Oil tankers mandatory fire fighting equipments

The requirements for ships fire-fighting equipment are laid down by the regulations of the particular country in which the tanker is registered. These regulations are generally based on the principles of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974, as amended.

Tanker fixed fire fighting installations - Cooling
All tankers are provided with a water fire-fighting system consisting of pumps with a permanent sea connection, a fire main with hydrant points, fire hoses complete with couplings, and jet nozzles or, preferably, jet/spray nozzles. A sufficient number of hydrants are provided and located so as to ensure that two jets of water can reach any part of the ship. Certain bulkheads are sometimes fitted with permanent water spray lines. An International Shore Fire Connection must be provided on tankers so that an external water supply can be coupled to any hydrant in the ships fire main. These connections should be available for immediate use.

Tanker fixed fire fighting installations - Smothering

One or more of the different smothering systems listed below may be installed on board tankers.
  • Carbon dioxide flooding system

    This system is designed to fight fires in the engine room, boiler room and pumproom. The system normally consists of a battery of large carbon dioxide cylinders. The carbon dioxide is piped from the cylinder manifold to suitable points having diffusing nozzles. An alarm should be activated in the compartment before the carbon dioxide is released to give personnel time to evacuate the compartment.
  • Foam systems

    Foam systems are used for fighting fire in the cargo spaces, on the cargo deck, in the pumproom or in the engine spaces. A foam system has storage tanks containing foam concentrate. Water from the fire pumps pick up the correct proportion of foam concentrate from the tank through a proportioner and the foam solution is then conveyed through permanent supply lines to offtake points, fixed foam monitors or, in the case of engine room installations, to fixed dispersal nozzles.
  • Water fog

    A water fog system comprises of high pressure water lines and special fog nozzles. A ring of nozzles around the inside of the tank opening effectively blankets a cargo tank hatch fire. Some ships are also fitted with fixed pressurised water fog systems for protecting specific parts of the engine room, such as oil fuel treatment spaces, boiler firing platforms, small machinery spaces and pumprooms.
  • Water curtain

    Some ships have a fixed system to give a protective water curtain between the cargo deck and the superstructure.
  • Inert gas system

    The purpose of an inert gas system is to prevent cargo tank fires or explosions. It is not a fixed fire-fighting installation, but in the event of a fire, the system may be of assistance in extinguishing it.
  • Portable fire extinguishers

    All tankers are provided with portable fire extinguishers to meet the requirements of their Flag Administration. In addition to the fire extinguishers fitted, tankers are also required to carry spare charges for refilling used extinguishers. In the case of CO2 extinguishers, spare fully charged extinguisher cylinders are carried.

    All fire extinguishers should at all times be in good order and available for immediate use. The Safety Management System should contain procedures for onboard maintenance, including that provided by service agents. As a minimum, all fire extinguishers should be formally checked for proper location, charging pressure and condition annually.

    Consideration should be given to providing portable extinguishers, suitable for use on Class A fires, and dedicated to deployment at the ships manifold when in port.

    Types of portable fire extinguisher

    In addition to fire hose reels for water extinguishing of Class A type fires involving combustible materials, such as wood, paper and fabrics, all tankers are provided with a range of portable fire extinguishers from the following types: -
    1. Water/gas extinguishers - suitable for Class A type fires only.
    2. Foam fire extinguishers - suitable for both Class A (combustible materials) and Class B (flammable liquids) fires.
    3. CO2 fire extinguishers - suitable for Class B (flammable liquids) and Class C (electrical hazards) fires.
    4. Dry powder fire extinguishers - suitable for Class A, B and C fires and fires involving flammable gases, such as propane and butane.
    5. Wet chemical fire extinguishers - suitable for extinguishing fires involving deep fat fryers.

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