The United States Coast Guard (USCG) have released a new alert concerning the location of pressure switches for vessel fixed fire suppression systems. US regulations require this pressure switch to be located outside the area it protects and have reported an increased number of fires where this has not been the case.
The pressure switch is a critical component of the fixed fire suppression system which activates to automatically close the areas ventilation system when a fire is detected.
The US regulations require all controls and valves for the operation of the system to be outside the space protected and notes that they cannot be located in any space that might be cut off or made inaccessible in the event of fire in the protected spaces.
The USCG Alert reminds Owners and Operators of vessels installed with fixed fire suppression systems to ensure the pressure switches are properly located aboard their vessels and if switches are found to be within the area they are designed to protect, should be relocated by a properly trained service technician.
The full USCG Marine Safety Alert (05-12) can be found here
Source of information: United States Coast Guard