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Fire Suppression Systems at Sea

We’re all aware of basic fire suppression systems within the workplace and we also know that there are a variety of solutions to combat certain types of fires. For example, an office full of computers would be equipped with CO2 fire extinguishers to tackle electrical fires – whereas foam fire extinguishers will be found in restaurants and petrol stations to conquer burning liquids. So with this in mind, we want to know more about the suppression systems on ships and their onboard fire safety methods.

The danger of fires on ships

The majority of fires begin in the engine rooms and areas where machinery is active, the temperature high and systems under pressure. For those working on the ships, these rooms can often feel hostile and tense, and unfortunately accidents onboard tend to be extremely treacherous and life threatening.

Untamed fires can engulf their surroundings within a matter of minutes and for ships carrying gasoline and oil, danger will be fast approaching, as these substances will set alight quickly. So with this in mind, fires on ships are even more important to defeat because it is incredibly difficult to evacuate people at sea; particularly when far away from shore. Not to mention, an explosive fire may also affect other vessels nearby.

Government legislation

To know the full scope and requirement of The Merchant Shipping (Fire Protection: Small Ships) Regulations 1998 please refer to the government legislation. There are different regulations to best suit the size and use of each vessel to maximise safety precautions onboard each individual ship. For information covering the appliances that are required i.e. ‘fire pumps, fire main, water service pipes, hydrants, hoses and nozzles’ see regulation 6 or contact Target Fire who are happy to help and discuss your requirement.

More about marine fire safety:

Class II less than 21.34 metres ships must have:

  • A power or hand operated pump and hose that jets water across 6+ metres.
  • At least one fire extinguisher in each passenger space above deck, and two in each crew space and passenger spaces below deck. At least one in any galley.
  • In a space that contains a oil fired boiler, one or more foam fire extinguishers or carbon dioxide extinguishers must be accessible.

Class III of 21.34 metres in length or over, ships must have:

  • At least one power operated pump.
  • At least one fire hydrant in each space containing a boiler or machinery.
  • At least one portable fire extinguisher in each passenger space above deck, at least two in crew spaces below deck. At least one in any galley

Also a ship this size must have one of these systems:

  • A fixed pressure water-spraying system
  • A fixed gas fire-extinguishing system
  • A high expansion foam system

For ships built before 25th May 1980 must have:

  • A foam fire-extinguishing system
  • Two or more foam fire extinguishers or carbon dioxide extinguishers in a boiler room
  • At least two portable fire extinguishers for oil fires
  • Dry sand material for oil fires
  • One fireman’s outfit

Minimum amount of foam extinguishers required on certain sized ships:

  • Length of ship that’s not over 9.14 metres – 2 foam extinguishers
  • Length of ship exceeding 9.14m but under 15.24 metres – 3 foam extinguishers
  • Length of ship over 15.24 m – 5 foam extinguishers

(ALL systems must comply with current safety regulations)

Target Fire Protection work throughout Manchester, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale and across the entire of the UK. Trust in our experts to provide you with a range of training and maintenance services to protect your property in the event of a fire. Our team also carry out a thorough fire risk assessment and offer solutions to improve your current fire safety plan, along with in-depth training to commercial business owners and employees. Know more about we can offer you by calling us today or using our contact form – we’re more than happy to help.

For free, impartial advice, call our expert team: 0800 030 6079

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We would like to reassure our customers that all of our services are operating as normal and that we are putting in place strict precautionary measures to create a social spacing compliant service. As our work is necessitated by law, if things do change we will make arrangements for emergency engineers to still be available.

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