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Awareness: CO₂ flooding system activation points

A member has highlighted a potential gap in safety awareness which may be of interest to members.  One of their vessels has a CO2 flooding system activation point within the main CO2 bottle room – however, there are no warnings or procedural guidance on the use of Breathing Apparatus (BA) within the main CO2 bottle room when operating the system.

Our member drew the following lessons:

  • When activating flooding systems there is a chance that CO2 may leak into the space itself, either directly from the cylinders and/or associated piping.  As such, the space may quickly fill with CO2 presenting a hazardous atmosphere to persons inside;
  • Therefore, after seeking guidance from the maritime fire-fighting school, our member recommended the use of BA whenever;
    • entering the CO2 cylinder space after activating the system from a remote point;
    • when activation of the CO2 system is required from within the CO2 cylinder space itself, or
    • whenever undertaking drills within the CO2 cylinder space;
  • Steps were taken to review relevant vessel specific procedures and, where required, update them to include guidance on the use of BA equipment in CO2 cylinder rooms/spaces.

Safety Event

Published: 20 December 2016
Download: IMCA SF 35/16

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