CoC Oral Exam Preparation: (Part – 15): Fire & Safety

Fire Hose:

  1. At least one fire hose for each of the hydrants and hose shall be used only for extinguishing fires and testing purposes. (Passenger Ship)
  2. One for each 30m length of ship and one spare, but not less than 5 in all. (Cargo Ship = or > 1000GT) and ship carrying dangerous goods shall be provided 3 hoses & nozzles in addition to those required above and cargo ship <1000GT, shall be provided no less than 3 fire hoses & nozzles.
  3. 2 ½” diameter and 30ft or 60ft. length.
  4. Nozzle for ER 12mm, 16mm and 19mm size and shall be approved for duel purpose (jet/spray) incorporating shut-off valve.
  5. Fire hoses shall have a length of at least 10 m, but not more than:
  • 15 m in machinery spaces;
  • 20 m in other spaces and open decks; and
  • 25 m for open decks on ships with a maximum breadth in excess of 30 m.

Pressure of Fire Hydrant:

  • Two pumps simultaneously delivering through nozzles minimum pressures shall be maintained at all hydrants:
  1. Passenger ship = or > 4000 GT:      0.40 N/mm².
  2. Passenger ships < 4000 GT:            0.30 N/mm².
  3. Cargo ship = or > 6000 GT:              0.27 N/mm².
  4. Cargo ship  < 6000 GT:                    0.25 N/mm² (SOLAS Ch II-2 Reg 10 Para 2.1.6)
  • Diameter of Fire Main and Water Service Pipe need only be sufficient for effective distribution of the maximum required discharge of 140 m³/ hr from 2 Fire Pumps operating simultaneously. (SOLAS Ch II-2 Reg 10 Para 2.1.3)

Fire pumps:

  1. Pressure requirements: Fire pumps shall be capable of giving a quantity of water, for fire fighting purpose, at following minimum pressures of:
    1. Passenger ship = or > 4000 GT:      0.40 N/mm².
    2. Passenger ships < 4000 GT:            0.30 N/mm².
    3. Cargo ship = or > 6000 GT:              0.27 N/mm².
    4. Cargo ship  < 6000 GT:                    0.25 N/mm² (SOLAS Ch II-2 Reg 10 Para 2.1.6)
  1. Total Capacity of required Fire Pumps:
  • For passenger ships, fire pumps shall be capable of giving a quantity of water, for fire fighting purpose, not less than 2/3rd of the quantity given by bilge pumps.
  • For cargo ships, fire pumps shall be capable of giving a quantity of water, for fire fighting purpose, not less than 4/3rd of the quantity given by bilge pumps in a passenger ship of same dimension, provided that total required capacity of fire pumps need not to exceed  180 m³/hr in cargo ship.

3.  Capacity of each Fire Pump:  Each of required fire pumps (other than emergency fire pump) for cargo ships shall have a capacity not less than 80% of the total required capacity divided by minimum number of required fire pumps but not less than 25 m3/hr with at least discharge of water with 2 jets.

4.   Total number of Fire Pumps:

  • In Passenger Ships = or > 4000 GT: at least 3 fire pumps and <4000 GT: at least 2 fire pumps shall be provided.
  • In Cargo Ships = or > 1000 GT: at least 2 fire pumps and <1000 GT: at least 2 power driven pumps,  and 1 of which shall be independently driven fire pump shall be provided.

5.  Sanitary, ballast, bilge or General service pumps may be accepted as fire pumps, provided that they are not normally used for pumping oil fuel, and suitable change-over arrangements are fitted if they are subjected to occasional duties for pumping oil fuel.

Emergency Fire Pump: 

  1. Located outside machinery space.
  2. No direct access permitted between machinery space and space containing Emergency Fire Pump.
  3. Capacity: at least 40% of total capacity of fire pumps, required by regulation, and in no case less than  25 m³/hr.
  4. Pressure: sufficient to supply water of  40 ft horizontal throw, from 2 numbers of  ½ ” dia. water jets, from hoses of standard size and length, which are connected to any part of the ship.
  5. Total suction head and net positive suction head shall be such that, minimum 25 m³/hr capacity, 2 water jets of 40 ft horizontal throw, shall be obtained, under all conditions of list, trim, roll and pitch.
  6. If diesel engine driven:
  • It is self-cooled.
  • Easily started in cold condition [0°C] by hand cranking.
  • Fuel service tank must have sufficient capacity for at least 3-hour operation,          full load.
  • Sufficient reserves available outside machinery space, for additional 15-hour,          full load.

7.  If motor driven:

  • Two sources of power supply provided.
  • Power operated emergency fire pump, with source of power and sea connection, must be located outside machinery space.

Sprinkler System:

1. By Regulation, passenger ships carrying more than 36 persons shall be provided with Automatic Sprinkler System.
2. Generally used only to protect living quarters, passageways and public spaces.


1. Each sprinkler head provided with a quartzoid valve, which seals the outlet of water pipe.
2. Valve is partially filled with special fluid, so that a rise in room temperature will expand the liquid and the valve will burst.
3. Water under pressure; will flow out from Sprinkler System. ( 5 – 8 bars pressure is maintained in FW pressure tank by air pressure.)
4. Sprinkler head can cover a floor area of about 12m² with water pressure of 5 – 8 bars.
5. Pressure drop in tank activates the pumps to take over and supply water from FW holding tank. When holding tank become empty, SW pumps come into action automatically.

1. No: of heads not more than 200 per section.
2. Heads are spaced not more than 4 meters apart.
3. At least 2 sources of power supply to Automatic alarm system and SW pump.

1. Self fire detection, and immediate and automatic operation at all time
2. Not harmful to human.
3. No need to seal the space.
4. No need to clean the media, after use.

Various sprinkler head colour:  Red     Yellow     Green     Blue       Purple
Quartzoid valve will burst at:    68°C     79°C        93°C     141°C     182°C

Inert gas:

1. The gas which does not support combustion is inert gas, such as CO₂, N₂, and boiler flue gas containing < 11% O₂.
2. Tankers of 20,000 DWT and above, provided with Fixed Inert Gas System.
a) To prevent accumulation of explosive mixtures in cargo tanks, during ballast voyage and during tank operations.
b) To minimise risks of ignition by static electricity generated by the system itself.
3. Inert gas is used only in fixed installations and large bore piping are used due to low pressure of the gas.
4. Main function is essentially fire-preventive by providing an inert atmosphere.
5. Inert gas installation is not acceptable in machinery spaces.

Inert Gas Composition: 

  • N₂ ~ 80% by volume:
  • CO₂ ~ 14%:
  • O₂ ~ (2 – 5)%:
  • Water vapour at 20°C ~ 2%:
  • CO ~ 0.01%:
  • SO₂ ~ 0.005%:
  • Nitrous gases ~ 0.02%:
  • Soot ~ 50 mg / m³

Inert gas generator:

1. Consists of horizontal brick-lined combustion chamber, surrounded by water jacket, and pressurised about 0.3 – 0.6 bar.
2. Burner is lit by high-tension electrodes and oil pressure is controlled by regulator with control valve.
3. Diesel engine drives fuel pump, air blower, and electric generator which drives SW pump.
4. Excess C and S gases are removed, and temperature reduced to 2°C above SW temperature, in vertical washing and cooling chamber, in which water sprayers are fitted.
5. Control panel has CO₂ recorder, pressure gauges, and water and fuel system alarms.
6. Inert gas can be released to any space, at 125% of ship’s maximum rate of discharge capacity, in volume.

Extinguishing Media:

Water: Cooling and smothering by steam.
Foam: Combined effect of cooling and smothering.
CO₂: Smothering and inhibition.
Dry Power: Extinguished by inhibition ( breaking chain reaction.)
Inert Gas: Fire-preventive, by providing an inert atmosphere.

When fire breaks out:

1. Activate fire alarm or emergency alarm, as soon as noticing of breakout of fire.
2. Find the origin of fire, CE and all ER members informed.
3. Restrict it, and extinct it on the spot with portable extinguishers and by other means.
4. Verify the class of fire and decide the type of extinguishing agents, which should be used.
5. Initial attack must be backed-up with second more substantial means of attack.
[i.e. Semi-portable or Fire main, follows after portable ones.]
6. Water must be used prudently, since ship’s stability can be affected.
7. Fixed installation is a back-up, used as a last resort. Usage of fixed installation in ER fire can cause loss of power and steering, for a long period of times.
8. Fixed fire fighting installation system can be used as initial attack on cargo hold fire.
9. Fire must be confined to the space, in which originated; [by controlling flow of air, by cooling adjacent bulkheads, and by directing extinguishing agents onto fire].
10. Finally after fire is out, overhauling begins, and check structural damages.
11. All fire fighting equipment replenished.
12. Cause of fire to be determined, and action taken to prevent reoccurrence of same type of fire.

If fire is considerable and immense:

1. Sound fire alarm system.
2. Evacuate all ER staff, count them and assign them as per Muster List.
3. Remote stopping of all fuel pumps, to be done.
4. Remote closing of all quick closing valves, to be done.
5. Remote closing of all skylight doors and ER watertight doors, to be done.
6. Remote closing of all ER ventilation dampers, to be done.
7. Prime mover and all machinery to be stopped.
8. All ER entry and exit doors, to be closed perfectly.
9. All ER ventilation fans, to be stopped manually.
10. Fixed installation system, to be operated by CE or 2/E in proper manner.

Fixed fire Detection and Alarm System:

a) This system with manual call points must be able to operate immediately at all times.
b) Must have two sources of power supply, and visual and audible alarms for power failure.
c) Control panel should be located on Bridge.
d) Heat, smoke or other products of combustion, flame or any combination of these may operate detector.

Types of Detector:

Smoke detector:
1. Installed at stairways, corridor, escape route within Accommodation Space.
2. Also used in Cargo space and Machinery space
3. Maximum floor area per detector = 74 m².
4. Max. distance apart = 11 meters.
5. Max. distance away from bulkhead = 5.5 m.
6. Photocell or light scattering types.

Heat Detector:
1. Maximum floor area per detector = 37 m².
2. Max. Distance apart = 9 meters.
3. Max. Distance away from bulkhead = 4.5 m.
4. Used Bi-metal strip.
5. Fitted in boiler room, laundry, Control Room, Galley.

Flame Detector:
1. Ultra Violet or infrared.
2. Fitted near fuel handling equipment.

Combustible Detector:
1. Fitted in galley, ER fwd bulkhead adjacent to p/p room under floor plate.


Fire fighting for tanker:

  • Machinery space: CO₂ or foam fixed installation.
  • Cargo deck area: Fixed deck foam system for cargo deck area.
  • Pump room: Must be protected from fixed installation of CO₂ or foam.
  • Accommodation front: Water.

Paint Locker:

  • Paint and other inflammable liquid lockers must be protected by an appropriate fire fighting equipment.
  • Paint locker is usually protected by pressure water spray system for boundary cooling, and detector should be flame detector.

Detection, Prevention and Extinguishing of fire in ER of 5000 ton vessel:

1. Automatic fire alarm and detection system indicates presence of fire and its location.
2. Indicators are centralised in Engine CR and Bridge, and alarm signals are audible and visual.
3. Detectors operate when rate of temperature rise of surrounding air reaches set limit of 145°F (62.8°C).
4. Human common senses such as sight, smell, hearing and feeling are also good detection.

1. Fire Control Plan is set out in accessible position in CR.
2. ER personnel must have training such as to locate the fire, to inform, restrict, and extinguish with suitable appliances.
3. Fire Drill carried out once a week. Exercise for abrupt evacuation of ER before releasing CO₂ must also be practised.
4. Weekend testing and checking of emergency stops, quick closing valves, watertight doors (remote and local) ventilation dampers and skylight doors.
5. Cleanliness in ER is most important.
6. Maintenance of all fire fighting appliances.

1. Two independently driven power pumps and one emergency pump driven by own engine with delivering capacity of at least 25 m³ / hr. each.
2. Two hydrants (port and starboard) with spray nozzle fitted hose. (Minimum water pressure 37 psi.)
3. International shore connection [outside 7″ or 178 mm: inside 2 ½ ” or 64 mm].
4. CO₂ fixed installation which delivers 85% of gas within 2 minutes.
(Total weight of CO₂ per bottle: 100 lbs. or 45 kgs.)
5. Six nos. portable extinguishers (2 gal or 9.09 litres Foam 2 nos.,
2 gal Soda Acid 2 nos., 13 lbs or 6 kgs CO₂ 2 nos.)
6. 10 gal froth type extinguisher 1 no.
7. 10 ft³ of sand in the box.

Usage of the above mentioned equipment:

  •  Oil fire: sand, foam, water spray
  • Combustible material: water, chemical foam, soda acid
  • Electrical: CO₂ gas and dry powder

Fire control plan:

  1. General arrangement plan must be permanently exhibited onboard, for the guidance of officers.
  2. Positioned outside the deck house [opposite to gangway of both sides] in a permanently watertight enclosure for assistance of shore fire brigade.
  3. Fire Control Plan includes:
  • Fire control stations.
  • Various fire sections, enclosed by both Class A and Class B divisions.
  • Particulars of fire detection and alarm system.
  • Sprinkler installation and fire extinguishing appliance.
  • Means of escape.
  • Ventilation system, including positions and numbers of fan controls and dampers.

Fire Fighting Appliances (FFA):

1. All portable and semi-portable extinguishers: Good working order ensured, properly placed in ER and always made handy.
2. Fixed fire fighting installation: Alarm testing and function testing once a week, compressed air blowing of lines and discharge nozzles, contents to be weighed and checked periodically.
3. Emergency fire pump: Good working order ensured, weekly test run without failure.
4. Fire detection, monitoring and alarm system: Tested weekly without any failure.
5. All fire hydrants and their connection, sand boxes and scoops: Kept in good working order.
6. Fire man’s outfits: 2 numbers in good working order and handy at all times.
7. International shore connection: Placed at proper location.
8. All ER members: Properly educated about fire fighting appliances and their operation.
9. Fire drill: Carried out at least once a month.

Safety Equipment:

1. Portable fire extinguishers.
2. Semi-portable fire extinguishers.
3. Fixed installation.
4. Detection and monitoring of fire.
5. Alarm signalling of fire.
6. Fire man’s outfits:
–  Personnel equipment; an axe, lifeline, protective clothing, rigid helmet, safety lamp (oxygen content meter), portable electric drill, boots and gloves.
–  Breathing Apparatus; at least 2 nos: to be provided.
7. Emergency fire pump: With 2 additional main fire pumps (Sanitary, Ballast, Bilge or GS pump), not normally used for pumping oil fuel. Suitable changeover arrangement fitted, if they are occasionally used for pumping oil.
8. Fire hoses, nozzles of 12mm/16mm/19mm diameter [spray/jet type] and their container box.
9. Escape ways, at least two nos.
10. Emergency generator.
11. Emergency lighting system (24V DC & 220V/110V AC).
12. Inert gas system.
13. Steering gear.
14. Communication system between bridge to ER, and to steering gear room.
15. Remote closing and stopping of fuel tanks, fuel pumps, ventilation fans, skylight door, watertight doors, and fire dampers.
16. International shore connection.
17. Lifeboat, Life raft, Life buoy and Life jacket with illuminating source.
18. Navigation lighting (port and starboard, Main mast, Fore mast, Stern, Anchor).
19. Pilot ladder and lighting.
20. Gyro compass, Echo sounder, Direction finder, Radar and its alarm system.
21. Distress signal flares at least 12 numbers.
22. First aid kit.
23. Signalling apparatus (daylight signal, light and power source, Forecastle bell, Gong and ship whistles, Fog horn).

ER Fire Fighting Media:

For boiler room:
1. At least 2 Portable Foam Extinguishers
2. 135 litres Foam Extinguisher
3. 1 Portable Foam Applicator with 20 litres spares tank.
4. One Sand box with a scoop.

For ER
1. At least 1 Portable Foam Applicator with 200 lb. spare container.
2. At least 45 litres Foam Extinguisher
3. At least 2 Portable Foam Extinguishers shall be placed within, not more than 10 meter walking distance.

For ER Control Room:
1. Sufficient number of CO₂ Portable Fire Extinguishers.

Portable fire extinguishers:

1. Capacity of portable fluid extinguisher: ≯ 13.5 litres and ≮ 9 litres.
2. Other extinguisher: at least as portable as 13.5 litres fluid extinguisher and fire extinguishing capability at least equivalent to that of 9 litres fluid extinguisher.
3. Ships of 1000 tons gross tonnage and upwards, shall carry at least 5 portable fire extinguishers.

4. In boiler room:

a) At least 2 portable foam type extinguishers.
b) At least 1 foam type extinguisher of 135 litres capacity minimum, with hoses on reels, reaching any part of boiler room.
c) A box of 10 ft³ of sand or other approved dry material with scoop.
d) One set of portable foam applicator unit with one spare 20 litre tank.

5. In space containing internal combustion machinery:

a) Sufficient no. of 45 litre capacity foam type extinguishers, to enable foam to be directed onto fuel and LO pressure system, gearing and other fire hazards.
b) Sufficient no. of portable foam type extinguishers, so located that, there shall be at least 2 such extinguishers within 10- meter walking distance.

6. In space containing steam turbine:

a) Sufficient no. of 45-litre capacity foam type extinguishers, to enable foam to be directed onto LO pressure system, turbine casing, gearing and other fire hazards.
b) However, such extinguishers shall be omitted, if protection is given by fixed installation.
c) Sufficient no. of portable foam type extinguishers, so located that, there shall be at least 2 such extinguishers within 10- meter walking distance.

Personal Life Saving Appliances:

  1. Life buoys
  2. Life jackets
  3. Immersion suits
  4. Thermal protective aids.

Fireman’s outfit:
Consists of:

  • Personal equipment, comprising protective clothing, boots and gloves of rubber, a rigid helmet, an electric safety lamp [min burning period 3 hrs.], and an axe.
  • A breathing apparatus. Smoke Helmet [Smoke mask] or Self-contained compressed air BA set.

Smoke helmet (Smoke mask) BA set:
a) Provided with suitable air pump.
b) An air hose exceeding 2 m in length, but not more than 36m.

Gas Mask BA set:
Not used for fire fighting purpose.

Self-contained compressed air operated BA set:
a) Volume of air in cylinders shall be at least 1200 litres.
b) Capable of functioning for at least 30 min.
c) Fireproof lifeline of sufficient length and strength is attached.
d) 2 fireman’s outfits (2 BA sets) shall be stored in widely separated positions, and must be easily accessible and ready for use.

Closing Arrangements in ER:               

  1. Entrance Doors
  2. Shaft Tunnel Watertight Door
  3. Skylight Doors
  4. Ventilator Flaps

Fire Detectors:

  1. Heat Detector
  2. Flame Detector
  3. Smoke Detector
  4. Combustion Gas Detector.

Heat Detector:

  • There may be 3 types; fixed temperature, rate of temperature rise, or a combination.
  • Rate of rise detector do not respond and give alarm if temperature gradually increases, e.g. moving into tropical regions or heating switched on.
  • Tested by portable electric hot air blower.

Rate of temperature rise Detector:

a) Pneumatic Type:

  1. Increase in temperature increases the air pressure inside thin copper hemi-spherical bulb, if the airs bled through two-way bleed valve is sufficient, diaphragm will not move up and close the contacts.
  2. If rate of temperature rise causes sufficient pressure build-up inside the bulb to close the contact, alarm will be given.
  3. Temperature adjustment screw is provided to close the contacts at a predetermined temperature, giving alarm. (Temperature setting vary from 55°C to 70°C.)

b) Bi-metal Coil Type:

  1. Two bi-metal coils are attached to a vertical support bracket and upper coil is better insulated from heat than lower coil.
  2. When temperature increases lower coil will move to close the gap (between two contacts) at faster rate than upper coil moves to maintain the gap.
  3. If rate of temperature rise is sufficient, the gap will close and alarm given.
  4. A fixed temperature stopgap is provided at upper coil to close the contact giving alarm.  

c) Fixed Temperature Detector:

  • Quartzoid Bulbs fitted into Sprinkler System are fixed temperature detectors, used for spaces other than engine and boiler rooms.

Flame Detector: (Infra-red) 

  1. Flame has a characteristic flicker frequency of about 25 Hz, and this fact is used to trigger an alarm.
  2. Flickering radiation from flames reaches detector lens/filter unit, which only allows infra-red rays to pass and be focused upon cell.
  3. Signal from cell goes into amplifier, which is tuned to 25Hz, then into time delay unit and alarm circuit.
  4. To minimize false alarms, fire has to be present for predetermined period.
  5. Suitable for machinery spaces, but not in boiler room.
  6. Obscuration by smoke renders it inoperative.
  7. Tested by means of a naked flame.

Smoke Detectors:

  1. Light Scatter
  2. Light Obscuration
  3. Scatter and obscuration combined.

Light Scatter Type: 

  1. Photo-cell is separated by a barrier from a semi-conductor, intermittently flashing light source, are housed in an enclosure, allowing smoke but not light inside.
  2. When smoke is present in the container light is scattered around the barrier onto photocell and an alarm is triggered.
  3. Could give early warning of fire.
  4. Photocell and light sources are vulnerable to vibration and dirt.
  5. Tested by means of cigarette smoke.


Written by Marine Study

Marine Study

“For Maritime Education and Knowledge”

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