Sub-Committee on Fire Protection (FP), 54th session: 12 to 16 April 2010

2010 Fire Test Procedures Code text agreed
Editorial modifications to finalize the draft text of the 2010 International Code for Application of Fire Test Procedures (FTP Code were agreed by the Sub-Committee on Fire Protection (FP), when it met for its 54th session.
The draft 2010 FTP Code provides the international requirements for laboratory testing, type approval and fire test procedures for products referenced under SOLAS chapter II-2.
It updates and amends the FTP Code, adopted by the Maritime Safety Committee in 1996, following a thorough revision, taking into account the continual development of materials for use in the construction of ships and improvement of marine safety standards.
The draft 2010 FTP Code will be submitted to the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC), with a view to its adoption at the MSC’s 88th session, in December 2010, along with the adoption of the relevant SOLAS amendments to make it mandatory.
The 2010 FTP Code includes the following tests: non-combustibility; smoke and toxicity; test for “A”, “B” and “F” class divisions; test for fire door control systems; test for surface flammability (surface materials and primary deck coverings); test for primary deck coverings; test for vertically supported textiles and films; test for upholstered furniture; test for bedding components; test for fire-restricting materials for high-speed craft; and test for fire-resisting divisions of high-speed craft.
It also includes annexes on Products which may be installed without testing and/or approval and Fire protection materials and required approval test methods.
The Sub-Committee also agreed draft amendments to the Guidelines for the application of plastic pipes on ships (resolution A.753(18)),for submission to MSC 88.
Fire integrity of bulkheads and decks of ro-ro spaces - SOLAS amendments agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed draft amendments to SOLAS regulation II-2/9, to improve the fire integrity values for the fire integrity of bulkheads and decks of ro-ro spaces on passenger and cargo ships, for submission to MSC 88 for approval.
Amendments to FSS Code agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed a number of draft amendments to the International Fire Safety Systems (FSS) Code, for submission to MSC 88 for approval. The draft amendments relate to fixed gas and water-spraying fire-extinguishing systems for vehicle, ro-ro, container and general cargo spaces; the testing and approval of fixed high-expansion foam systems; and alternative extinguishing systems for control stations.
Also agreed for submission to the MSC were: draft Guidelines for testing and approval of fixed high-expansion foam systems; draft Scientific methods on scaling of test volume for fire test on water-mist fire-extinguishing systems; draft amendments to the Revised Guidelines for the approval of equivalent water-based fire-extinguishing systems for machinery spaces and cargo pump-rooms (MSC/Circ.1165), concerning redundant means of pumping and ceiling and bilge nozzles; and draft Revised Guidelines for the approval of fixed water-based local application fire-fighting systems for use in category A machinery spaces (MSC/Circ.913).
The Sub-Committee also agreed to draft Guidelines for the design, construction and testing of fixed hydrocarbon gas detection systems on double-hull oil tankers incorporating modifications, for submission to the MSC for approval.
Draft interpretations of chapter 12 of the FSS Code were also agreed, for submission to MSC 88 for approval.
Draft regulations for inert gas systems on tankers progressed
The Sub-Committee continued its development of draft amendments to SOLAS chapter II-2, to incorporate new provisions to require new oil tankers of below 20,000 tonnes deadweight and new chemical tankers to be fitted with inert gas systems (IGS), to help prevent explosions on oil and chemical tankers transporting low-flash point cargoes.
Two proposals for the lower limit of application of IGS, 5000 or 8000 tonnes deadweight, were referred to the next session of the Sub-Committee for further discussion.
The Sub-Committee agreed that the requirements for, and application of, inert gas systems on oil and chemical tankers when carrying cargoes having a flashpoint not exceeding 60°C should be similar, except that regulations for chemical tankers also needed to take account of their unique operating profiles and specific concerns relative to chemical cargoes.
Implementation of new passenger ship requirements – guidance/notes agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed two draft interim circulars, for submission to MSC 87 for approval, aimed at assisting in the implementation of requirements for new passenger ships which were adopted in 2006, due to enter into force on 1 July 2010. The package of amendments focus on designing passenger ships for improved survivability so that, in the event of a casualty, persons can stay safely on board as the ship proceeds to port.
Draft Interim Clarifications of SOLAS chapter II-2 requirements regarding interrelation between the central control station, navigating bridge and safety centre are intended to assist in the implementation of SOLAS regulation II-2/23 Safety centre on passenger ships, which requires passenger ships constructed on or after 1 July 2010 to have a safety centre that provides a space to assist with the management of emergency situations. Means of communication between the safety centre, the central control station, the navigation bridge, the engine control room, the storage room(s) for fire extinguishing system(s) and fire equipment lockers must be provided.
Interim Explanatory Notes for the assessment of passenger ship systems' capabilities after a fire or flooding casualty relate to requirements relevant to the safe return to port for passenger ships. The Explanatory Notes are intended to outline the process of verification and of approval of ship's design by the Administration and to support safe engineering design with guidance on: availability of essential systems after a flooding casualty; availability of essential systems to support a ship's safe return to port after a fire casualty; and availability of essential systems to support a ship's evacuation and abandonment after a fire casualty.
Requirements for ships carrying hydrogen and compressed natural gas vehicles – correspondence group established
A correspondence group was established to identify hazards involved in carriage of hydrogen and compressed natural gas vehicles, including high voltage and large capacity batteries; clarify necessary safety requirements for cargo spaces intended for carriage of hydrogen and compressed natural gas vehicles; and to prepare draft amendments to SOLAS chapter II-2 and/or related guidelines, as appropriate, for consideration by the Sub-Committee at its next session.