Monthly Archives: May 2016

Fire Fighting in the Marine Environment

Fire Fighting Foams & Equipment, Environmentally Friendly Smart Foams, Fire Attack Systems

image by Sue GordonPerhaps one of the most dangerous situations at sea is fire, as there is nowhere for those on board to run and no chance of immediate outside help unless a port is nearby. Any fire damage to the structure or mechanisms of the vessel could be catastrophic and seriously life threatening. Advanced fire suppression technology and high performance fire resistant materials have been developed to help tackle any fires on ships or boats, and are extremely effective. This should not however be used as a substitute for properly delivered fire fighting and prevention training. Fires can be caused in a number of ways, including mechanical failure, accident or carelessness.
In recent years, infrared technology, sophisticated fire fighting systems and revolutionary extinguishing agents have meant that shipboard fires are less likely. Breathing apparatus and protective equipment have improved safety incredibly in the marine environment. A strict regulatory framework is in place globally concerning marine safety, which came about as the waters got gradually busier.

Fires at sea can be caused by a variety of events such as collisions, accidents, engine failure and of course ignition of cargo. Static structures or rigs out to sea are also potentially volatile as many contain gas or oil. Coastal waters all over the world feature offshore wind farms, tidal and wave power renewable energy installations, military facilities and scientific research and monitoring stations. All of which are potentially at risk of hazards like fire and where swift action is needed to limit damage and injury. Modern chemical and engineering applications have had a significant effect in reducing the devastating consequences of fires at sea.

When it comes to fire extinction, 3F are the experts with over 20 years experience in their field, and are committed to offering a powerful, environmentally friendly, cost effective solution to customers internationally. They have in excess of 30 foam fire fighting products in their range including standard, alcohol resistant, Hi EX and eco friendly foams. 3F now also offer purpose designed sea vessels to fight fire at sea or in port and to control any pollution produced.

Fire Fighting Chemicals, Extinguishers, Dry Powders, Wetting Agents, Foam Concentrates, Antifreeze and Anti Foaming Agents

Innovative and Effective Methods of Damage Limitation

Fire Fighting Foams & Fire Extinguishing Chemicals, Fire Attack Systems, Environmentally Friendly Smart Foams

boomAny kind of oil spill, whether it’s out to sea, around coastlines, in rivers or near harbours can be potentially devastating for the local environment particularly birds, fish and marine mammals. When birds are exposed to contaminants like oil in the water their plumage is damaged interfering with its insulation ability and impairing flight. If affected by oil, birds will usually die unless they can be caught and cleaned up, as they cannot feed and have often ingested the oil. Mammals such as otters and seals are affected in a similar way, their coats are covered in oil leading to temperature fluctuations and hypothermia. If the oil gets into their stomach it will cause dehydration and prevent normal digestion.

Efforts to contain oil spills and reduce environmental impact, have resulted in the development of a number of innovative methods and products. One of the most effective is the containment boom or permanent or temporary floating barrier, which comes in a variety of purpose designed forms. They have several functions such as allowing oil to collect in thicker layers, enabling vacuums and skimmers to more easily collect the substance. Booms come in a range of forms and sizes specific to the location and type of water conditions they are intended for.

Booms can hold or slow down the movement of contamination, divert oil to a collection point or cordon off and protect a sensitive area. To counteract the consequences of floating oil pollution at sea, booms are made to be sturdy and quick to set up. One example is the Canarie boom, which has a honeycomb structure, and spacer floats in polyethylene foam, plus a double skirt and ballast chain. It is available with kits used for trawling and mooring the boom. Another containment boom, the versatile Barracuda, can be utilised at sea or within river areas such as estuaries, harbours and open coastal waters. Containment booms are extremely successful and are internationally renowned for efficiency when tackling oil spills.

Specialists in fire protection products 3F, are dedicated to limiting damage to the environment, and promote the manufacture of products which aim to address the outcome of natural and industrial disasters. They believe in active collaboration between companies and organisations to achieve this.

Fire Fighting Chemicals, Dry Powders, Foam Concentrates, Wetting Agents, Antifreeze and Anti Foaming Agents