Analysis of effectiveness of fire safety in machinery spaces

McNay, James and Puisa, Romanas and Vassalos, Dracos (2019) Analysis of effectiveness of fire safety in machinery spaces. Fire Safety Journal, 108. 102859. ISSN 0379-7112 (

[thumbnail of McNay-etal-FSJ-2019-Analysis-of-effectiveness-of-fire-safety-in-machinery-spaces]
Text. Filename: McNay_etal_FSJ_2019_Analysis_of_effectiveness_of_fire_safety_in_machinery_spaces.pdf
Accepted Author Manuscript
License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 logo

Download (646kB)| Preview


The primary cause of machinery space fires is cited as the release of flammable oil mist contacting unprotected hot surfaces. With this being common knowledge why do we continue to see this type of incident reoccurring on ships carrying thousands of passengers to precarious destinations? We review regulatory and Class requirements with respect to fire safety, Formal Safety Assessment (FSA) as a rule-making instrument of the IMO, accident investigation recommendations involving fire, fire safety technology, and research literature. For each constituent of fire safety control, the paper aims to determine the preferred strategies for accident prevention and their relative cost effectiveness. Subsequently, the cost effectiveness of the current safety approach is established. This review found that fire prevention could be made more cost effective if its scope was broadened beyond the detection of proximate events occurring immediately before ignition. The findings suggest that more cost-effective safety measures can be developed by addressing systemic causes of fire. Removal of the systemic causal factors of fire from the equation, means we can address fire safety prior to the moments before ignition when the point of no return can unwittingly be passed. The paper suggests directions of how this can be achieved.


McNay, James, Puisa, Romanas and Vassalos, Dracos ORCID logoORCID:;