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The Merchant Shipping (Fire Protection: Small Ships) Regulations 1998

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20.—(1) This regulation applies to ships of Class VIII of under 150 tons.

(2) (a) Regulation 17(2) shall apply to every such ship of 21.34 metres in length or over, as it applies to ships of Class VII of under 500 tons except that the fire pump required by regulation 17(2)(b) may be driven by the main engine.

(b)Every ship of less than 21.34 metres in length shall be provided in a position outside the machinery spaces with either a power or a hand operated pump with a permanent sea connection, a hose with a 10 millimetre diameter nozzle capable of producing a jet of water having a throw of not less than 6 metres which can be directed onto any part of the ship, and in addition a spray nozzle suitable for use with the hose, provided that in any ship of less than 9 metres in length or in any open ship of less than 21.34 metres in length, two fire buckets one of which shall be fitted with a lanyard may be substituted for such equipment but such buckets shall not be required in addition to buckets provided in compliance with paragraph (3).

(3) Every such ship shall be provided with portable fire extinguishers or with fire buckets in accordance with the following Table—

Length of ShipMinimum Number Extinguishers or Buckets
Under 21.34 metres2
21.34 metres or over3
  • When fire buckets are provided at least one shall be fitted with a lanyard.

(4) In addition to the requirements of paragraph (3) every such ship which is fitted with oil-fired boilers or internal combustion type propulsion machinery shall be provided with portable fire extinguishers suitable for extinguishing oil fires in accordance with the following Table—

Length of ShipMinimum Number of Extinguishers
Under 6 metres1
6 metres or over2

(5) Every such ship of 9 metres in length or over which is fitted with oil-fired boilers or in combustion type propulsion machinery shall, if it is mainly or wholly constructed of wood and is decked in way of the machinery space, be provided with means outside the machinery space for rapidly injecting into the machinery space a quantity of fire smothering gas equivalent to at least 60 per cent of the gross volume of that space, or where the machinery space is bounded by steel bulkheads, equivalent to at least 40 per cent of the gross volume of the space; provided that in any ship to which this regulation applies of less than 21.34 metres in length, there may be substituted a water-spraying system supplied from a hand pump and a permanent sea connection situated outside the machinery space which may be the hand pump and the sea connection referred to in paragraph (2)(b). Such a pump shall be connected by fixed piping to a sufficient number of water-spraying nozzles suitably sited in the machinery space and capable of extinguishing oil fires.

(6) Every such ship being a fully-decked ship of 21.34 metres in length or over shall be provided with a fireman’s axe.

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