TB25 - Steering Gear Doors
It is important to keep any fire door shut at all times but it is of particular importance to keep the steering gear compartment fire doors shut
Technical Bulletin NUMBER 25 2007 UK P&I CLUB Steering gear compartment fire doors The Club’s ship inspectors frequently find that the fire door(s) and the watertight door leading to the steering gear compartment from the engine room are either hooked, wedged or secured with wire in the open position for ease of access. This is despite many being clearly marked “KEEP CLOSED”.
The primary purpose and legal requirement of any fire door is to limit the spread of fire and smoke from one space into another. The engine room / steering gear compartment door will also prevent the escape of carbon dioxide (CO2 ) gas from the engine room into the steering gear compartment.
The calculated volume of CO2 required for filling the engine room is based on the volume of the engine room alone; it does not include the volume of the steering gear compartment. Therefore, if the CO2 is released and the steering gear compartment door is open, some CO2 will escape into this space rather than fill the engine room. It is therefore possible that any fire in the upper areas of the engine room may not be extinguished.
Additional problems may be caused if CO2 is allowed to escape into the steering gear compartment during an engine room fire.