Fire protection


Fire can 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.

Current work

For the current work on fire safety matters, see the SSE Sub-Committee's meeting summaries.


The following publications are available from IMO:

SOLAS Consolidated Edition, 2020 edition

Fire Safety Systems (FSS) Code, 2015 edition

International Code for Application of Fire Test Procedures, 2010 (2010 FTP Code), 2012 edition

Model Course: 1.20 - Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting, 2000 edition

Model Course: 2.03- Advanced Training in Fire Fighting, 2000 edition

Model Course: 3.05- Survey of Fire Appliances and Provisions, 2004 edition

Symbols for Fire Control Plans, 2006 Edition

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