Paris and Tokyo MoUs have jointly announced a new Concentrated Inspections Campaign (CIC) that will take place from September 1st to November 30rd, 2023 with a focus on Fire Safety implementation on board ships, since high levels of deficiencies were found in recent years in this specific area.
Fire Safety is a key area of concern during PSC inspections. It is widely known that fire is one of the worst case scenarios for an on board emergency. According to RISK4SEA, PSC data analysis from the last five years shows that there is a lot of concern for onboard fire safety while ships have still several issues to address in this area. As such, the purpose of the Inspection Campaign is to determine the level of compliance with the requirements on Fire safety.
It is worth mentioning that other MoUs may also participate in the campaign which will be an additional inspection campaign to the regular PSC inspections. The PSCOs will expand their focus on the evaluation of competences of crew when performing fire drill or related emergency scenarios.
The CIC questionnaire will be released in early August 2023. However, in accordance with released information, there will be a 10-question checklist covering the functionality of fire safety systems and related drills as follows:
- Are the emergency escape routes maintained in a safe condition?
- Are the fire doors maintained in good working condition?
- Has the fixed fire detection and fire alarm systems, been periodically tested in accordance with the requirements of the Administration?
- Are ventilation closing appliances capable of being closed?
- Are the means of control for power ventilation of machinery spaces operable from two grouped positions?
- Can each fire pump deliver at least the two required jets of water?
- Are the means of control provided in a position outside the machinery space for stopping ventilation and oil transfer equipment operational?
- Is the room for the fixed gas fire extinguishing medium used only for this purpose?
- Are the valves used in the fire main line operational?
- Where a fire drill was witnessed, was it found to be satisfactory?
Ships and their equipment should always be maintained in such a way as to ensure safe operations and PSC inspections. On the occasion of the new CIC, the following actions are recommended:
- Managers, manning offices, Officers and crew onboard should be prepared to address the PSC CiC successfully
- Fire training manuals on board to be reviewed to be ship specific.
- Company’s superintendents are advised to focus on onboard training during visits.
- Additional fire emergency scenarios to be conducted.
Furthermore, the Gard P&I Club encourages ship operators to use this CIC as a reminder of the importance of ensuring readiness of the shore organization, crew and equipment in case of fire related emergencies.