Everywhere in the world, fires present a big threat to human life, but also to major assets. What also needs to be considered particularly in maritime environments is that escape from the danger areas is often not as easy as on land. That is why, for many years now, the legal requirements for fire protection on ships and similar maritime structures are continually reviewed, improved and usually also tightened.
This is exemplified by a range of internationally recognised documents from various issuers; for example, the IMO (International Maritime Organization) and classification companies. These documents are aimed at two principal aspects. On the one hand, the intention is to enable ship and maritime plant to continue operating for as long as possible in the event of a fire while the fire is simultaneously
› Copper data cable that maintains integrity in the event of fire for up to 180 minutes being fought; on the other hand, evacuation of the people concerned must function smoothly. The IMO requires in its ‘Safe return to port’ policy that technical safety systems remain able to function for 180 minutes. It is, in other words, a matter of preventing a fire from occurring and its spread, or at least of minimising this eventuality. This includes both direct energy release due to the fire and the smoke resulting from a fire, as well as the corresponding toxic and corrosive gases. This is generally described
as reaction to fire. However, in the event of a fire, critical power and data connections must also be maintained to ensure signalling contact to all the people affected by the fire for as long as possible, as well as to ensure the maritime plant’s continuing ability to function. This is described as resistance to fire.
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