Emergency escape breathing devices and fire plans discussed at IMO

INTERTANKO attended the IMO Fire Protection Sub-committee during the week 10 to 14 February 2003. Various issues were discussed but of direct interest to members were emergency escape breathing devices and fire plans revisions to A.654(16).

INTERTANKO attended the IMO Fire Protection Sub-committee during the week 10 to 14 February 2003.   Various issues were discussed but of direct interest to members were the following matters:-

EEBD's

Current SOLAS regulations Regulations 11-2/13.3.4 and 11-2/13.4.3). require visible and accessible Emergency Escape Breathing Devices (EEBD) for crew use in the event of fire.

Current requirements contained  stipulate that EEBD's shall be fitted on all ships within the machinery spaces and be ready for use at easily visible places which can be reached quickly and easily at any time in the event of a fire. The location of EEBD's shall take into account the layout of the machinery and the number of persons normally working in the spaces. The number and location of these devices shall be indicated in the fire control plan and shall comply with the Fire safety Systems Code  MSC Circular MSC/circ.849.  

However, due to various interpretations by different administrations China requested IMO to formulate a unified interpretation regarding the location and number of EEBD's required. After some considerable discussion this was agreed. IMO decided to produce a unified interpretation of the regulation and this will be formalised in a future MSC Circular which will be advised to INTERTANKO Members once it becomes available. The following is a summary of the main points proposed to be incorporated:

1. The provision of the revised SOLAS chapter 11-2 encompasses all ships constructed on or after 1st July 2003
2. For all tanker types a minimum number of two EEBD and one spare shall be kept within the accommodation spaces
3. Additionally, in machinery spaces deemed category A containing internal combustion machinery used for main propulsion EEBD should be positioned as follows:
a) one EEBD in the engine control room if located within the machinery space
b) one EEBD in workshop areas unless there is a direct access to an escape way from the workshop in which case it is not required
c) one EEBD on each deck or platform level near the escape ladder constituting the second means of escape from the machinery space (the other means being an enclosed trunk or watertight door at the lower level of the space)

Alternatively, a different number or location may be determined by the Administration taking into account the layout and dimensions or the normal manning of the space.For machinery spaces of category A other than those containing internal combustion machinery used for main propulsion, one EEBD should, as a minimum, be provided on each deck or platform level near the escape ladded constituting the secondary means of escape from the space (the other means being an enclosed escape trunk or watertight door at the lower level of the space).

For other machinery spaces, the number and location of EEBD's and the overall spare parts requirements are to be determined by the Administration.

FIRE PLANS Revisions to A.654(16)

The Committee considered how to incorporate the standard ISO 17631 regarding standardised symbols for shipboard fire control plans, within the revised resolution A.654(16). The sub-committee agreed that the draft assembly resolution A.654(16) would be sent to MSC 77 for approval and subsequent adoption by the 23rd session of the Assembly in 2003. This Resolution would be applicable to ships constructed on or after [1 January 2004].  But agrees that ships constructed prior to 1st January 2004 may continue to carry fire control plans that use the original graphical symbols contained in Resolution A.654(16)

Contact:  David Berry david.berry@intertanko.com