BMA gives instructions for the inspection, maintenance, testing and survey requirements for fire suppression systems

The Bahamas Maritime Authority (BMA) provided instructions for the inspection, maintenance, testing and survey requirements for firefighting installations and portable fire extinguishers.

All inspection, maintenance, testing and survey have to take the relevant manufacturer’s guidelines into account. However, certain maintenance procedures and inspections can be performed by competent crewmembers, while others should be performed only by persons specially trained in the maintenance of such systems.

Any aspect of the testing and maintenance of the system which is assessed by the company to be beyond the competence of the company’s and ship’s personnel must be carried out by a competent specialist maintenance firm.

The Company shall ensure that the inspection and maintenance of the whole system meets the requirements of the Recognised Organisation and any recommendations of the installation manufacturer or supplier.

Fixed CO2 Systems
At least once in every 5 year period, control valves of fixed CO2 systems are to be internally examined to ensure they can operate freely.

Alternative fixed gas firefighting media
Alternative firefighting systems may be fitted on board ships, subject to the approval of a Bahamas Recognised Organisation or SOLAS contracting Government.

The BMA shall receive prior notification of intention to fit an alternative system that has not been previously accepted by the BMA.

The BMA also accepts the use of (non-asphyxiating) fire extinguishing agents in machinery spaces for which no specific provisions for fire-extinguishing appliances are prescribed under the provisions of SOLAS Chapter II-2).

Number of portable fire extinguishers
Ships built prior to 01 January 2009: The number of portable fire extinguishers provided has to satisfy the requirements of the relevant Classification Society. In accommodation spaces, service spaces and control stations on ships of 1,000 gross tonnage and upwards, no less than five portable fire extinguishers are to be provided.

Ships built on or after 01 January 2009: The number of portable fire extinguishers to be provided should be determined in accordance with MSC.1/Circ.1275. In accommodation spaces, service spaces and control stations on ships of 1,000 gross tonnage and upwards, no less than five portable fire extinguishers are to be provided.
Additional Survey Requirements

In surveying the safety equipment on a vessel, Recognised Organisations must verify that:
– All firefighting equipment has been inspected and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and the foregoing requirements;
– The manufacturer’s maintenance instructions are on board;
– Records of inspections, maintenance and pressure tests are maintained;
– Spare charges or extinguishers.

Download the BMA Marine Notice: BMA-Firefighting-Equipment-2021

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