IMCA reminds operators that the Marine Safety Forum has published Safety Alert 23-03 relating to an incident where an e-cigarette (vape) caused a small fire.
fire pre-alarm was raised on the bridge fire detection panel and accepted by the Duty Officer. Phone call immediately received from crew member to the Bridge informing that there was an incident with a disposable vape in his cabin, but that there was no immediate danger.
On investigation at the cabin in question, a slight smoke and smell of burning was noticed. The crew member explained that the disposable vape self-ignited on the table at which he was sitting in the chair with laptop on his lap. He immediately jumped and tried to extinguish burning vape with hands, but realizing it was hot, automatically threw it onto his bed where the vape continued to burn on the mattress. He used two T-shirts to choke the fire.
What went wrong
- The company Smoking Policy, which forbade the use of e-cigarettes, was not followed; the company mandated that these devices should not be taken onboard vessels;
- The bedding used by the crew member in the cabin was not standard company issue, and thus did not comply with IMO SOLAS regulations.
- Ensure compliance with company policy on smoking and vaping, and the non-use of e-cigarette devices;
- Closer attention to e-cigarette devices when carrying out ISPS checks on board;
- Ensure bedding onboard is compliant with IMO SOLAS regulations.