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The Station House
A Newsletter for AHJ’s Volume 6, Issue 2
Tyco Fire & Building Products 451 N. Cannon Avenue Lansdale, PA 19446
Toll Free 800 558 5236 Fax 800 877 1295
In This Issue
Cruise ship travel remains one of the most popular forms of transportation. However, with newer and bigger passenger ships being built, some, which may carry 5,000 passengers, the potential for disaster is high; and one of the greatest threats to cruise ship safety is a fire at sea.
Cruise ship lines are taking this threat seriously. According to the International Council of Cruise Lines (ICCL), the average ICCL cruise ship, which weighs approximately 86,000 gross registered tons (78,017 metric tons), has five firefighting teams on board, more than 170 trained personnel to support the firefighting teams, and approximately 20 crew members with advanced firefighting training. The typical U.S. town fire department usually has an average of six firefighters per station.
The average ICCL ship also has more than 6 miles (9 kilometers) of firefighting hose, more than 16 miles (25 kilometers) of sprinkler piping,
industry's longstanding fire code regulations, which do not apply to balconies. The agency did not recommend cruise ships ban or regulate smoking, but instead focused on removing from balcony areas any materials that could burn.
The 3 a.m. fire on Star Princess, en route from Grand Cayman to Montego Bay, Jamaica, injured 13 passengers and generated clouds of thick smoke. According to the marine agency report, passenger Richard Liffridge, 72, died from smoke inhalation.
Star Princess is registered in Bermuda, a British overseas territory, Princess Lines responded to the fire with the replacement of combustible furniture, floor tiles, and privacy dividers on outside verandas, more specialized training for crews, and new fire detection and suppression systems on balconies.
The fire took about 20 minutes to get started, and within another six minutes had spread from one deck to three, and across the length of three of the ship's seven fire zones -- subdivisions designed to contain shipboard fires. The heat shattered glass in stateroom balcony doors, but fire suppression systems stopped the blaze from moving inside. In all, 79 cabins were destroyed and another 218 had some fire, smoke or water damage.
Since the Star Princess fire, cruise companies have replaced as many as 80,000 plastic balcony dividers, which industry officials now acknowledge pose greater risks than previously thought.
The affected cruise lines include large operators such as Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., Carnival Corp.'s Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises and Holland America Line units, and Walt Disney Company’s Disney Cruise Line. The lines fixed a total of 36 ships. The 2,600-passenger Star
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NFPA Special Report — Cruise Ship Fires
What’sNewFrom 3 Tyco
Fires In the News 6
1,2,3,5 and more than 5,000 sprinklers, covering every cabin and room. There are also more than 500
fire extinguishers aboard; more than 4,000 smoke detectors; local alarms that sound in all cabins; more than 400 fire stations or hydrants; and enough lifeboats and life rafts for everyone aboard.
However, fires can still happen. Most recently, a discarded cigarette butt caused the 90-minute fire that charred one side of the cruise ship Star Princess in March 2006 and led to the death of a passenger, the British safety agency investigating the incident reported in October 2006.
In its final report, Britain’s Marine Accident Investigations Branch (MAIB) reported that the fire spread quickly because of its location -- on a balcony where plastic partitions fed the flames. The incident revealed a blind spot in the maritime
Cruise Ship Fires
One of the greatest threats to cruise ship safety is fire at sea
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