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Web Alert: USCG safety alert on oil spray fires in the engine room

12 June 2017

The United States Coastguard (USCG) recently issued safety alert 06-17. This safety alert warns of the dangers posed to commercial vessels by fires caused by fuel sprays being ignited by adjacent machinery. The club has identified fuel spray as the cause of many engine room fires. The USCG makes a number of recommendations to reduce the potential for this type of incident, including:

  • avoiding an 'out of sight, out of mind' mentality, with specific reference to unmanned machinery spaces
  • pointers on the inspection of fuel and lubricating systems and how to minimise vulnerabilities
  • the dangers of hot spots, the need for lagging and how exhaust piping has often featured in such incidents
  • the recommendation to minimise the use of non-metallic, flexible hoses in systems carrying flammable liquids
  • the benefits of owners/operators consulting with engine manufacturers to identify if a replacement schedule is necessary, taking into account the various factors which may degrade the integrity of the pipe work, such as heat, vibration etc.

For full details of the USCG’s recommendations and the case study, please see the attached file on the right.