Merchant Shipping Act 2010
Fire protection rules.
84.— (1) The Minister may make rules (“fire protection rules”) prescribing the requirements that the hull, superstructure, equipment, arrangement, escapes, fire protection, fire detection and fire extinction equipment and machinery used in ships must comply with.
(2) This section applies to Irish ships and to any other ship while it is within any port in the State, unless it would not have been in any such port but for stress of weather or any other circumstance that neither the master nor the owner of the ship could have prevented or forestalled.
(3) In making fire protection rules the Minister may categorise ships into different classes having regard to one or more of the following, where appropriate:
(a) the size, shape, speed or configuration of such ships;
(b) the service for which such ships are to be employed;
(c) the nature and duration of voyages to be undertaken;
(d) the number of passengers or other persons, or both, that such ships are designed to carry on board;
(e) the type and amount of cargo that such ships are designed to carry on board;
(f) the age and date of construction of such ships;
(g) such other matter or matters that the Minister considers appropriate to take into account in the circumstances.
(4) Different rules may be made in respect of different classes of ships for different circumstances and for different areas of operation.
(5) Fire protection rules shall include such requirements as appear to the Minister to be necessary to implement the provisions of the Safety Convention prescribing the requirements that the hull, superstructure, equipment, arrangement, escapes, fire protection, fire detection and fire extinction equipment and machinery used in ships shall comply with, except so far as those provisions are implemented by rules for construction, life-saving appliances, radio rules, navigation and tracking rules, bulk carrier rules or collision regulations.
(6) Fire protection rules in relation to a ship to which this section applies—
(a) may require the provision of—
(i) plans exhibited as provided by or under the rules, and of other information, relating to the boundaries of compartments, the openings in them, the means of closing such openings and the arrangements for protection of such spaces,
(ii) information necessary for the guidance of the master in maintaining sufficient stability to enable the ship to withstand damage,
(iii) means of escape and of notifications to the crew and other persons on board,
(iv) means for the prevention of fire and explosion including specifying the arrangements and materials to be used in the ship,
(v) means of suppression of fires including detection systems and equipment, methods for controlling the spread of smoke, for the containment of fire, for fire fighting,
(vi) means to provide for structural integrity of the ship, or
(vii) helicopter facilities on board,
(b) may provide for—
(i) operational readiness and maintenance of the ship, including instructions or on-board training and drills,
(ii) the manner of carrying dangerous cargoes on board, or
(iii) the protection of vehicle decks on the ship.
(7) The powers conferred on the Minister by this section are in addition to the powers conferred by any other enactment enabling him or her to prescribe the requirements that ships to which this section applies must comply with.
(8) It is the duty of the owner and master of every ship to which this section applies to ensure that all requirements set out in the relevant fire protection rules are complied with.
(9) In the case of any ship to which this section applies—
(a) if the ship is required by the rules for fire protection rules to be provided with such appliances and proceeds on any voyage or excursion without being so provided in accordance with the rules applicable to the ship,
(b) if any of the appliances with which the ship is so provided are lost or rendered unfit for service in the course of the voyage or excursion through the wilful fault or negligence of the owner or master,
(c) if the master wilfully neglects to replace or repair on the first opportunity any such appliances lost or injured in the course of the voyage or excursion,
(d) if such appliances are not kept so as to be at all times fit and ready for use,
(e) if the master wilfully neglects to provide any plan or other information relating to the means of preventing, detecting, controlling and extinguishing outbreaks of fire as may be required by fire protection rules, or
(f) if any provision of fire protection rules is not complied with,
then the owner of the ship (if in fault) and the master of the ship (if in fault) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €5,000.
(10) A surveyor of ships may board and inspect any ship for the purpose of seeing that the fire protection rules have been complied with in every case. If the surveyor finds that the fire protection rules have not been complied with, he or she shall give a notice in writing to the owner or master stating in what respect the rules have not been complied with.
(11) A surveyor of ships may board and inspect any ship for the purposes of seeing that a notice under subsection (10) has been complied with.
(12) A surveyor of ships may for the purposes of an inspection make such tests (either on the ship or ashore or at dock), ask such questions, inspect such documents or records and have access to such appliances as he or she considers appropriate for that purpose.
(13) If a ship, in respect of which a notice has been given to its owner or master under subsection (10) which requires compliance with the rules in accordance with the notice before the ship proceeds to sea, proceeds or attempts to proceed to sea without such compliance as required in the notice, then the master or owner (as the case may be) commits an offence and is liable—
(a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding €5,000, or
(b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding €100,000.
Power pursuant to section exercised (8.02.2022) by Merchant Shipping (Passenger Ships) (Amendment) Rules 2022 (S.I. No. 49 of 2022).
Power pursuant to section exercised (15.12.2020) by Merchant Shipping (Passenger Ships) Rules 2020 (S.I. No. 640 of 2020).