The Club advises of US PSC detentions of vessels where water mist systems have been found disabled or otherwise left in an inoperable condition.
The detentions follow inspections by Port State Control (PSC) where the system water supply valve has been found in the “closed” position, deeming the system 'not readily available for immediate use' in the event of an Engine Room fire.
This valve is often closed to prevent accidental operation during maintenance and not returned to the open position once maintenance is completed. It is advised that the regular checks of the Water Mist System are carried out to ensure proper valve alignment.
In addition, it is advised that proper labeling and procedures are established to ensure that the valve is not overlooked and accidently left closed.
The Water Mist System is a critical fixed fire fighting system which is very effective at extinguishing engine room fires.
In addition to valve position, additional attention should be paid to any control panels related to the system to ensure that areas are not left isolated and that automatic detection and activation is not disabled. Proper procedures and regular inspections should be carried out to ensure that the system is always ready for immediate use.
Source: UK P&I Loss Prevention Department