What to Do in Case of Purifier Room Fire?

A purifier room is one of the most probable places in the engine room to catch fire. Purifier room fire has been the reason for several major accidents on various ships in the past. In this article we will learn about everything related to purifier room fires.

Reasons that leads to Purifier Room Fire

As we all know, for a fire to happen, three things are needed and in the purifier room all these things are present. These three things are – fuel oil which is present in abundant (lubricating oil in lube oil separator and fuel oil or diesel oil in fuel oil separator), air for combustion, and a heat source such as extremely hot oil, electrical short circuit etc.

When all these things are present together and lie within the flammable limit, a fire can take place.
Therefore, if a spray of oil takes place through a leaking pipe over a hot surface or over an electrical point, a fire can immediately take place.

Prevention of Purifier Fire

The following points are to be followed in order to prevent purifier room fire:

1) All the pipes leading to the separator are to be double sheathed; the reason for this is that if inner pipe leaks, then it will not spray all over the place but instead it will leak into outer pipe.

2) Drip trays should be provided below the purifier or separator, so that in case of oil spill the oil will not flow and spread in the purifier room and contact with any hot material and catch fire.

3) All the pipes with flanges or connections are to be covered with anti spill tapes which can prevent spill from the flanges in case of a leakage.

4) Fire fighting system such as water mist and CO2 system should be installed.

5) Quick closing valves and remote stopping of pumps and purifier should be provided.

6) Fire detection and alarm system are to be provided so that quick action can be taken.

How to fight purifier room fire


A small purifier fire can be easily stopped with the help of small fire extinguisher. In case of a bigger fire, the following steps should be taken:

1) As soon as fire alarm is sounded, call the chief engineer and locate the fire.
2) Close the quick closing valves from which the oil is leaking.
3) Stop the transfer pump.
4) Both transfer and quick closing valves can be closed from remote location like ship control center or from the engine control room.
5) Stop all the motors and electrical equipments which can be stopped from emergency stop button outside the purifier room.
6) The fire can be stopped with the help of fire extinguisher.
7) In case of a big fire, close the air supply pump and exhaust from the purifier room.
8 ) The fire can be stopped by releasing water mist system if present on the ship.
9) Entry in the purifier room is made putting on the fire fighter suit, along with self contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) and fire hose.
10)The fire can be extinguished with the help of spraying water.
11) In case the fire is still not extinguished then the chief engineer will decide about using the carbon dioxide bottles for fighting fire.
12) When these bottles are to be used, there should not be any person present inside the Purifier space as Co2 can cause suffocation due to displacement of air and the person involved may die.

If you liked this article, you may also like to read  Scavenge fire and Crankcase explosion .

Image Credit: Seadogs-reunited, Blogspot

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