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Fire has probably caused greater loss of ships than grounding, collision or bad weather. A good fire-fighting arrangement, conforming to legal requirements, is therefore a necessity.
The fire-fighting arrangement has to transport seawater to the fire hydrants. The system consists of lines, pumps, valves with couplings, hoses, nozzles and spray installations.
A minimum of three fire-fighting pumps is compulsory on all ships.
One of these pumps, the emergency fire-pump, must be situated outside the engine room, with a direct connection to the deck firemain.
An insulated valve must be placed between the engine room and deck firemain, so that in case of fire in the engine room, the deck main can be pressurized using the emergency fire pump.
The emergency pump may not be driven from the engine room, but independently by a diesel engine else- where or electrically from the emergency switchboard powered by the emergency generator.
Both main fire pumps must have sufficient capacity and pressure.
This pressure should be enough to provide a minimum pressure of 4 bar at the highest point on the ship. There must be enough hydrants to ensure that every location on the vessel can be reached by at least two hoses.