Comparative Analysis of the Reliability of Carbon Dioxide Fire Suppression Systems as Required by 46 CFR, SOLAS 11-2, and NFPA 12.
COAST GUARD RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER GROTON CT
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Coast Guard regulations governing the design and installation of total flooding carbon dioxide fire suppression systems for shipboard machinery spaces are compared to the equivalent standards promulgated by the International Maritime Organization IMO and the National Fire Protection Association NFPA. Differences among the standards that can affect the reliability of a carbon dioxide system involve 1 the quantity of carbon dioxide required for a machinery space installation 2 manual versus automatic system actuation 3 requirements for closure of ventilation systems, doors, vents, duct dampers, etc., and 4 required carbon dioxide discharge rates and piping design guidelines to achieve the required discharge rates. A Failure Modes and Effects Analysis FMEA has been conducted for a prototypical modern high pressure carbon dioxide system for a large cruise ship. The FMEA has identified seven system components with failure modes that could affect the ability of the system to extinguish a machinery space fire. Potential sources of failure rate data for these and other components are identified. Fire incident reports involving machinery spaces equipped with total flooding carbon dioxide systems have been complied and reviewed. The carbon dioxide system extinguished the fire in 35 of those fires and either temporarily extinguished or controlled the fire in another 23 of the incidents. The primary reason for the limited effectiveness of the carbon dioxide systems seems to be carbon dioxide leakage due to either 1 unclosed doors, vents, ducts, etc. 2 fireexplosion damaged closures particularly in fires with delayed system actuation and 3 crew or firefighter early reentry into the machinery space before temperatures have been reduced sufficiently to preclude re-ignition.
- Inorganic Chemistry
- Marine Engineering
- Safety Engineering