The 2014 amendments to SOLAS and the Fire Safety Systems (FSS) Code* will enter into force on 1 July, 2014, introducing revised and new requirements for fire-fighter’s outfit breathing apparatus and two-way portable radiotelephone apparatuses, as follows:
1. Changes to SOLAS regulation II-2/10.10.1 and the FSS Code mean that: “Compressed air breathing apparatus shall be fitted with an audible alarm and a visual or other device which will alert the user before the volume of the air in the cylinder has been reduced to no less than 200 litres.”
This applies to ship’s constructed (keel laid) on or after 1 July, 2014. Ships constructed (keel laid) before 1 July, 2014 must comply no later than 1 July, 2019.
2. New SOLAS regulation II-2/188.8.131.52, relating to ‘Onboard training and drills’ requires that: “An onboard means of recharging breathing apparatus cylinders used during drills shall be provided or a suitable number of spare cylinders shall be carried on board to replace those used.”
This applies to all ships on or after 1 July, 2014.
Two-way portable radiotelephone apparatuses
New SOLAS regulation II-2/10.10.4 requires that: “For ships constructed on or after 1 July 2014, a minimum of two two-way portable radiotelephone apparatus for each fire party for fire-fighter's communication shall be carried on board. Those two-way portable radiotelephone apparatus shall be of an explosion-proof type or intrinsically safe. Ships constructed before 1 July, 2014 shall comply with the requirements of this paragraph not later than the first safety equipment survey after 1 July, 2018.”
What to do now
Owners and operators of new and existing ships should ensure that the fire fighters’ outfits on their vessels meet the requirements of SOLAS and the FSS Code and that any changes to the fire locker contents are shown on the vessel’s fire control plans, if included. Please also bring this information to the attention of your members, crews, surveyors and other relevant employees and parties.
*adopted by IMO Resolutions MSC.338(91) and MSC.339(91)