MPA Circular 19 of 2013

Fire protection systemsThe Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has issued shipping circular 19. of 2013 regarding maintenance, testing and inspection of fire protection systems and firefighting systems and appliances.

SOLAS Regulation II-2/14.2.2.1 requires that the maintenance, testingand inspections shall be carried out based on the guidelines developed by theInternational Maritime Organization (IMO) and in a manner having due regardto ensuring the reliability of fire-fighting systems and appliances. This circularrevises and consolidates the guidance on maintenance, testing of fireprotection systems and fire fighting system and appliances.

The IMO has approved several guidelines which provided the minimumrecommended level of maintenance and inspections for fire protectionsystems and appliances.

Ship owners, ship masters, ship's officers and crew,and all other parties concerned shall apply the inspection and maintenancerequirements mentioned in the guidelines, as a basis for the minimum level ofinspection and maintenance for the fire protection systems and appliancesonboard maintenance plan required by SOLAS II-2/14.2.2.2 and II-2/14.2.2.3.However, these requirements shall not override the manufacturers orRecognised Organisations more stringent maintenance plan, if stipulated.

The IMO guidelines are given in the following:

a. Resolution A.951(23) on Improved Guidelines for Marine Portable FireExtinguishers. The Guidelines has been developed to supplement relevantrequirements for marine portable extinguishers.

b. MSC.1/Circ.1318 on Guidelines for the Maintenance and Inspectionsof Fixed Carbon Dioxide Fire Extinguishing Systems. The Guidelines provide the maintenance and inspections requirementsfor fixed carbon dioxide fire extinguishing systems, and are intended tosupplement the fire-extinguishing system manufacturer's approvedmaintenance instructions.

c. MSC.1/Circ.1432 on Revised Guidelines for the Maintenance andInspection of Fire Protection Systems and Appliances. The Guidelines provide the minimum recommended level ofmaintenance and inspections for fire protection systems andappliances.

Reference should be made to MSC.1/Circ.1318 onmaintenance and inspection of fixed carbon dioxide systems orResolution A.951(23) on marine portable fire extinguishers which thisGuidelines does not address. MSC.1/Circ.1432 supersedesMSC/Circ.850. The maintenance and inspections requirements shallbe applied as soon as possible, but not later than 1 December 2013.

The onboard maintenance plan should also indicate which parts of theinspections and maintenance may be performed by competent crewmembers, and which parts are to be completed by persons specially trained inthe maintenance of such systems. Any aspect of the inspection andmaintenance of the systems which was assessed by the Company to bebeyond the competence of the ship's personnel should be carried out by acompetent maintenance specialist.

For more information read the MPA Shipping Circular 19/2013 Maintenance, testing and inspection of fire protection systems and firefighting systems and appliances

Image Credit: NOAA