Flame Retardancy MCA MGN 580(M) on Your Superyacht: Going Beyond Legislation Is What Smart Owners Are Doing.

If there was an additional way to protect your superyacht against fire, you’d want to know wouldn’t you?  

What if the treatment was invisible, could be added to your superyacht each year with no upheaval and when convenient for your schedule. Wouldn’t you want to find out more?

Then imagine once the treatment was applied, it would just work. No need for a power source, no requirement for someone aboard. Sounds interesting?  

And finally, what if the cost of this safety treatment represented great value for money? You’d be wondering why you didn’t have it already!

Alternatively, if you don’t charter your vessel and it is solely for private use, then perhaps you are not bound by the code. However your insurer will expect a level of protection. If your vessel is 24Mtrs and above but 500 GT or less then you could fall under the rules of MGN 580(M).

If your Vessel is below 24Mtrs in length, then it may fall under MGN 280(M).

Do you want to miss out on an extra layer of fire safety just because of the dimensions of your superyacht?  No superyacht owner should sacrifice another element of protection, just because they feel they don’t have a legal obligation to comply. 

Being under 24 Mtrs in Load Line Length generally means MGN580 (M) is not required, however MGN 280(M) states;

  1. The Code has been developed for application to United Kingdom (UK) vessels of up to 24 metres Load Line length which are engaged at sea in activities on a commercial basis, which carry cargo and/or not more than 12 passengers, or provide a service in which neither cargo nor passengers are carried, or are UK pilot boats of whatever size.

14.6 Furnishing Materials 

14.6.1 It is recommended that Combustion Modified High Resilient (CMHR) foams are used in upholstered furniture and mattresses. 

14.6.2 Upholstery covering fabrics should satisfy the cigarette and butane flame tests of a recognised standard, see Annex 10 or equivalent.



These Ignitability tests are of the same type as required by MGN 580 (M).

What Are Flame Retardancy Treatments?

No one wants a fire onboard their vessel whether at sea or in a marina, so everyone in the industry will do all they can to ensure their superyacht and everyone onboard is safe.  From high tech sprinkler systems to increased training of crew, the focus is very firmly on protecting lives, the environment and of course the vessel itself. 

Did you know that the main source of fires now is not candles and burning cigarettes like it used to be?  The plethora of electronic devices and miles of electrical cables and joints tend to start fires these days.

Flame retardancy treatments are added to fabrics and furnishings onboard a superyacht  in order to increase their fire resistance.  They are an important part of fire protection as they reduce the risk of a fire starting and also its propagation.  As a result, escape time is increased and protection of those on board is enhanced. 

Why Should You Opt For Flame Retardancy?

  • Peace of mind that you have done everything you can to protect your crew and guests.
  • Compliance with current MGN 580M legislation can give you more options should you decide to charter at short notice or add value to your superyacht if you want to sell.
  • An added layer of safety which doesn’t need a power source or reliance on anyone onboard .
  • Sadly, we have all seen footage of superyacht fires and the devastation they can cause, not just to the vessel but also to neighbouring yachts and of course the environmental cost to marine life.
  • There is no upheaval or need to remove furniture. Flame retardancy treatments are applied to fabrics and furnishings in situ while the vessel is in port, at a Marina berth or in the yard.
  • Once applied the fire retardancy treatment is invisible and doesn’t affect the handle of the textiles.
  • Flame retardancy treatments are very cost effective especially when you consider the expense as a percentage of the value of the vessel they will help to protect or the outlay for a refit.
  • Flame retardancy treatment is now increasingly being used in conjunction with sprinkler or fogging systems aboard larger yachts (500+GT) which must comply. Remember Flame Retardants are passive protection, once a sprinkler or fogging system is armed, it is active as it is then fighting a fire. Flame Retardants work best in harmony with these systems they are the first line of defence.  

Should the Level of Safety on Your Superyacht Pivot on Whether or Not You Charter?

When a superyacht opts to become commercial and charter, there is a lot more safety and legislation involved to protect those who pay to be onboard. 

However, all superyacht Owners would want to protect their own family, friends and crew in the same way, irrespective of whether they were chartering.

Don’t Just Have One Layer of Fire Safety – Have Several

Even small fires which aren’t going to affect the integrity of a vessel, can be very traumatic for anyone onboard to witness. So several layers of safety are definitely better in order to reduce the chances of having a fire.

When you add layers of fire safety, then you become less reliant on any one element and all the elements combined, become much more resilient, should the unthinkable happen.

Using fire retardancy treatments in conjunction with a suppression system and rigorous crew training creates a powerful solution.  

Shaping the Future of Flame Retardancy

The superyacht industry is always in the spotlight – and why not? It’s bursting with forward thinking people who design, create and implement the most amazing products and cutting-edge technologies. 

Many inventions are showcased in the wonderful world of superyachts and although they can be very glamorous there is also plenty of room for all those life saving ideas that once used on these high profile vessels, can overflow into other industries allowing more people to benefit from the original findings.

Do You Want to Find Out More About Fire Retardancy Treatments?

We hope you have found this article interesting and want to know more about Flame Retardancy.  Maybe you are unsure of what items you need to treat. Perhaps you have decided that an extra layer of safety onboard your superyacht is worthwhile. Or your flame retardancy treatment could have lapsed and you want to arrange a re-treatment.  

Whatever the reason we’d love to help you so do get in touch and let’s talk.

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