ABS publishes guide for containership firefighting systems

(HOUSTON) — The American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) has published the "Guide for Firefighting Systems for Cargo Areas of Container Carriers." It is the first publication of its kind to address firefighting and safety systems of cargo holds of container vessels, the location of a series of high-profile fires on board.

“Container carriers have grown much larger in recent years and the volume of cargo carried has expanded significantly. In addition, the nature of the cargo has changed. Fires involving containers, especially with the volume and type of cargo now being carried, are becoming more frequent and can present a significant risk to the safety of the crew and the vessel. Aligned with the ABS safety mission, we address this issue and provide guidance for the development of robust designs that are better suited to address this key industry challenge,” said Gareth Burton, ABS vice president of technology.

The guide is for the use of designers, builders, owners and operators in the marine industry and specifies the ABS requirements for addressing fire safety in four key areas: firefighting for containers stowed on deck, firefighting for containers stowed below, fire safety of the deckhouse, and container hold flooding as a measure for firefighting.

These notations address early fire detection, more efficient fire suppression, better protection of crew, and the safety considerations associated with cargo hold flooding as a means of firefighting. These requirements are above and beyond current SOLAS and related industry regulations.

For more information, visit ww2.eagle.org.

By Professional Mariner Staff