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Container ship fires

Posted: Wed May 02, 2012 2:05 pm
by Ash_182
Hey all, what methods are used to extinguish fires that occur INSIDE a container during passage? any information will be much appreciated.
Thanks Ash :mrgreen:

Re: Container ship fires

Posted: Thu May 03, 2012 9:07 am
by Madzng
Hi Ash,

With any luck the shipper has declared the container contents honestly, and the container would be placed in a appropriate place.

All container vessels I've sailed on have had a "container fire fighting kit" onboard. This consisted of a couple hollow spikes, one fitted with a fire hose connection, the other with a CO2 extinguisher connection. An air driven drill with bits was also included in the kit.

The spikes could easily be driven throught the container roof, and with some effort through the sides. Water or CO2 could then be released inside. If the spike cant be driven throught the steel the drill could be used to pierce the material.

Depending upon the severity of the fire this would have to be done with the protection of a water wall provided by a second team.

If the container is high in the stack, only boundry cooling and lots of water can be provided until the fire burns out. Which could take days and sometimes even weeks.

Re: Container ship fires

Posted: Thu May 03, 2012 2:00 pm
by Ash_182
Ah thankyou very much for the quick reply!
Have you ever heard of a fixed fire fighting system inside a container or would these not be feasible?
Thanks

Re: Container ship fires

Posted: Thu May 03, 2012 9:47 pm
by Madzng
Feasible yes, but some quick thoughts below;

Any system to operate properly would need to take up space, potentially reducing the volume that the shipper has available for his goods.
Containers are roughly handled, and the allowable space around the box can be tight, meaning the extenal conection to any intenal system has to be recessed into the box. This will reduce the volume available to the shipper, and will add complications to the container construction and packing.
When transported onboard a vessel the only parts of the container which are accessible from all storage locations are the ends, and almost always only the doors showing if the vessel is full. Fitting the external connection to the door will complicate the connection to the internal piping.

The issues mentioned above complicate and increase the cost of construction and potentially reduce the volume of goods which can be packed by the shipper.

The container industry is a very low margin business and anything that increases costs for the shipper or owner would not be welcomed unless considered necessary.

The instance of container contents catching fire is luckily rare, and the frequency of these events would not justify the commercial impact.

Re: Container ship fires

Posted: Fri May 04, 2012 7:20 am
by Ash_182
Madzng wrote:Feasible yes, but some quick thoughts below;

Any system to operate properly would need to take up space, potentially reducing the volume that the shipper has available for his goods.
Containers are roughly handled, and the allowable space around the box can be tight, meaning the extenal conection to any intenal system has to be recessed into the box. This will reduce the volume available to the shipper, and will add complications to the container construction and packing.
When transported onboard a vessel the only parts of the container which are accessible from all storage locations are the ends, and almost always only the doors showing if the vessel is full. Fitting the external connection to the door will complicate the connection to the internal piping.

The issues mentioned above complicate and increase the cost of construction and potentially reduce the volume of goods which can be packed by the shipper.

The container industry is a very low margin business and anything that increases costs for the shipper or owner would not be welcomed unless considered necessary.

The instance of container contents catching fire is luckily rare, and the frequency of these events would not justify the commercial impact.


They are some very valuable points, i only ask as part of my course is to design such a system, and with lack of knowledge it was hard to find any information, so i will bare this information in mind! Thankyou!

Re: Container ship fires

Posted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:47 am
by aysugnacar
My suggestion would be use some CO2 based fire extinguisher and some anti fire techniques. A pile of sand is always helpful in any kind of fire outbreak. :D

Re: Container ship fires

Posted: Fri May 22, 2015 8:14 am
by Hazmat
Which comanies manufacture container fire fighting kits ?

Where can I get details about such container fire fighting kits (specifications, certification, prices) ?

Re: Container ship fires

Posted: Sat May 23, 2015 7:47 pm
by JollyJack
"With any luck the shipper has declared the container contents honestly"

Yeah, good luck with that! I know, I'm a cynical old bugger, but in my time on box boats, the declared weights didn't always tally, never mind the contents! I have heard Tahiti is a lovely place, but all I saw of it was the cargo crane cab, when an overweight container popped the bloody circuit boards! Now I'm not saying that French made cranes are rubbish, but consider the following descriptions of heaven and hell.

In Heaven, the police are British, the cooks are French, the mechanics are German, the lovers are Italian and it's all organised by the Swiss.

In hell, the police are German, the cooks are British, the mechanics are French, the lovers are Swiss and it's all organised by the Italians.