Simplified risk assessment method for external areas on passenger ships
1.1 SOLAS regulations II-2/188.8.131.52.2 and II-2/184.108.40.206.2.2 define open deck spaces as areas
having no significant fire risk, and for enclosed promenades that furnishings shall be restricted to
deck furniture. All external areas should be evaluated using this part 2 to determine if there is an
increased level of fire risk due to the presence of combustibles or ignition sources.
1.2 Measures to mitigate the risk should be implemented where appropriate.
2.1 The intent of this part is to present a methodology for performing simplified fire risk
assessments of external areas. These Guidelines should not be used to evaluate changes to
permanent structure such as bulkheads, decks or surface finishes, or to demonstrate compliance
with SOLAS regulation II-2/17.
2.2 The simplified fire risk assessment consists of the following elements:
- description of the intended use of the area;
- identification of the combustible materials;
- identification of the ignition sources;
- description of the means of escape from, and fire-fighting access to the area;
- description of the materials used for the construction of the decks and bulkheads
that bound the area (if any);
- description of the fire-fighting systems and appliances in the area (if any);
- description of the fire detection and alarm systems in the area (if any);
- response procedures;
- identification of essential systems;
- identification of any ventilation intakes or equipment in or near the area;
- effects on other areas; and
- evaluation of the risk assessment.
3 personnel qualifications
3.1 The individuals performing the assessment should be ship’s designers, ship’s officers,
company representatives or other persons suitably qualified. The individuals should be familiar
with the arrangement and construction of the ship, as well as the location and operation of
fire-fighting and fire detection systems.
4 Assessment guidance
4.1 Description of the intended use of the area
The intended use and arrangements of the area should be described in sufficient detail to allow an
understanding of the equipment and operations to be conducted, including the expected operation
each day and any operational requirement or limitation. The location and area to be occupied
should be noted.
4.2 Identification of combustibles materials
4.2.1 An assessment should be made of the type and quantity of combustible materials and
flammable liquids (except for liquors stored in bars for daily use) in the area as a result of the
activity should be prepared.
4.2.2 The potential fire load of any lifesaving equipment such as lifeboats, rescue boats and
liferafts need not be included in the fire load assessment.
4.2.3 The assessment should also note if any combustible materials for other purposes are
routinely stored in or near the area being considered.
4.2.4 The location of any flammable oil tank vents that are in or adjacent to the area should be
4.3 Identification of the ignition sources
Any sources of ignition in the area should be noted, along with a description of any safeguards
provided. Ignition sources may include cigarettes, any open flames, cooking appliances and
4.4 Description of the means of escape from and fire-fighting access to the area
4.4.1 The expected number of crew and passengers likely to be present in the area should be
estimated for day and night conditions.
4.4.2 The location of emergency equipment lockers should be considered with respect to the
area, along with the location of fire main valves and hydrants. Access routes for fire fighting
should be evaluated.
4.4.3 Consideration should also be given to the abilities of the persons likely to be in the area
that may need additional assistance to escape. (i.e. large number of children in play areas).
4.5 Description of the materials used for the construction of the decks and bulkheads that
bound the area
The vessel drawings should be consulted to determine the fire integrity of any bulkheads or decks
adjacent to the area. All combustible materials and finishes (including paints) in the permanent
construction of the ship should be noted, and their location with respect to the area of
consideration should be verified. Natural hard wood decking systems need not to be included in
4.6 Description of the fire-fighting systems and appliances in the area
Availability of fire-fighting systems and appliances in or near the area should be evaluated with
respect to the intended use and activities, the arrangement and the types of fire that would occur
in the area.
4.7 Description of the fire detection and alarm system in the area
4.7.1 The fire detection and alarm system in or near the area should be evaluated with respect
to the intended use and activities, the arrangement and the types of fire that would occur in the
4.7.2 The number of crew in the area and the times they will be present should also be taken
into account. Information regarding the coverage of closed circuit television in the area should
also be noted.
4.8 Response procedures
The fire-fighting procedures and instructions applicable to the area should be reviewed.
4.9 Identification of essential systems
Proximity of systems essential for the safe operation of the ship (e.g., ships’ propulsion, steering,
lifesaving, fire protection systems, internal and external communications) should be considered.
4.10 Identification of any ventilation intakes or equipment in or near the area
Any ventilation system equipment that might be affected by a fire in the area should be
identified. The distance to any air intakes or similar openings should be noted for the purpose of
determining if smoke from a fire could be spread to other areas of the ship.
4.11 Effects on other areas
Effects on assembly stations or evacuation routes and the possibility of the fire spread to more
than one fire zone should be considered.
4.12 Evaluation of the risk assessment
4.12.1 Based on the information provided in paragraphs 4.1 to 4.11 of this part, an evaluation
should be performed to determine the relative level of fire risk associated with the new intended
use of the area, the potential fire damage to the ship, and whether the fire protection is adequate
for the expected level of risk.
4.12.2 If necessary, mitigation measures should be implemented to eliminate or reduce the fire to
an acceptable level.