ABS Issues New Carrier Fire Guide

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

November 11, 2019

Dr. Gareth Burton. Photo: ABS

Dr. Gareth Burton. Photo: ABS

Classification society American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) has issued what it says is first of its kind ‘Guide for Fire-Fighting Systems for Cargo Areas of Container Carriers’,  as it looks to address safety concerns following a series of high profile fires at sea.

It is designed predominantly for designers, builders, owners, operators throughout the marine industry and specifies the ABS requirements for addressing fire safety concerns in four key areas: fire-fighting for containers stowed on deck, fire-fighting for containers stowed below, fire safety of the deckhouse and container hold flooding as a measure for fire-fighting.

“Container Carriers have grown much larger in recent years and the volume of cargo carried has expanded significantly. In addition, the nature of the cargo has changed. Fires involving containers, especially with the volume and type of cargo now being carried, are becoming more frequent and can present a significant risk to the safety of the crew and the vessel," said ABS Gareth Burton, Vice President of Technology.

Burton added: "Aligned with the ABS safety mission, we address this issue and provide guidance for the development of robust designs that are better suited to address this key industry challenge.”

These notations address early fire detection, more efficient fire suppression, better protection of crew, and the safety considerations associated with cargo hold flooding as a means of fire-fighting. These requirements are above and beyond current SOLAS and related industry regulations.

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