In order to extinguish a fire, it is important to attack the root of the fire. In order to approach the seat of the fire, adequate protection is required from heat and smoke. For this reason, fireman outfit is used on board ships to fight the emergency fire. There are certain rules and regulations to be followed while carrying fireman’s outfit on ships.
The fire fighter outfit is mandatory on every ship. The outfit consists of the following things:-
1) Breathing apparatus
2) Water resisting clothing
3) Safety shoes
4) Hand Gloves
5) Rigid Helmet
6) Electric intrinsically safe hand lamp that lasts for about three hours duration
7) Fire Axe
8) A strong fire proof line
9) A belt for carrying Auxiliary equipment
As per SOLAS
According to Chapter II-2, regulation 10.10.2, the minimum number of fire fighter outfit required on board are as follows:-
1) All the ships must have at least 2 fire fighter’s outfits
2) Additional fire-fighter’s outfit will be needed for passenger vessels depending on the design of the ship; i.e. length of passenger spaces, number of decks, vertical zones and number of passengers etc.
3) For tanker ships, additional two numbers of fire fighter’s outfit should be kept onboard
The fire fighter outfit is stored in the fire control room and in places that are easily accessible during emergencies.
Requirement for Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) used in Fire Fighter Outfit
1) The capacity of air bottle should be at least 1200 liters.
2) It should be capable of working 30 minutes & provided with one face mask.
3) Fire proof line with the snap hook of at least 3 meters should be there and must have enough length to reach any part of the space to be entered. The line should have a breaking strength of 500 kg.
4) Adjustable safety belt or harness made of fabric.
5) It must have a b- pass valve.
6) It should have a pressure gauge with an anti bursting orifice in a high pressure air supply system.
7) Maximum weight should not increase above 19 kg including lifeline, safety belt, and harness.
8) Spare cylinders should be available of full 2400 liters of free air.
9) For ships carryings 5 sets or more, the total spare capacity of free air is 9600 liters or if charging facility is available, free air is 4800 liters.
10) It must give an audible warning when 20 % of air is left in the bottle.
11) Operating instructions should be present near the apparatus.
12) Marking of maker & year of manufacturer.
13) Maximum pressure should about 180-200 bars.
14) SCBA cylinders should be hydraulic pressure tested at intervals not exceeding 5 years and hydrostatic test date must be permanently marked on the bottles.