Important Rules to Follow Before Activating Ship CO2 Extinguishing System

Fire on board ship is a nightmare to all seafarers and ship operation. Most times, it happens while at sea were no assistant maybe possibly rendered by the shore fire team. Therefore Ship CO2 Extinguishing System is very useful equipment that helps the ship operators to fight the fire.

In related to fire in pump-room, engine room and/or galley, CO2 fixed fire extinguishing system may be used to extinguish the fire, if it’s in high level.

But before you make use of this equipment, there are several rules the operator need to follow to avoid loss of lives. It’s quite understood that in the earlier years back, lots of casualties have been recorded due to the Improper handling of the equipment and/or not following the rules guide the CO2 system.

On this article, I’m going to list some major rules which must be check, before activating the CO2 system to the engine room, pump room or other place required.

Who is in charge of Ship CO2 Extinguishing System activation?

According to the job order, the chief engineer of the ship is in charge of the CO2 operation. This can as well been carry out by the 2nd engineer in absence of chief engineer. In relating to this, the operator must carefully carry out all precautionary measures relating to the location where the CO2 extinguishing system is to apply.

Most common fire usually start from engine room or pump room ( in case of tanker ship) and in most cases, someone who remains in this area before the activation of CO2 extinguishing system may lose their lives, not because of fire but suffocation due to loss of oxygen.

Ship CO2 Extinguishing System
Ship CO2 Extinguishing System

Meaning, unauthorized persons are not allowed to operate the system to avoid mistakes.

What are the rules to follow before activating ship CO2 extinguishing system?

As said before, to avoid casualties or fire spread these rules must be observed;

  1. Notification: as per the emergency procedures, the fire dictator sensor will sense the heat or smoke and the automated alarm system will sound fire alarm continuously.

On hearing the fire alarm, it’s important to leave the engine room or pump room without delay, the officer on duty most contact with the bridge or checks for the fire location via the fire repeater system. All crew should muster at the muster station for headcount. If the fire is controllable by a portable fire extinguisher, it’s the duty of the fire team to engage on it.

  1. Oxygen elimination: as you may know, fire is of 3 substances (oxygen, fuel, and ignition). To help in eliminating the fire, it’s important to close all flaps and dampers linking to the fire location. This will reduce the fire strength and give the fighters more plus to stop the fire.
  2. Ignition and fuel eliminate: In case of fire in the engine room, get the machinery stopped, the emergency generator should be on and all fuel valves are to be shut off with the help of the quick closing system. Haven confirmed the number of ship crew, the CO2 extinguishing system should be activated after the above rules and with the master informed.

As well in pump-room, the above-mentioned rules are to be check also make sure that all cargo operations stopped, valves closed and the fan stopped.

  1. Crew not present on muster station: in case any crew was not present on muster station, it’s important to find out his location, send a rescue team to check, if observed he or she might be inside the fire location. This point is very important before CO2 activation.
  2. Air condition and doors shutoff: Make sure that accommodation air conditioning system, doors and look holes are shut-off or closed. This will stop the fire from spreading to other compartments.
  3. Final count: The above rules, before opening the CO2 activating door ship master or the person in charge to carry out final count, to make sure that all crew is available (No individual in the fire area).

Note: the above rules must be check according to your ship company SMS. Therefore to be well informed, ones you are Onboard, know your duty in case of fire, read and understand your company SMS, ask if you are confused about what to do.

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