New pocket checklist could reduce onboard fire risk


Lloyd’s Register and the UK P&I Club have highlighted the problems of the risk of fire and explosions at sea by producing a pocket guide they hope will reduce incidents and avoid the threat of port state control detentions.

The Marine Fire Safety Pocket Checklist is the latest in a series of booklets produced by the P&I Club insurer and brings together deficiencies found by PSC inspectors in ports around the world over a three year period. Lloyd’s Register and the UK P&I Club have related these to their own experienced observations and developed a resuable checklist to help crew members pre-empt and manage the risk of fire effectively.

Iain Wilson, Fleet Quality Manager at LR, said: “The Marine Fire Safety Pocket Checklist  should help crewmembers to take responsibility for areas of the ship and operations which can present fire hazards and help remind them of the key areas to monitor. It should also support vessels’ own operational and maintenance procedures and flag state requirements.”

Over the last 20 years, fires at sea have cost well over $20m per annum. The great majority of fires start in ships’ holds with others originating in the engine room, cargo tanks, accommodation areas and pumprooms.

Karl Lumbers, the UK Club’s Loss Prevention Director, maintains that seafarers fear fire more than any other hazard. “Potential sources of trouble are many and widely dispersed. You cannot pay too much attention to avoiding and pre-empting incidents in the first place. Similarly officers and crew must be rigorous about the positioning, condition, maintenance, inspection and testing of all appliances. Most importantly, they should be trained and regularly drilled in their use.”