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Fire at sea – some timely reminders (Safety4Sea)

The online safety magazine, which amongst other organisations, re-publishes IMCA safety flashes, has published an article entitled “Tackling fire onboard: Where we stand”. It is based on findings from the Safety and Shipping Review 2021 published by Allianz.  Some excerpts are published here.

Four common causes of fire onboard

  • Oil leakage: Leakage from high-pressure fuel oil pipes is the most common risk for fire onboard as oil from these pipes can accidentally fall in high temperature areas due to the machinery involved.
    • Do: Insulate any hot surface with a temperature above 220 °C to prevent any oil encountering a hot surface.
    • Don’t: Invest in poor quality materials regarding pipes and/or associated fittings.  
  • Electrical failures: Leaving personal electronic items unattended always entails risks, as there have been cases of faulty devices, overloading of extension cables and plugs, etc. 
    • Do: Remove defective equipment from use/service, when damage is identified.  
    • Don’t: Use multi-gang extension leads and high current devices onboard. 
  • Flammable cargo: It is not uncommon that fires erupt during loading and unloading of specific cargoes, like coal, as well as from mis-declared hazardous cargo in containers, such as self-igniting charcoal, chemicals and batteries. 
    • Don’t: Pack damaged packages or stow heavy goods on top of light goods.  
  • Hot work: Many cargoes, including a wide range of bulk cargoes and general cargoes can be ignited by hot work. 
    • Do: Carefully prepare and isolate the work area before work starts.  
    • Don’t: Neglect a written plan for the operation, agreed by everyone involved.  

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