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Maintenance and control of fire doors

What happened?

A member has discovered instances of mandatory fire doors onboard their vessels being  in a poor state of maintenance, and in some cases modified to alter the closing mechanism or tied back to prevent closing.

Our member notes that in recent months there have been repeated internal and external audit findings related to inadequate maintenance, unapproved modification and the incorrect functioning of fire doors onboard their vessels. This has included Port State Control Inspection deficiencies that have raised safety concerns and been communicated to the Flag State Authorities.

What was wrong

Inadequate maintenance and unapproved modifications reduce the effectiveness of fire and smoke boundaries significantly, with potentially serious consequences during a fire and increased risk to crews and assets.

  • Fire doors have been found to not close and seal properly;
  • Fire doors have been modified to alter the speed of closure;
  • Fire doors have been tied back to prevent closure.

Actions to take

  • Ensure that no fire doors are modified or tied back to prevent closure or modify the speed of closure;
  • Ensure all fire doors close automatically, by the self-closing mechanism and seal completely, including any hose ports;
  • Ensure that routine maintenance and inspection regimes are followed;
  • Ensure that where any defects are found, these are reported immediately.

Members may wish to refer to:

Safety Event

Published: 3 May 2023
Download: IMCA SF 11/23

Relevant life-saving rules:
IMCA Safety Flashes
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IMCA Safety Flashes summarise key safety matters and incidents, allowing lessons to be more easily learnt for the benefit of all. The effectiveness of the IMCA Safety Flash system depends on Members sharing information and so avoiding repeat incidents. Please consider adding [email protected] to your internal distribution list for safety alerts or manually submitting information on incidents you consider may be relevant. All information is anonymised or sanitised, as appropriate.

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