A guide to superyacht fire safety equipment at sea
Last updated: 21/02/2017
With superyachts being some of the most valuable assets in the world and fire being one of the most threatening emergencies at sea, the correct fire and safety equipment is vital.
With contributions from Warsash Superyacht Academy, Global Services Ltd. and DG Maritime, Yachting Pages explores potential superyacht fire risks, and what fire and safety equipment and training you need for your yacht.
Superyacht fire risks
Fire and safety risks are particularly high on superyachts due to the amount of fuel carried on board, so it’s essential that fire and safety training remains up to date.
However, fire risks in the engine room are relatively low due to the lack of spilt oil. It is a well-known fact that superyacht engine rooms are cleaner than the average dining table, therefore the risk of injury or fire is minimal. Following this, engine fires are also kept to a minimum due to on-board water cooling systems, although, this does not disregard the presence of the correct fire equipment.
Fuel is often carried on board in large amounts for use in tenders and jet skis, as well as jet fuel for on-board helicopters or sea planes. Therefore it is essential that fuel is stored correctly to avoid spillages, as well as the correct fire extinguisher being located close to the storage hold in the event of a fire.
Fires are also of a high concern when yachts are tightly packed into a port or marina. Once a fire begins on one yacht, it is likely to spread causing catastrophic results. By law, yachts available for charter are required to have formal safety management and security.
Also, there is no requirement for safety drills and practises often leading to a lack of safety awareness among crew and a higher risk of a fire starting and spreading.
Essential fire and safety equipment for yachts
As Suzanne Galloway, marketing coordinator at Warsash Superyacht Academy explains, “Effective and realistic training for fire prevention and aggressive firefighting must remain current and thorough courses should be delivered as part of career-long maritime training.”
After speaking to the engineers, Rebecca Scarrott from Global Services Ltd confirmed the top five fire and safety equipment essentials needed for yachts:
- Fire extinguishers of all classes
- Fire blankets
- Parat C or similar escape sets
- SCBA sets for use in machinery spaces
- Fire retardent suits for use with SCBA for firefighting
Other essential fire and safety supplies include:
- Emergency breathing devices: to aid breathing when evacuating a dangerous environment.
- Flares & smoke signals: these flares must burn with an intensity of at least 500 cendela for at least 2 minutes.
- Immersion suits: also known as a survival suit, these will allow passengers to submerge in cold water safely and prevent hypothermia.
- Recompression chambers
- Glow sticks: a waterproof form of lighting without the use of batteries.
- Life buoys – or life rings, are designed to be thrown to a person overboard and will provide buoyancy.
- Stretchers: for the event of a passenger needing to remain still following injury.
- First aid kits and medical supplies: a collection of supplies and equipment for giving first aid to an injured passenger or crew member. This will allow minor injuries to be treated quickly at the scene.
- Resuscitation equipment: such equipment would normally include a pocket mask with oxygen port, clear face masks, tracheal tubes, scissors, syringes etc…
Learn more about fire extinguishers and safety training on board superyachts, superyacht marina fire safety, or search for fire & safety services and suppliers on Yachtingpages.com.