Commercial Vessel Compliance

4/3/2018: Policy Letter 18-04, Guidance on implementation of new firefighting equipment standards

The Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance released Policy Letter 18-04:”Guidance on Implementation of New Standards for Fire Protection, Detection, and Extinguishing Equipment,” to provide guidance to Officer(s) in Charge, Marine Inspection, on recent changes to regulatory requirements for fire protection, detection, and extinguishing equipment used on inspected and uninspected vessels, Outer Continental Shelf facilities, deepwater ports and mobile offshore drilling units.

This policy provides guidance to changes following the Coast Guard’s 2016 “Harmonization of Standards for Fire Protection, Detection, and Extinguishing Equipment” rulemaking. This change affects all inspected and uninspected vessels, and the most immediate change relates to portable and semi-portable fire extinguishers. Additionally, the Coast Guard changed the approval standards for fire detection and alarm systems and added or changed other firefighting equipment and system standards including spanner wrenches for certain small passenger vessels.

The 2016 rule does not affect fixed fire extinguishing systems including carbon dioxide. All mention of extinguishers in this policy refers only to portable or semi-portable fire extinguishing equipment. This policy is not applicable to foreign vessels subject to SOLAS.

For full information read or download Policy Letter 18-04.

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.

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