm started to beep. After checking and feeling secure it was only the low battery warning I went back to sleep (pillow over head).
I started to think of all the electrical items we have associated with our tanks. If there were to be an electrical fire would I we ready. Probable not. Murphy’s law would insure that it would happen in the middle of the night. Half asleep I would have to hunt for a fire extinguisher. It’s off to Home depot today for a small fire extinguisher placed in an inconspicuous place near my tank. Just food for thought my fellow hobbyists
Ive had a scary moment, but mine did include fire but nothing serious but very good advice a fire extinguisher is a must have.


Well-Known Member
Originally Posted by meowzer
LOL...How funny...I think about fire all the time...when the kids were little we had a planned exit strategy (I thank God we never needed to use it) I would grab my cat (dogs too) and jewelery (LOL) you said who knows what we would realloy do faced with that situation
My Mothers house burned a 4 years ago. Please do NOT stay in a dangerious place trying to find your cat. She had three and lost two in the fire.
Things explode, and poison from artificial stuff burning...there is more to the fire than the flames.
My mother yelled and got the children out, all had just gotten to the driveway (in the dead of winter in thier pajamas, my mom had grabed her purse, which was by the door). The house exploded. If they had waited even one minute all of them would be dead now.
Please as much as it hurts to think about it, just get out. When you have something on your mind you have a tendancy to carry out that train of thought in a panic and you need to reprogram your mind to just get out.
My you never. ever have to do so.
Since I am a renter, and really cant rewire outlets in my place...
I saw that home depot sells what looks like just an adapter, 3 prong plug into the wall outlet, that has GFCI protection, and you can plug a cord into that (say a 6 plug strip) right into it. Will this work just as well considering I cant hardwire?
Originally Posted by NYHCx516x
Since I am a renter, and really cant rewire outlets in my place...
I saw that home depot sells what looks like just an adapter, 3 prong plug into the wall outlet, that has GFCI protection, and you can plug a cord into that (say a 6 plug strip) right into it. Will this work just as well considering I cant hardwire?
Yes, it will provide you with GFCI protection, while the breaker in the panel protects the wire.
good advice joe also. Keep 2 if you have it by your tank and thats where your fire is you might not be able to get to it. Fire can spread fast epsecialy if it is in your wall. You may not find where it is comming from in time to get the 1 by your tank. Instead keep a couple. and get them serviced yearly so you know they are going to work when you need it. We had a fire at work once and the fire bottle I got of course did not work


Active Member
Total Watts (equipment) divided by volts (120) = AMPS
Total Amperage on a single circuit should not exceed 80% of listed amperage on the breaker (15 amp = 12 - 20amp = 16). This is total for a circuit, not just the fish tank!
Wire gauge 15 amp = 14 gauge wire. 20 amp = 12 gauge.
PLEASE check GFCI often! They do malfunction and need to be replaced!
I believe this to be true........
Originally Posted by florida joe
Seriously I am guessing a fire extinguisher. Good for you
JEEEz Joe, you know better! Nobody BUYS cats; people PAY YOU to take them. (Good thread, BTW)
Don't forget the simple drip loops, easily overlooked or moved.
just a smoke detecter thought. I was always told to change the batterys twice a year. so every time we spring ahead or fall behind. yes the day light saving time all the detectors get new batterys.


I have so many things plugged in it always makes me think my house is gonna burn down some day....I do have smoke detectors & I own a fire extinguisher, but in this case, i don't even think the one I have is for electrical fires. FYI there are certain extinguishers for certain types of fires (ie. fuel, wood materials, electrical and chemical) All I have to say is thank god for insurance....if the day ever comes I need it.
As another firefighter with 20 plus exp, I think that putting the fire ext by the tank "MAY NOT" be the BEST idea. Reason: If the tank equipment is the cause the fire, the fire may be too large to SAFELY reach the "can" IF it is too close to the tank, therefore a second or even third "can" in the "general" area or room may be the trick to putting out the fire. On another note I own a Security and Video Surveillance compnay, and if you dont have a security system look into it. They have built in AC power loss reporting that can notify you via landline or text message that power is out, and with cellular and battery back up reporting it could save your entire system from a HUGE loss if the power goes out and you are away from home.


Active Member
Our fire was the most terrifying thing ever. It happened at 4 in the morning, or something like that, and was due to saltwater splashing on an outlet. The earthquake we had shifted the sump and caused it to spritz water.
I installed GFCIs after that and put splash guards on outlets.