Protection & Maintanence
Ships require the most comprehensive fight fighting solutions to safeguard the crew, passengers and the goods. Marine fire fighting systems need to be maintained well and needs periodic servicing.
Every year, fires on ship lead to the loss of lives and bring severe damage to ships. Fire is caused mainly inside the engine room or the compartment. Gaseous fire suppression system, which varies according to the vessel size, protect the internal combustion engine, gas turbine, main or Auxillary propulsion, paint and oil lockers, pump rooms, control rooms and enclosed ventilating systems for electric propulsion motors and generators. Any type of vessel can be caught on fire, like fishing boats, workboats, tugs and tenders to ferries, roll on-roll off ships, offshore supply vessels, cruise ships, bulk carriers, tankers, LNG carriers, container ships and warships.
Since the 1930s, carbon dioxide fire extinguishing system was used on board ship for machinery-space protection. Around the 1960s, Halon 1301 was introduced and was made a substitute for carbon dioxide. It was used exclusively for the protection of the engine compartment. Halon 1301 is efficient in concluding fire, has low toxicity, low chemical reactivity and is stable for a long period of time. Later it was found in 1990 that Halon 1301 had a negative impact on the ozone layer and its production was halted. Ship manufacturers returned to use CO2 for large new ships. As time passed, FM-200/ FE- 227 extinguishes fire primarily by physical means and also through chemical means, inert gases (nitrogen, argon and other gas mixtures) which extinguish the fire by oxygen reduction and HCFC blends such as NAF S-Ill for smaller vessels were adopted progressively. These clean fire protection agents preserve the desirable properties of Halon 1301. These properties, along with rapid detection and how quickly they work, make these agents excellent choices to protect marine vessels.
The Safety of life at Sea Convention or popularly known as SOLAS convention which looks after the safety governing marine vessels has put forth certain rules and regulation after the titanic disaster in 1914. The amendment details about the gaseous fire suppression system requirement. Certain fire extinguishing agents are scheduled under the Act and the regulations. Scheduled extinguishing agents are listed
- Halon 1301, requires a Halon Special Permit (HSP)
- Halon 1211, requires an HSP
- FM-200 (FE-227, HFC-227ea, Heptafluoropropane)
- NAF S-Ill (a blend)
- NAF P-Ill (also a blend designed primarily for use in hand portable fire extinguishers).
The inert gases and Novec 1230 (Dodecafluoro-2-methyl pentane-3-one) are not scheduled under the Act.
The ocean is protected by controlling the discharge of scheduled extinguishing agents. The act monitors storage, acquisition, possession, handling and disposal of agents. The process needs to done by expert technicians or engineers when handling gaseous fire suppression systems. Maritronics provides service for various marine equipment and marine engineers to handle repairs. The suppression system needs to be well designed, properly installed, genuinely commissioned and serviced periodically for effective usage. Each element and component of the gaseous fire suppression system needs to be right and effective to avoid mishaps during the voyage.
According to the ship’s maintenance plan, onboard maintenance and inspections need to be carried out. Onboard crew members who have completed advanced fire-fighting training course can run inspection and maintenance of the ship. Otherwise, engineers from the marine servicing company like Maritronics can help you maintain such systems in your ship. The onboard maintenance plan should indicate which parts of the recommended inspections and maintenance are to be completed by trained personnel.
Periodic maintenance like weekly, monthly, quarterly, annual, two-year, five-year and ten-year actions should be carried out as per schedule. The results of the maintenance should be kept onboard or must be fed to a computer system. Maritronic engineers when called for servicing produce detailed report of inspection and maintenance at the end of the process. Inspection reports should be retained after the completion of the task. In addition to the onboard maintenance and inspections stated in these Guidelines, manufacturer’s maintenance and inspection guidelines should be followed.
List of Fire Protection and Fire Fighting System as per SOLAS
● Fixed fire detection and alarm systems
● Fixed gas fire-extinguishing systems
● Fire doors
● Public address and general alarm systems
● Breathing apparatus
● Water mist, water spray and sprinkler systems
● Low-location lighting
● Fire mains, fire pumps, hydrants, hoses and nozzles
● Fixed CO2 Extinguishing systems
● Foam fire-extinguishing systems
● Firefighter’s outfits
● Fixed dry chemical powder systems
● Fixed aerosol extinguishing systems
● Portable foam applicators
● Wheeled (mobile) fire extinguishers
● Ventilation systems and fire dampers
● Galley and deep fat cooking fire-extinguishing systems
For knowing more about Fire and safety systems and servicing on the ship, you may contact Maritronic engineers. They have well-versed experience in handling marine equipment and serving them.