Fire Fighting Equipment Surveyors

How to properly maintain and inspect CO2 fire extinguishing systems

MPA Singapore has issued a circular providing guidance on the maintenance and inspection of the fixed carbon dioxide fire extinguishing system and the engine room escape hatch door. The advisory was released after two safety failures were identified in a recent engine room fire incident involving a Singapore registered ship.

In particular, the following failures were reported:

  • the activating valve heads assembly of the fixed carbon dioxide fire extinguishing bottles had failed to function; and
  • the engine room emergency escape hatch door was unable to be opened from the inside

It was identified that, over time, the activating valve heads assembly of the carbon dioxide bottles of the fixed carbon dioxide fire extinguishing systems for the engine room had corroded; and some of the valve heads assembly had failed to function. The failure of the activating valve heads assembly of the carbon dioxide bottles could have been avoided had all the IMO’s recommendations been observed.

MPA Singapore said that the engine room emergency escape hatch door was found to be inoperable from the engine room. Therefore, it advises ship operators to conduct routine checks and pay attention to vigilant detection and early reporting of any faulty or malfunction of systems, equipment or appliances, particularly those concerning safety, life-saving and fire-fighting, to enable prompt servicing and maintenance.

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