IMO’s Sub-Committee conducted a meeting on Ship Systems and Equipment (SSE 6), on 4-8 March 2019. The meeting except safe lifting operations, focused on fire safety on ro-ro vessels in order to minimize the danger and the accidents caused by fire.
In order to eliminate the incidents and accident of fires on ro-ro vessels, the Sub-Committee agreed to draft interim guidelines for minimizing the incidence and consequences of fires on ro-ro spaces and special category spaces of new and existing ro-ro passenger ships.
The draft guidelines cover:
- Prevention and ignition, including inspection and maintenance plans of ship’s power supply equipment and cables;
- Detection and decision – including fixed fire detection and alarm system;
- Extinguishing fires – including fixed fire-extinguishing measures and appropriate training and drills;
- Containment – including fire integrity;
- Integrity of life-saving appliances and evacuation.
In addition, the draft guidelines are to be submitted to the Maritime Safety Committee for approval.
Meanwhile, the Sub-Committee on Human Element Training and Watchkeeping (HTW) was invited to consider sections related to training and drills for seafarers, and advise the MSC, as appropriate.
During the meeting, the Sub-Committee emphasized on developing draft amendments to the Guidelines for the approval of fixed dry chemical powder fire-extinguishing systems for the protection of ships carrying liquefied gases in bulk (MSC.1/Circ.1315).
A correspondence group was established to identify appropriate test standards for acceptance of dry chemical powder for fixed fire-extinguishing systems, further develop the draft amendments to the Guidelines and consider whether an implementation provision to the draft amendments to the Guidelines would be needed.
The Sub-Committee agreed to continue its work at the next session, in relation to developing draft amendments to the SOLAS Convention and associated codes, following consideration of relevant casualty reports and the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) FIRESAFE II study.
In the meantime, SOLAS regulations that focus on fire drills should be carried out with specific frequency, also depending the vessel’s type, in order to ensure crew’s familiarity with equipment and procedures.