The International Maritime Organization’s Maritime Safety Committee recently approved the Guidelines for the Selection of Life Safety Performance Criteria (MSC.1/Circ.1552 ) for use in Alternative Design and Arrangements for Fire Safety (SOLAS Regulation II-2/17). These guidelines are an important development in fire protection performance-based design and provide engineers and regulators with a framework by which to develop and evaluate alternative designs using an international consensus-based standard for occupant safety.
Correspondingly, the U.S. Coast Guard’s Marine Safety Center (MSC) will now refer to these life safety criteria when assessing vessels that propose alternative designs with respect to fire protection (e.g. cruise ships) to help ensure occupant tenability during a fire event. These criteria encompass four primary hazards that occupants may be exposed to in a fire: radiant heat flux; reduced visibility; convective heat; and carbon monoxide gas.
This blog is not a replacement or substitute for the formal posting of regulations and updates or existing processes for receiving formal feedback of the same. Links provided on this blog will direct the reader to official source documents, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These documents remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.