Engine Room Fire Fighting Equipment
- Engine room Sprinkler System
This is of the more modern type of water nozzles that actually supply a very fine mist, rather than a flow of water. These systems cover of different areas of the engine room, but not the switchboard or the electrical generating component of the power generators. The sprinkler system can be operated automatically by sensors or manually by the engineer. This starts the water booster pump and opens up the compressed air supply which can be from dedicated high pressure air bottles or the engine air-start receivers.
As we all know water is not normally used on oil fires but, because fine mist is injected into the area it not only starves the fire of oxygen, but also dissipates the smoke.
- Engine room Fire Extinguishers
There are four main types of fire extinguishers all colored red nowadays, with a different colored band around the top of the body, denoting the type of medium it contains. They are operated by removing the protective pin, before pulling the trigger smartly.
Fire extinguishers are usually stored in a container together as shown below in a group of four; one of each type. The containers are positioned at different levels in the engine room at high fire risk locations.
The four types are,
Dry Powder Fire Extinguisher– it has a black band around the body and is used for extinguishing electrical and liquid fires.
Foam Fire Extinguisher – this has a yellow band around the body and is used for extinguishing oil fires.
Water Fire Extinguisher – this has a red band contained between two thin white bands around the body. It is used to extinguish paper, wood and cloth.
CO2 Fire Extinguisher – this has a black band around the body and is used to extinguish electrical and liquid fires.
Remember, only the Dry Powder and CO2 extinguishers should be used on electrical fires.
These are positioned throughout the engine room; a fire axe is sometimes alongside the fire hoses. The hydrant valves should be opened; hoses run out and discharged to the bilges at regular intervals to ensure operation.
- Aqueous Film Forming Foam
Known as AFFF and (pronounced A triple F) was developed in the sixties and is a great innovation to firefighting not only in ships engine rooms, but on oil and gas platforms worldwide. AFFF is supplied in its own containers and added to an AFFF storage tank and is operated by pressurized seawater. The seawater mixes with the specialist liquid and exits the 11/2" rubber hose through a brass nozzle as a pressurized film of thick, viscous foam. This is directed to the base of the fire, quickly smothering the flames, dissipating the heat, smoke and fumes.