Government of Canada / Gouvernement du Canada
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Vessel Fire Safety Regulations (SOR/2017-14)

Regulations are current to 2021-04-20

PART 3Vessels of Less than 24 m in Length (continued)

Fire Detection, Alarms and Communications (continued)

Public Address System

  •  (1) A public address system must be installed on a vessel whose layout restricts the use of direct oral communication from the control station or wheelhouse to any accommodation space, service space, machinery space, open deck or muster or embarkation station.

  • (2) The public address system must provide effective means of communication throughout the accommodation spaces, service spaces, open decks and muster and embarkation stations.

  • (3) The public address system must be designed and installed so that

    • (a) the controls are located in the wheelhouse or at the main fire control station;

    • (b) the wiring that forms part of the system does not enter any galley or machinery space, or any other enclosed space of high fire risk, except to the extent that the wiring is necessary to provide for fire detection or alarm in the space or to connect to the appropriate power supply in the space;

    • (c) a means is provided at the public address system station to interrupt all other audio systems; and

    • (d) the overall performance of the system is not affected by the failure of a single call station.

Water Firefighting Systems


 Every vessel must be fitted with a water firefighting system that meets the requirements of sections 334 to 338.

Fire Pumps

  •  (1) A vessel of a length overall set out in column 1 of the table to this subsection must be fitted with the number and type of fixed fire pumps set out in column 2 that have the water capacity set out in column 3 and the fire main diameter set out in column 4.


    ItemColumn 1Column 2Column 3Column 4
    Length OverallFixed Fire PumpsWater Capacity (L/s)Fire Main Diameter (mm)
    1Not more than 15 mOne manual or power-driven fire pump1.1425
    2More than 15 m but not more than 20 m
    • (a) One manual or power-driven fire pump; and

    • (b) one power-driven fire pump

    3Over 20 m
    • (a) One manual or power-driven fire pump; and

    • (b) one power-driven fire pump

  • (2) If a bilge, sanitary or general service pump is used as a fire pump, a non-return valve or swing check valve must be fitted between the sea connection and the bilge suction to positively prevent the discharge of water into the bilge compartments. The bilge pumping system and the fire pumping system must be capable of simultaneous operation.

  • (3) A power-driven fire pump must not be powered by a main engine unless the engine can be operated independently of the propeller shafting.

  • (4) Relief valves must be provided for every fire pump that is capable of developing a pressure exceeding the design pressure of the fire piping, the fire hydrants or the fire hoses. The valves must be placed and adjusted to prevent excessive pressure in any part of the firefighting system.

  • (5) If one fire pump is required, it must be located outside the machinery space and be provided with a sea connection outside the space. If the pump is power-driven, it must be provided with a source of power outside the space.

  • (6) If two fire pumps are required, they must be located in separate compartments and be provided with sea connections independent of one another. If both of those pumps are power-driven, they must be provided with sources of power independent of one another.

  • (7) On a vessel fitted with two or more fire pumps connected to a common piping system, a non-return valve must be fitted to the discharge line of each pump to prevent water from backing through the pump when it is not operating.

  • (8) Every fire pump must

    • (a) be self-priming; and

    • (b) be capable of delivering a jet of water of at least 12 m from the nozzle.

  • (9) Every fire pump must, unless it is on the open deck, be made of non-combustible materials.

  • (10) Every fire pump impeller must be of a type that will not be damaged by heat from the pump or by the pump running dry.

  • (11) Every sea connection of a fire pump must have arrangements to prevent blockage of the connection’s inlet by ice, slush or debris.

Fire Piping and Fire Hydrants

  •  (1) The number and position of fire hydrants on a vessel must be such that, when they are fitted with hoses of not more than 18 m in length, the jet of water required by paragraph 334(8)(b) can reach any part of the vessel.

  • (2) Every fire hydrant must be equipped with a hose and with a dual-purpose nozzle that

    • (a) has an internal diameter of at least 12 mm;

    • (b) is capable of spray action and jet action; and

    • (c) has a means to shut it off.

  • (3) The branch fire piping and fire hydrants on a vessel must be of a standard size and have a diameter that is not less than the minimum diameter required by subsection 334(1) for fire mains on the vessel.

  • (4) On a vessel that carries deck cargo, the fire piping and fire hydrants must be arranged to avoid risk of damage by deck cargo.

  • (5) The maximum pressure at a fire hydrant must not exceed the pressure at which a fire hose can be effectively controlled by one crew member.

  • (6) Every fire hydrant must be installed so that

    • (a) a fire hose can be easily connected to it;

    • (b) it is limited to a position from the horizontal to the vertical pointing downward, so that the fire hose will lead horizontally or downward in order to minimize the possibility of kinking; and

    • (c) there is sufficient clearance below it to accommodate the radius of bend of the fire hose under pressure and to allow deployment of the hose in every direction.

  • (7) The fire piping must be installed with a gradient that allows drainage under all normal operating conditions. Drain valves must be provided where necessary for effective drainage.

  • (8) The fire piping and fire hydrants must be installed so as to avoid the possibility of freezing.

  •  (1) The fire piping and the valves and fittings of the water firefighting system must be made of galvanized steel or another material of equivalent mechanical strength and equivalent corrosion and fire-resistance.

  • (2) The joints in the fire piping must be connected in a manner that prevents leakage and must meet the pressure requirements of the fire piping system. Flanged or screwed connections, or other connections that are at least as reliable as flanged or screwed connections, must be used.

  •  (1) Every fire hydrant must be fitted with a valve so that any fire hose attached to the hydrant can be detached while the fire pumps are in operation.

  • (2) Every valve fitted to fire piping must be designed to open with a counter-clockwise rotation of the valve’s handle.

  • (3) The tools and accessories that are necessary to use a fire hydrant or fire hose must be located in close proximity to the hydrant or hose.

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