Page 44: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (July 2016)

Marine Communications Edition

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Preparing for New Fire-Fighter Regulations

New SOLAS resolution mandates change to ? re-? ghting communication systems. Will you be ready?

BY NIELS PETER AGDAL & CLAUS HORNBECH n November 30, 2012 the during ? re-? ghting operations or if the

Maritime Safety Commit- Fire Party consists of more crew mem- tee adopted Resolution bers than the actual ? re ? ghters, i.e. in-

OMSC.338(91) among which, cident commander, the actual number of

Chapter II-2 ‘Construction – Fire Protec- ? re-? ghter radios will vary from vessel tion, Fire Detection and Fire Extinction’ to vessel as more than two radios may be is of speci? c interest to professionals required for each Fire Party. that deal with, and ultimately depend upon ? re-? ghting processes and technol- Fire-? ghter Radios ogy. The resolution adopts a number of The purpose of ? re-? ghter radios is to measures designed to improve ? re safety provide a dedicated means of commu- at sea, including the mandatory use of nication between a team of ? re ? ghters speci? c types of handheld radio. The entering the space, and the crew member speci? c wording in, SOLAS Chapter II- outside the space assigned to control this 2, Regulation 10.10.4 reads: team. The ? re-? ghter radio mainly con-

For ships constructed on or after 1 July sists of a portable UHF radio transceiver, 2014, a minimum of two two-way por- a battery and an antenna. The radio has table radiotelephone apparatus for each various buttons and controls for operat- ? re party for ? re-? ghter´s communica- ing change of channels, adjustment of tion shall be carried on board. Those two squelch and a Push-To-Talk button.

two-way radiotelephone apparatus shall To date, IMO has not yet set the per- be of an explosion-proof type or intrin- formance standards for the above ? re- sically safe. Ships constructed before 1 ? ghter radios but, in order for such

July 2014 shall comply with the require- equipment to meet the explosion proof ments of this paragraph not later than the or intrinsically safe requirements the ra- ? rst survey after 1 July 2018 dio telephone apparatus must be certi? ed

This deadline is critical. The amount of in accordance with relevant standards relevant vessels built before 1 July 2014 for equipment and protective systems is approximately 89,000, of which ap- intended for use in potentially explosive proximately 60,000 – 65,000 are covered atmospheres, and maintained as such, for by SOLAS and therefore by Regulation example: Directive 94/9/EC (ATEX) – 10.10.4. Additionally, as is normally the with approval rating such as II 2G Ex ib case, other non-SOLAS vessels are ex- IIC T4.Temperature rating ‘T3’ may be pected to implement the regulation on a mandated ‘Fire-? ghter out? t’. The In- of decks, number of vertical zones and accepted instead of ‘T4’ but the T4 rating voluntary basis. This makes the require- ternational Code for Fire Safety System number of passengers. According to will cover all types of vessels including ment for new ? re-? ghter speci? c radios (FSS Code), resolution MSC.98(73), Chapter II-2, regulation an ad- tankers.

before the ? nal implementation, approx- Chapter 3, Regulation 2 ‘Fire-? ghter ditional two ? re-? ghter out? ts shall be Radios tested and certi? ed according imately 260,000 to 300,000 units. That’s out? t’, de? nes and describes the scope, provided on tankers. to recognised maritime standards have how many need to come to market over such as type approved electric safety The ? re-? ghter out? t shall be kept passed comprehensive testing for the a period of less than 3 years from now. lamp, rubber boots, rigid helmet, explo- ready for use in an easily accessible speci? c marine environment as set forth

It’s a huge amount of radios of a very sion proof electrical safety lamps (for location. As the Fire-? ghter radios as in the standards i.e. EN60945, EMC test, speci? c type to drive through the chan- tankers), type approved lifeline, type ap- required by Regulation 10.10.4 are ad- drop test, IP-grade test, Ex approvals nel in order for them to be in place. So proved breathing apparatus etc. ditional to the above ? re-? ghters out? t from noti? ed test facilities, to mention a it’s important to understand exactly what According to Chapter II-2, regulation and intended for the Fire Party, the to- few. In addition, accessories for such ra- you need sooner, rather than later. And all ships shall carry at least two tal number needed on board will depend dios have passed similar tests and there- do something about it. ? re-? ghter out? ts. According to Chapter upon the number of ? re parties detailed fore are tested and certi? ed to have full

II-2, regulation an additional on the Muster List rather than the num- functionality with the radio.

Fire-? ghter Out? t ? re-? ghter out? t is required for pas- ber of ? re-? ghter out? ts. Each Fire Party Fire-? ghter out? ts, by their very na-

The ? re-? ghter radios required in SO- senger vessels depending on the design must have at least two of these dedicat- ture, limit movement so using a handheld

LAS Chapter II-2, Regulation 10.10.4 of the passenger vessel / cruise ship; ed radios and as ? re-? ghters may need radio effectively during a ? re-? ghting are additional to the wider remit of the i.e. length of passenger spaces, number to use Direct Mode Operation (DMO) operation can be challenging. However, 44 Maritime Reporter & Engineering News • JULY 2016

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