On today’s article I’m going to talk about fires on board, what starts them and how to extinguish one.

What starts a fire on board?

Here are some examples of situations that can lead to fires:

  • Spontaneous combustion;
  • Smoking;
  • Electric installations;
  • Ships bunkering;
  • Welding operations;
  • Kitchen work.

Fire triangle:

The fire triangle represents the necessary elements to start a combustion.

The elements are: fuel, that provides energy so that the combustion can occur, the oxidizer that is the substance that reacts with the fuel and the heat that’s essential for initializing the reaction between the fuel and the oxidizer.

Fire classes:

To know how to fight a certain fire, we need to know which class it belongs to.

  • Class A: Combustible materials- wood, fabrics… (extinguish with: water, foam, chemical powder)
  • Class B: inflammable liquids- oil, solvents, paint… (extinguish with: foam, chemical powder)
  • Class C: Inflammable gases: methane, natural gas, propane, acetylene… (extinguish with: CO2, chemical powder)
  • Class D: Alkali metals:  magnesium, sodium, uranium… (extinguish with: chemical powder)
  • Class F: Vegetable oil (extinguish with: fire blanket, wet chemical extinguisher)

What to do if you see a fire?

  • Activate the nearest fire alarm.
  • Inform the officer in charge of the watch

Measures to be taken by the OOW:

  • Activate the general alarm
  • Call the captain
  • Communicate with the engine room
  • Stop parallel operations
  • Prepare communication systems
  • Put the location of the ship on the navigation chart

Measures to be taken by the captain:

  • Organize the fire fighting team
  • Close all the ventilation and air conditioning on the ship
  • Isolate all the electric circuits near the fire zone
  • Help and treat injured crew members
  • Start the fire fighting

How to fight a fire?

On the ship’s fire plan, everyone can see the available means to fight a fire in a specific area.

Hope you liked it! Sea you soon! 😉