They say that prevention is better than cure, and this classic phrase epitomises why every superyacht should opt for the extra level of safety that flame retardancy gives.
All superyacht owners will shudder when they see the news of a superyacht fire, so deciding to stop a fire before it even begins makes sense.
Liquid flame retardant products are applied to the soft furnishings of a vessel to slow or reduce the effects of a fire onboard.
At best, the fire can be caught more quickly, reducing damage, and at worst, it can provide those precious extra minutes for everyone on board to make their escape.
Current MGN 580 (M) Legislation About Flame Retardancy on Superyachts
Flame retardancy technology is like the insurance policy on which you hope you never need to claim. The flame retardancy product is created to be a protective, and invisible solution, so you have all the benefits of an extra layer of safety without compromising on your unique interior design.
Current MCA MGN 580 (M) legislation states that:-
All superyachts of 24 metres and over with a weight of less than 500GT, which are to be chartered, are required to have their upholstery materials, suspended textile materials and bedding components inherently fire retardant, by complying with the relevant parts of the IMO Fire Test Procedures Code (FTP Code).
The only exception to this rule is when the superyacht is fitted with sprinklers or equivalent approved fixed fire extinguishing systems.
Applying flame retardant products to upholstery and suspended textiles is a specialist procedure, which needs to be undertaken by trained Licensed Applicators and certified by an MCA Nominated Body.
What Should You Look For in a Flame Retardancy Company?
Finding out who can apply flame retardancy products to your superyacht is relatively easy. Then you need to decide on the right company for you.
After all, the treatment has to be done onboard and on delicate furnishings that you have chosen. You should be happy and confident with the Flame Retardancy company you pick.
Here are 9 essential qualities to consider when choosing a flame retardancy provider:-
1. MCA MGN 580 (M) and Red Ensign Group (REG) code compliant
Always choose a company that is compliant with current legislation. There is no point in paying for a treatment that doesn’t comply with the current rules. Ask for the certificate number of the company offering the service, and check with the MCA’s Notified Body.
2. Approved supplier certified and audited by an MCA certified nominated body.
Next check that the treatment is going to be applied by a certified Licensed Applicator who is regularly audited by the company you choose. Always remember that every type of furnishing is different and requires specialist application and monitoring.
3. Quality service
The superyacht industry prides itself on quality, and the companies that provide flame retardancy are no different. Choose a company that understands your needs and will provide excellent service. They should be only too pleased to offer reviews to back up their ability.
4. Years of experience
Just as all superyachts are unique, so are the soft furnishings they choose to enhance the stunning interiors. The art of adding flame retardancy to furnishings is a very niche market with its own set of challenges. Only use people with expert knowledge of fabrics and how to treat them. For example, Flame Screen Ltd, has several fabric specialists around the world with a combined knowledge, in some instances of generations.
5. Ensuring your compliance and conformity remain current
It sounds so simple, but making sure that your vessel is compliant and current concerning paperwork, is often overlooked. Did you know that all flags, especially Red Ensign Group, expect all certificates to run concurrently, and they will consider any gaps as a deficiency upon audit?
Also, the MCA states in their MGN 580 (M) document, that re-treatment of vessels should not exceed 24 months. In addition they recommend flame retardancy treatments should take place every 12 months for busy boats whose materials are cleaned regularly. Here’s what the MCA says:-
“If treated materials are regularly cleaned onboard, then more frequent re-treatment may be required. Re-treatment every 12 months is recommended, or more frequently if advised by the Service Provider.“
6. Worldwide operation
If you choose a company that operates worldwide, then you can decide when and where your superyacht is treated. The process should be made as easy as possible for you.
7. Ongoing testing of new and emerging technologies
Choose a company that is always searching for new and emerging treatments to enhance the flame retardancy service they provide. That way, you know that the treatments remain both cutting edge and proven.
8. Exceeding expectations
One day fires on superyachts could be eradicated. How? By never letting them start in the first place. Wouldn’t it be great to be a part of that monumental step forward? The only way is to choose a company that is continually wanting to improve the products it offers and the service it provides.
“As a result, many yachts fitted with automated sprinkler and suppression systems still ask for our flame retardancy services.“
They realise passive protection is a small price to pay compared with the cost of completely refurbishing their busy charter vessel if a system was armed and deployed in a saloon, for example.
9. Caring for your vessel and respecting your privacy
The Licensed Applicators you choose should take good care of your superyacht and all your possessions when they treat your furnishings. Any Licensed Applicators you use to apply flame retardant treatments on your superyacht should complete the service as though they had never been onboard.
Do You Want to Know More About Flame Retardancy on Your Superyacht?
Let’s take flame retardancy aboard your superyacht to the highest level. Get in touch to find out more and receive a free quotation.