These guidelines are an important development in fire protection performance-based design and provide engineers and regulators with a framework by which to develop and evaluate alternative designs, using an international consensus-based standard for occupant safety.

Correspondingly, the USCG Marine Safety Center (MSC) will now refer to these life safety criteria, when assessing vessels that propose alternative designs with respect to fire protection (e.g. cruise ships), to help ensure occupant tenability during a fire event. These criteria encompass four primary hazards that occupants may be exposed to in a fire:

  • radiant heat flux
  • reduced visibility
  • convective heat
  • carbon monoxide gas.

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