The question of how often you should re-treat a superyacht for flame retardancy comes up all the time when we talk to Captains. So we decided to write about the pros and cons of 24 vs 12 months, so you can make an informed decision.
If you were told, ok you have a choice here, do you want to pay for something every 2 years or every year?
Yes, that would be an easy decision and this would be a very short article, if it was just down to cost and being covered from a legislative point of view!
However, there’s much more to think about when ensuring you are covered by the legislation and from a safety aspect. The last thing we want is for you to think you’re covered when in fact you may not be.
What Are Flame Retardancy Treatments?
Flame or fire retardancy treatments are the extra layer of safety added to fabrics and textiles onboard superyachts to increase the fire resistance of these combustible materials.
This important part of fire protection reduces the risk of a fire starting and also its propagation. Thus allowing for increased escape time and protection of everyone onboard.
The liquid product is sprayed on to the various fabrics and furnishings by expert technicians who have been trained in the application of flame retardant products. Then Certification and the Declaration of Conformity are issued by the Service Provider. The documentation shows:-
- Which fabrics have been treated and their location,
- The due date of re-treatment
- Validity and Durability guidelines of how the items treated can be cleaned.
Advice From MCA in the MGN 580 (M) Document
The following is written in the MGN 580 (M) document and also appears on the Declaration of Conformity:-
10.9 Date of re-treatment shall not exceed 24 months, and is to be specified on the Declaration of Conformity. However, 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.
It’s worth noting that the Service Provider decides on the duration of the Certification and Declaration of Conformity, not the MCA. The MCA recommend re-treatment every 12 months because they are aware off the intensive cleaning regimes onboard a busy Charter yacht.
Choose a Company Which Provides a Declaration of Conformity Lasting 24 Months
- Depending on the cleaning schedule of your superyacht, you may find that extensive cleaning will reduce the efficacy of the treatment. You could be blissfully unaware that the safety of your superyacht is compromised.
- You could be going against the advice of the MCA and MGN 580M
- If a flame retardant treatment is strong enough to cover for 24 months, make sure that the look and the feel of the more delicate textiles you have chosen for your interior are not affected.
- You will need to keep detailed cleaning records to show that you have not exceeded the guidelines issued by the Service Provider of how to look after the treated fabrics and furnishings.
- You have no contingency as you are at the limit of the maximum 24 month duration. Therefore, there is no wriggle room if your schedule changes or if there are movement restrictions due to unforeseen circumstances.
- You’ll need to check with your Service Provider that any water-based deep cleans on the fabrics and furnishings they have treated will not completely remove the flame retardancy product.
- The treatment process needs to be organised less frequently by the Captain, admin team or Management Company saving time and paperwork.
- The cost of the treatment is only paid every two years, possibly making financial savings.
Choose a Company Which Provides a Declaration of Conformity Lasting 12 Months
- You will need to arrange the FR treatment more often. It’s a simple phone call to arrange the service and can easily be added to the annual scheduling and budget.
- The cost can be more due to the frequency of the treatment, but sometimes an annual price can end up being more competitive than a 24 month option. You may find that by reducing the frequency, you don’t always reduce the price proportionally.
- By doing the treatment every 12 months, you will be getting the most from the quality of the product applied, knowing that it will be applied more regularly.
- There is also less chance of losing track of how many cleans have been performed since the last re-treatment during a 12 month period, especially if there has been a crew change at the end of the season.
- You are adhering to the best practice and advice of MGN 580M and MCA.
- You have more flexibility with re-treatment dates as you are well within the time duration. Built-in contingency is important when passage planning.
- The peace of mind you get from knowing that you, your crew and charter guests are all kept as safe as possible.
- Re-treament can take place at the same time as your professional deep-clean so you know that all your furnishings and fabrics have been cleaned first.
Still Not Sure? Then Get the Best of Both Worlds
If you are still in two minds about whether to go for 24 months or 12 months, then why not choose what we offer? At Flame Screen, our Declaration of Conformity lasts 18 months. That way you get the best of both options and more importantly you get peace of mind.
Get in touch and let’s talk about the best options for you.