The IMO Sub-Committee on Fire Protection recently held its 50th session. The following issues were addressed among others: Fire safety amendments for passenger ship safety; Fire Test Procedures (FTP) Code; Recommendation on evacuation analysis; Measures to prevent fire in engine rooms and cargo pump rooms; Prevention of accidents involving lifeboats; Need for further work on life saving appliances.
Fire safety amendments for passenger ship safety
The Sub-Committee agreed draft amendments to SOLAS chapter II-2 and the International Fire Safety Systems (FSS) Code related to: safe areas and the essential systems to be maintained while a ship proceeds to port after a casualty; on-board safety centres, from where safety systems can be controlled, operated and monitored; fixed fire detection and alarm systems, including requirements for fire detectors and manually operated call points to be capable of being remotely and individually identified; and prevention, including amendments aimed at enhancing the fire safety for atriums, the means of escape and ventilation systems. The draft amendments will be considered by the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) at its eighty-first session together with contributions from other sub-committees assigned work on this issue.
Review of the Fire Test Procedures (FTP) Code
A correspondence group was established to work on the comprehensive review of the FTP Code. The aims of the review are to enhance its user-friendliness and provide a more uniform application of the Code, with the inclusion of appropriate interpretations; to update the references to ISO fire test standards; and to accommodate developments in fire protection technology.
Recommendation on evacuation analysis for new and existing passenger ship
The Sub-Committee established a correspondence group to further develop draft amendments to the Recommendation on evacuation analysis for new and existing passenger ships (MSC/Circ.1033).
Measures to prevent fire in engine rooms and cargo pump room
The Sub-Committee established a correspondence group to develop draft guidelines on measures to prevent fire in engine rooms and cargo pump rooms and to consider, with a view towards consolidation and inclusion, any existing MSC circulars addressing fire safety and prevention measures for engine-rooms and cargo pump-rooms.
Prevention of accidents involving lifeboats
The Sub-Committee agreed a draft amendment to SOLAS regulation III/126.96.36.199 concerning provisions for the launch of free-fall lifeboats during abandon ship drills, for submission to MSC 81 for approval and subsequent adoption. The amendment will allow, during the abandon-ship drill, for the lifeboat to either be free-fall launched with only the required operating crew on board, or lowered into the water by means of the secondary means of launching without the operating crew on board.
Further work on LSA
The Sub-Committee agreed there was a need for further work on life saving appliances by the Ship Design and Equipment Sub-Committee, in particular with regard to improvements to requirements for on-load release mechanisms; improvements to free-fall lifeboat launching and seating arrangements; and compatibility of life-saving appliances, specifically compatibility of immersion suits and lifejackets; compatibility of immersion suits and lifeboat access and capacity; and compatibility of lifejackets and marine evacuation systems.