Firefighting issues on vessels

Ship fires are increasingly common. In some cases, dangerous cargo is the cause of this on container ships. A worrying statistic is that there is an average of one fire per week on container vessels. On average, once every 60 days, such a fire cannot be controlled and grows into a major fire. In 2019 and 2020 together there have been 19 major fires on container ships alone.

The fires pose an immense danger to the crew. The longer the fire is going on, the greater the financial loss of property damage. It is also bad for the environment: there is a lot of smoke development and the containers and their contents falling overboard pollute the ocean. Some fires pose a high risk of toxic liquids such as oil spilling into the ocean.

Fires can also be a major problem on other type of vessels. The fires often rage for a while before the fire is under control and therefore are a huge cost. Many seagoing vessels are not optimally prepared for such scenarios. FiFi systems are present on many vessels, yet some vessels have difficulty putting out fires or preventing the fire from getting worse.

FiFi installation

The fact that the firefighting systems are inadequate to control the fire is partly caused by biofouling in the pipes. Organisms such as mussels attach themselves to the inside of the suction pipes and accumulate. This is partly because the FiFi installations are hardly used, making them an ideal location for marine organisms. This reduces the extinguishing capacity, which can lead to surprises when the extinguishing system has to be used. It is therefore essential to keep the suction pipes free from fouling so that they can contribute at full force to a fire control.

The Ultrasonic Anti-Fouling System from Sonihull offers the solution to the biofouling problem. Using ultrasonic signals, tiny air bubbles are created that implode inside the FiFi’s suction pipe. This combats single-cell bacteria that form the first phase of the growth process: the biofilm layer. This layer is essential for larger organisms such as larvae to attach themselves to a surface. By keeping the biofilm layer out, these organisms do not get the chance.

Would you like more information about our Ultrasonic Anti-Fouling System to keep your extinguishing capacity in order? Please contact us:

Installation of the Ultrasonic Anti-Fouling system on the FiFi suction pipe. Installation is easy: gluing takes place on the outside, no penetration into the pipe is required.