Italian Marine Industry recognise fire safety risks

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Italian Marine Industry recognise fire safety risks in a SPOTLIGHT from Alberto Faravelli, Coltraco’s Italy Country Manager.

The Italian Marine industry have found that the fixed fire systems on ships are at risk due to C02 cylinders leaking from the valves – particularly the leading classification societies ABS & RINA and the Italian Coast Guard.

  • ABS have reported multiple cases in which CO2 cylinders in fixed fire systems were found empty and thus would not be able to suppress a fire event. ABS have hence recommended that all shipowners need to conduct a risk assessment of their CO2 systems.
  • Furthermore the Italian Coastguard sent a letter to major shipowners supporting the assessment and called for ship owners undertake a risk assessment.
  •  As per the Ministero delle Infrastrutture e dei Trasporti: “In considerazione delle necessità di assicurare la continua funzionalità del richiamato sistema antincendio di tipo fisso e di prevenire un inatteso rilascio di CO2 nell’ambiente di lavoro, si dispone che  – codeste Società eseguano, per le unità gestite che risultano dotate del predetto impianto, una specifica e documentata valutazione del rischio, tesa a delineare eventuali, necessari interventi per la tutela della sicurezza e della salute dei lavoratori.”

This recognises the evidence in the IMO SOLAS FSS Code & other regulations which assume the risk of CO2 and agent leakage or accidental discharge from the fixed fire suppression system cylinders. If there is less gas than the design concentration, there is a risk it will not extinguish a fire event. IMO SOLAS FSS CH.5 which recommends the crew must have the means to test the contents on board, not just rely on 3rd party service companies to come for annual checks. Liquid Level Indicators provide the crew with an easy to use, reliable, intuitive tool.

This is why Coltraco Ultrasonics invented the Portalevel® 30 years ago and remain the world leaders today. Like Hoover™ for vacuums, Portalevel® is synonymous with level indication; using ultrasonic technology innovatively to deliver the Safeship® protecting crew, assets and vessel.

Why do CO2 fire system cylinders leak?

  • Approximately 20% of a ship’s CO2 cylinders may have discharged or partially leaked
  • If the contents are not there, they will not extinguish in a fire event
  • A ship’s gaseous extinguishing system typically comprises between 200 and 600 cylinders each containing 45KG of CO2 under high 720 psi/ 49 bar pressure
  • The risk of leaking and discharging is accepted as part of their use because gaseous extinguishing systems are highly pressurised
  • This is shown in IMO SOLAS & FSS Code Chapter – “Means shall be provided for the crew to safely check the quantity of the fire extinguishing medium in the containers.”

What is the solution?

ABS Type Approved Portalevel® MAX Marine ultrasonic liquid level indicators.

  • BETTER – most accurate unit on the market +/- 1.5mm & safer as no need to turn off the system or dismantle the cylinders
  • FASTER – combined with the MAX Marine, the Portasteele® CALCULATOR is an advanced app, that converts the liquid level of C02 into the agent weight/mass
  • CHEAPER – just one person needed to test safely and quickly (just 30 seconds per cylinder)

Would you like pricing or further information about the Portalevel® MAX MARINE & Portasteele® CALCULATOR?

Keywords:Italy, Marine, Fire System, ABS, Italian Coastguard, IMO SOLAS FSS, CO2

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