(www.MaritimeCyprus.com) Ferries have particular risks from the cargo they carry… cars, lorries and refrigerated containers, all of these have combustible material and their own fire hazards, something which a ship’s crew cannot easily control.
Even though great attention is paid to fire safety during ferry design and construction, fires can and do occur and when they do, they can spread very quickly. It is therefore vitally important that ships’ crews react quickly to the early signs of any fire and use all available equipment and methodologies in the most efficient and effective way.
To do this, ships’ crews need to have a thorough understanding of the use and limitations of the fire detection/ extinguishing equipment available to them as well as a good knowledge of how these should be used.
Fire safety is one of the first topics discussed during pre-sea induction training, when basics are taught: raising the alarm, closing fire doors and using portable fire extinguishers. Later, crew attend firefighting courses and, when on board, regular fire drills are held.
Accidents investigated by the MAIB and other investigation bodies have shown that, even after significant training and drills, ships’ crews are not always experienced firefighters and mistakes made with basic fire awareness/safety have caused or contributed to their failure to successfully contain or extinguish a fire.
This guide provided by the Standard Club, has been written to raise awareness of the likely fire risks on ferries, to improve crew knowledge of fire safety and to discuss lessons learnt from accident investigation. The guide is not a firefighting training manual but it is a practical guide on basic fire science, discussing the causes and prevention of fires, best practice in fire safety, strengths and weaknesses of fire safety in ferry design and firefighting equipment. And, most importantly, what a ship’s crew can do to prevent ship loss through fire. The guide is recommended to all who have an interest in fire prevention on board ship.
Relevant article: Fire onboard the NORMAN ATLANTIC ferry on 28 Dec. 2014
Click on below image to download full document published by the Standard P&I club:
Source: Standard P&I club