Industry » Safety & Security » Flame Retardancy...Who Needs It?

Flame Retardancy...Who Needs It?

Flamescreen Graham Innes

Being aboard a superyacht is a dream come true for many of us. But imagine if the dream turned into a nightmare and fire broke out aboard?

You don't have to be at sea for fire to turn into a major disaster - it can happen in a port as well.  It doesn't matter how or why the fire has started, it can spread very quickly throughout the vessel, not to mention the risk to other yachts nearby.

Although superyachts have many safety features, wouldn't you want to know that everything possible had been done to ensure your safety on board? To give you those extra minutes to escape should the worst happen?

That is what fire prevention is all about- a selection of different fire safety technologies working in conjunction with each other to provide many layers of safety and to protect everyone on board as much as possible. For this reason, we would like to see all superyachts opt for flame retardancy as the first line of defence pro-actively preventing a fire from taking hold, the second layer being reactive automated systems, helping to fight the fire if it has taken hold.

We all pay insurance in the hope that we never need to use it and flame retardancy is very similar in that it offers peace of mind, which is a priceless commodity.

boat on fire 300x300

Flame retardants are the hidden protection against the potentially devastating impact of fire, whose benefits are often only noticed when they are not present.

We use some of the world's most advanced range of liquid flame retardant technologies which can be applied to carpets, wall coverings, upholstery, soft furnishings and curtains helping to limit the spread of fire and reduce fire damage.

The regulations regarding flame retardant treatments and those who apply them on board vessels certified under the MCA Large Commercial Yacht Code have been changed. The standards required by those applying flame retardant products to floor coverings, suspended textile materials, upholstery materials and bedding components are set out in Marine Guidance Note (MGN) 453(M).

In summary, the Approval Procedures and Declaration of Conformity provide equivalence to inherently fire retardant materials onboard vessels built under the LY2 Code. Also they establish robust quality assurance procedures to allow approval of flame retardant treatments, products and their application.

As an owner, captain, designer or builder shouldn't you want to apply flame retardancy products wherever possible and on a regular basis to maintain protection? Consider how you would feel if fire broke out on board your vessel and more could have been done to restrict its ferocity or its coverage? Especially when the costs of applying flame retardancy are infinitesimal in comparison to the value of the yacht itself or even compared to other regular service procedures which are accepted as part of the everyday running and safety of the vessel, yet many of these procedures will not protect the lives of those onboard.

soft furnishings

Once you have decided that you would like to go ahead with a flame retardancy application, the whole process should be very simple. Initially, you will need to contact a suitably certified company who will, as an expert in the field, be able to advise you on what needs to be treated. They should be able to send a quotation to you and when you have agreed, they will arrange dates and timescales for the applications.

A professional company will be only too happy to travel worldwide in order to be as flexible as possible for you, their client. The work will be completed and suitably documented in compliance with MGN453(M) and the appropriate certificates issued, with all information logged and stored on a master database.

There are several approved companies who offer this service, so who do you choose?

You need to decide on a company who is not only professional but one that you trust. Ask to see the chosen company’s credentials, if they are certified for the task they will be happy to do so. The company should have the experience and wealth of knowledge to provide professional valuable advice as every yacht is different in style, shape and décor employing luxurious unusual fabrics and textiles which often will require professional cleaning prior treatment.

Choose a company who you will enjoy working with - a company who show they want to work with you on a long term basis, remember this should be a regular process, with planned maintenance intervals. Finally, choose a company whose emphasis is on quality, knowledge, professionalism and extremely high levels of service, you don't want to entrust your prized possession and considerable asset with anyone less.

About Flamescreen
Flame Screen Limited is a specialist marine company, providing MCA MGN453(M) compliant on-board flame retardant treatments to the super yacht industry, using some of the world's most advanced range of liquid flame retardant technologies. Their expertise in the field of fire prevention means they are able to advise on marine legislative requirements and the resultant compliance required in respect of flame proofing.

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