Correct design, installation, and maintenance are critical to the reliability of your fire suppression system. While the design and installation are largely decided for you, maintenance is the owner’s responsibility.
Our walk-down teams have noticed several cases where the commissioning yards have failed to remove the installation safety pin or have left the manual discharge cable off the actuator. While both are common practice during the build process to prevent accidental discharge, either of these will render the manual activation system useless and must be corrected at commissioning. Maintenance recommendations vary by manufacturer, but most include a semi-annual removal and weighing of your tank, verification of internal pressure on the installed gauge, annual cable inspection test, and a system shutdown test. These tasks may be performed by the owner/operator or a technician.
MMS provides the detailed procedures for these Preventive Maintenance tasks (PMs) and users will automatically be alerted to perform them at the correct maintenance intervals. However, as an immediate action we recommend each owner/captain inspect their system to make sure the safety pin is removed and the manual discharge cable is properly attached. As a matter of safety, non-MMS users may contact us and we will send them a copy of the PM for their reference. Call us if you have any questions.
Understanding and maintaining your fire suppression system as well as having the correct number of portable fire extinguishers will help protect the safety of your vessel and crew in the event of a fire. For more information on this subject, check out the September 2008 issue of PassageMaker Magazine in which technical editor Steve D’Antonio details the set-up, operation, and importance of fixed fire extinguishing systems.