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Fire Protection Brief History

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Fire Protection, fire detection and fire extinction


​​​​​​​​​Fire can be devastating on a ship - particularly on a passenger ship, where large numbers of people may need to be evacuated, or on a ship carrying inflammable cargo, with serious risks to crewmembers or to ports and harbours.

On 1 July 2002, a comprehensive new set of requirements for fire protection, fire detection and fire extinction on board ships entered into force as a new revised Chapter II-2 of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974, as amended, incorporating technological advances in fire detection and extinction as well as lessons learned from fire incidents over the years.

The regulations are designed to ensure that fires are first of all prevented from occurring - for example by making sure that materials such as carpets and wall coverings are strictly controlled to reduce the fire risk; secondly, that any fires are rapidly detected; and thirdly; that any fire is contained and extinguished. Designing ships to ensure easy evacuation routes for crew and passengers are a key element of the chapter.



The following publications are available from IMO:

SOLAS Amendments 2000 - includes the revised chapter II-2 , making the International Code for Fire Safety Systems (FSS Code), adopted by the MSC by resolution MSC.98(73), mandatory under SOLAS

Fire Safety Systems (FSS) Code, 2001

2010 Fire Test Procedures (FTP Code) (2012 Edition)

Model Course: 1.20 - Fire Prevention. & Fire Fighting
Model Course: 2.03 - Advanced Fire Fighting
Model Course: 3.05 - Survey of Fire Appliances

Symbols for Fire Control Plans