Code for Safety to Life from Fire on Merchant Vessels
|Publication Date:||1 January 2018|
Title. NFPA 301 shall be known as the Merchant Vessel Code and is referred to herein as "this code" or "the code."
The code addresses construction, arrangement, protection, and space utilization factors that are necessary to minimize danger to life from fire, smoke, fumes, or panic. It also provides for reasonable protection against property damage and avoidance of environmental damage consistent with the normal operation of vessels. Fundamental requirements applicable to all vessels are found in Chapters 1 through 9. These fundamental requirements are modified in Chapters 10 through 18 as applicable for any type of space. The requirements in Chapters 1 through 18 are modified in Chapters 19 through 21 as applicable for any given vessel type. For example, a passenger vessel would follow the requirements of Chapters 1 through 18 and Chapter 21.
The code identifies the minimum criteria for the design of egress facilities so as to permit prompt escape of passengers and crew to safe areas aboard vessels and, where necessary, to survival craft embarkation stations.
The code recognizes that life safety is more than a matter of egress and, accordingly, deals with other considerations that are essential to life safety. It also recognizes the unique operating environment of merchant vessels and the relationships among life safety, property protection, and environmental protection and deals with these criteria accordingly.
Where permanently moored and occupied as buildings, merchant vessels shall be permitted to be treated as buildings and shall be permitted to be subject to the provisions of appropriate building codes and standards as specified by the local authority having jurisdiction (AHJ).
The purpose of this code is to provide minimum requirements, with due regard to function, for the design, operation, and maintenance of merchant vessels for safety to life from fire and similar emergencies.
As related to fire safety, the objective of this code is to protect the passengers and crew from loss of life. It is also intended that the code will provide for minimum loss of property and minimum impact on the environment.
The level of safety is achieved by the combination of design, prevention, protection, egress, and other features enumerated in the individual vessel occupancy classification with due regard to the capabilities and reliability of the features involved. Recognition is given to human factors and to the need for crew training and passenger instruction.
The code endeavors to avoid requirements that could involve unreasonable hardships or unnecessary inconvenience or interference with the normal use of a vessel, but it provides minimum requirements for fire safety consistent with the public interest.