This is a reminder that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has issued revised guidelines for the maintenance and inspection of fire protection systems and appliances already in force since May 31, 2013. Ship managers should assure that the existing maintenance programme onboard follows the revised guidelines.
The revised IMO guidelines have been adopted through MSC.1/Circ.1432 and supersede
MSC/Circ.850. The revised guidelines include key changes to the minimum contents of the plan for
periodical maintenance, inspection and testing of systems, equipment and appliances that can be
found in paragraphs 4 to 10. Inspections should be carried out by the crew members on board the ship
to ensure that the indicated weekly, monthly, quarterly, annual, two-year, five-year and ten-years
actions are taken for the specified equipment, if provided (refer to page 2 of this circular).
For the maintenance and testing of portable fire-extinguishers and fixed CO2 fire-extinguishing
systems the IMO has published separate comprehensive instructions and guidelines through
Resolution A.951(23) and MSC.1/Circ.1318 respectively, that should be followed.
The information should be used for the ship’s on board maintenance plan as required by SOLAS
regulation II-2/14. As per ISM Code 10.1 the safety management system of the company has to provide
a maintenance plan which ensures maintenance and inspection of the ship and equipment according to
the relevant rules and regulations, codes, guidelines and standards. The ship managers should ensure
that the existing maintenance programme on board ships follows the revised guidelines and necessary
amendments or revisions should be carried out.
As per the revised guidelines certain maintenance procedures and inspections may be performed by
competent crew members who have completed an advanced fire-fighting training course, while others
should be performed by persons specially trained in the maintenance of such systems. The onboard
maintenance plan should indicate which parts of the recommended inspections and maintenance are
to be completed by trained personnel. Records of the inspections should be carried on board the ship
and in cases where the inspections and maintenance are carried out by trained service technicians
other than the ship's crew, inspection reports should be provided at the completion of the testing.
Ship Owners/Managers/Operators should assure that the on board maintenance program has been
revised or amended to take into consideration the requirements of MSC.1/Circ.1432.