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Fire Fighting and Fire Prevention

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[FIREFIGHTING & FIRE PREVENTION] Seafarers face many threats, including the foundering might of the sea and the destructive force of shipboard fires. Knowing that any mistake could cause a catastrophic fire means all crew must rely on training and follow proper policies and procedures.

Good vessel construction, housekeeping, maintenance, safety procedures, and fire fighting systems are all important for preventing fires. Your firefighting training could save the ship, the cargo, and the lives of your fellow crew members and passengers.

[What We Will Learn] In this program, we will learn [Fire Prevention] fire prevention, [Fire Extinguishing Agents and Systems] fire extinguishing agents and systems, [PPE for Firefighting] PPE for Firefighting. [How to Fight Fires] and fighting the fire.

[FIRE PREVENTION] Maintaining a safe environment is crucial in fire prevention, and this means constant vigilance from all crew at all times. Are there any potential hazards from the work you are performing, such as sparks or ignition? Do you follow proper procedures for welding, cutting, and other hotwork, including issuance of a HotWork Permit?

Look around your work area. Are there any combustible materials lying around, such as faulty electrical installations, poorly insulated exhausts, or fuel and oil leaks? These may seem like small issues, however, if left untreated, could lead to disaster. Many fires can be avoided by checking equipment for damaged wires, faulty electrical connections, and placing oily rags into a sealed metal container. Never place combustible materials near a heat source, like exhaust pipes or heaters.

[HAZARDS IN THE ENGINE ROOM INCLUDE:] The engine room is home to many hazards, such as ruptured line and pipes, loose fittings, and oil or lube leaking from equipment. Immediately repair any leaks. Another area of the vessel where the chance of a fire is high is the galley. The galley can never be left unattended while cooking. By maintaining a clean galley, grease accumulation will not be present to fuel a fire. Ensure exhaust fans and ductwork is cleaned regularly, as it is the major source of galley fires.

[HAZARDS IN THE GALLEY INCLUDE:] Here are a few things to look for in the galley. Accumulation of grease and oil on cooking appliances, grease or soot in the fans and exhaust, rags and garbage are disposed of in the correct containers. Now, let's look at fire extinguishing agents available to seafarers.

[FIRE EXTINGUISHING AGENTS AND SYSTEMS] A fire needs a chemical reaction between three elements to live. Those three elements are oxygen, heat, and fuel. By eliminating one of these elements, you can extinguish a fire. However, there are different classes of fire that require different methods of extinguishing.

There are five classifications of fire. The classifications are: [CLASS "A" FIRES] Class A. Class A fire is started from combustible materials, like wood, paper, clothing, and plastics. Practicing good housekeeping is the best way to prevent these fires from occurring.

[CLASS "B" FIRES] Class B. A Class B fire is caused by flammable liquids, [FLAMMABLE LIQUIDS] such as gasoline, petroleum oil, and paint. [FLAMMABLE GASES] They can also be started by flammable gases like propane and butane. These fires are common in areas like the engine room.

[CLASS "C" FIRES] Class C. This class of fires involves energized electrical equipment, such as transformers, motors, and other electrical equipment. [CLASS "D" FIRES] Class D. A Class D fire is when combustible metals catch fire. Aluminum, magnesium, and other metals can catch on fire. They are extremely hot and difficult to extinguish, as they create their own oxygen. A special extinguishing agent must be used that interferes with the chemical reaction.

[CLASS "K" FIRES] Class K. Class K fires typically occur in the galley with cooking oils and greases, like animal and vegetable fats. All these fires are fueled by different combustibles and often require different types of extinguishing agents. One of the most widely used extinguishers is the multi-purpose dry chemical extinguisher. This agent creates a barrier between the oxygen and the fuel.

[Dry Chemical Extinguishers] These extinguishers can be used on Class A, B, and C fires. While the dry chemical can be used on an electrical fire, it will often cause damage to electrical components and circuitry. CO2 is a better choice.

Ordinary dry chemical extinguishers work by interrupting the chemical reaction and should be used only for Class B and C fires. Water and foam extinguishers are useful when fighting small Class A fires. These extinguishers and hoses take away the heat element with the water, and the foam separates the oxygen from the other elements.

Streams of water from a water extinguisher can be dangerous if used on other types of fires by creating a shock hazard or spreading around flammable liquids. Water hoses can be used to manage any fire that have grown so large they can't be controlled by an extinguisher alone. But ideally, no fire will ever get to this state. On other fires, the stream could spread the flammable liquid or create a shock hazard.

Carbon dioxide extinguishers are another useful extinguisher that takes the oxygen element out of the fire, then removes the heat with a cold discharge. CO2 is heavier than air and will displace the air at the base of the fire, where combustion occurs. These extinguishers should only be used on Class B and C fires. CO2 extinguishers are more effective in enclosed spaces, as opposed to open areas such as the deck, where the gas can be dispersed.

The multi-purpose cartridge extinguisher is like the stored pressure extinguisher in that it is effective in fighting Class A, B, and C fires by creating a barrier between oxygen and the fuel. Ordinary dry chemicals can only be used on Class B and C fires.

Clean agent extinguishers extinguish Class B and C fires. Larger clean agent extinguishers can also be used on A, B, and C fires. Clean agent extinguishers include halon and halocarbon agents. They extinguish fires by interrupting the chemical reaction of the fire triangle.

To fight a Class D combustible metal fire, you should use a dry powder, not dry chemical extinguisher. This special extinguishing agent breaks the fire chain at the molecular level, preventing combustion.

To fight class K fires in the galley, you will want to use a wet chemical agent which removes the heat from the fires and creates a barrier between the oxygen and fuel. This prevents reignition.

Make sure extinguishers are placed in the correct areas and is not covered in any way. Instructions on how to operate the extinguisher must be facing out. Fire extinguishers are required to be visually inspected monthly and serviced annually.

In addition to fire extinguishers, a ship will have a built-in fire suppression system. Here are a few examples of what those can be: fire hoses, nozzles, piping, and fire pumps. In the engine room, you will also find built-in sprinkler systems, along with semi-portable CO2 systems.

Older steamships may have steam smothering lines in the cargo spaces. Detection sensors are placed throughout the ship that will sound an alarm in the presence of smoke, fumes, steam, or heat. There will be a master alarm panel on the bridge and possibly the engine control room. When a sensor is triggered, the panel will show the location of the event, allowing a rapid response to the possible fire.

[PPE FOR FIREFIGHTING] Fire prevention is your first line of defense against a fire. However, if a fire does start, firefighters will need the right personal protective equipment to improve your chance of survival. It's vital that you learn the location of this equipment and understand how to quickly and properly put it on.

Ships may be equipped with firefighters bunker suits. This increases your protection from flames, radiant heat, and steam, allowing you to get nearer to the source of the fire. The bunker gear consists of turnout coat and pants. Protect yourself further with a firefighting helmet, gloves, and rubber firefighting boots.

Your ships are equipped with Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus, or SCBA units. Before using an SCBA, be sure that you've been fit tested and properly trained on SCBA use. The SCBA should carry at least 30 minutes of air under normal circumstances.

An Emergency Escape Breathing Device, or EEBD, is designed to help crew escape a smoky compartment and contains enough oxygen to last at least 10 minutes. EEBDs are strictly for escape purposes and should not be used in firefighting.

Many times when dealing with small fires, the crew will not have time to change into protective clothing. Be aware of your clothing limitations when fighting fires. And always remember that fires are much safer and easier to fight when in the early, or incipient, stages of the fire.

The safest clothing you can wear is clothes that won't burn or melt. They will be marked with "FR," for Fire Resistant. The next best thing to fire-resistant clothing is wool or cotton material clothing. They are able to resist flame and won't catch fire easily. Note, however, that at high temperatures, wool or cotton could potentially ignite.

Do not try to fight a fire if you're wearing synthetic clothing, such as sports clothes or foul weather gear. This is the most dangerous types of clothing to be worn near a fire. Synthetic material melts when it comes into contact with high temperatures. This can severely burn your skin, leading to burns worse than if you weren't wearing clothes at all.

[HOW TO FIGHT FIRES] A fire is the worst case scenario while at sea. However, if one were to break out, you must remain calm and act fast. When you encounter a fire, you must always first sound an alarm. This could be a verbal alarm if the fire is small enough, or the ship's alarm. In any case, always notify the bridge and the master.

Make sure the fire is contained. Isolate the space and restrict the oxygen supply to the fire by closing hatches, ports, and vents. Shut off all fans and blowers into or out of the fire space. Even more importantly, maintain an escape route. Shut down fuel and lubrication pumps. If you can, remove any other potential fuels from the area and de-energize electrical circuits.

If the fire is small and contained, you are safe from smoke, you have a way to escape, you can start by fighting the fire with the appropriate extinguisher. When it comes time to use the extinguisher, pull the pin and aim the nozzle at the base of the fire, making sure to stand 8 to 10 feet away from the fire. Firmly squeeze the handle and sweep the agent from side to side until the fire is out.

When using dry chemical extinguishers, shake or agitate the nozzle to break up clumps of powder as you are discharging. Appoint someone to stand watch for up to 30 minutes after the fire is extinguished to ensure there is no reignition.

If you cannot extinguish the fire with an extinguisher, a team can work together to extinguish the fire with the fire hose. On open decks, a solid stream from a fire hose can sweep burning oil overboard. This is a good tactic on ferries and car carriers. A fire hose with a fog applicator can be used to cool adjacent bulkheads, preventing the spread of fire.

Paint and combustibles on the other side of a bulkhead can catch fire, spreading the fire into adjacent compartments. Work as a team to extinguish the fire and use a second fire team with fog applicator to protect the primary team from flames and heat.

Your last line of defense is a fixed firefighting system. A fixed system is very effective in extinguishing fires. However, you only have one shot to do so. This is the decision that only the master of the vessel can make. If the master is incapacitated, the decision falls to the chief mate and chief engineer.

This system releases carbon dioxide, or CO2, smothering the fire and preventing it from spreading. Because so much carbon dioxide is being released into the atmosphere, all personnel must be evacuated to avoid suffocation, and the area must be completely sealed off.

Before using the fixed system, turn off any ventilation, the main auxiliary machinery, and seal all vents that do not close automatically. After the system is activated, an alarm will sound. Once this alarm is sounding, crew members have 20 seconds to leave the area. The CO2 will attempt to smother the fire, once a crew member dispels the agent with a trigger placed outside the space with the fire.

Use either a magnetic thermometer or the back of your hand to monitor the bulkhead's temperature until it's safe to re-enter the space. Use the SCBA when entering the space, as the oxygen level might be too low to support life, and toxic gases may be present.

[CONCLUSION] You are now armed with a basic knowledge of how to prevent and fight a fire if one should occur. [What We've Learned] In this program, we learned [Fire Prevention] fire prevention, [Fire Extinguishing Agents and Systems] fire extinguishing agents and systems, [PPE for Firefighting] PPE for firefighting, [How to Fight Fires] and fighting the fire.

Remember to keep a cool head and work fast. Trust your training. And work with fellow crew members as a team. Follow all preventive measures, starting with maintaining the ship and doing regular drills in training. This is a responsibility shared by everyone on board.

[MTS Maritime Training Services]

Video Details

Duration: 15 minutes and 16 seconds
Country: Andorra
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Views: 20
Posted by: maritimetraining on Jun 7, 2019

Fire Fighting and Fire Prevention

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