Hazard Construction of vessels
Knowledge and understanding
|Construction of vessels||
Understand all associated hazard knowledge
Vessels serve various purposes, the most common being to carry different natural and manufactured goods, to carry passengers, to conduct military operations, and for fishing, sport and leisure.
Vessels designed or adapted for each of these purposes vary greatly according to their precise function, the volume of goods or number of passengers carried, the requirements of the individual owners, the practices of different shipbuilders, different national legislation, the age of the vessel or the preferences for different materials or techniques.
This guidance attempts to describe some of the more important features of the types firefighters are most likely to encounter. Fire and rescue services should take any opportunity to visit vessels and familiarise crews with construction, layout, controls and provisions for preventing and dealing with hazardous incidents.
Fire and rescue services should be aware that despite the differences outlined above, many vessels do have certain basic common features and personnel should be aware of the terminology used in shipping.
Vessel construction is evolving with the development of increasingly lighter ship building materials, while new flame retardant standards in 'safety of life at sea' (SOLAS) conventions ensure a higher level of fire safety. Certain classifications of ships require fire resisting subdivisions to restrict firespread. Many features in construction pose a hazard to firefighting operations, such as hatches and covers, raking ladders and watertight doors.
See also Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS).