Probabilistic Framework for Onboard Fire-Safety

The traditional fire safety regulations that apply to ship design have been widely described as inadequate in two ways. Firstly they do impose unnecessary and inapplicable constraints on novel designs. Secondly novel designs can have features that do not satisfy the premise of existing rules, thereby setting them free from fire safety rules by default, often leading to unsafe designs. In order to remedy this problem the FIREPROOF project aimed to develop a very universally applicable regulatory framework for maritime fire safety based on probabilistic models and numerical models of ignition, growth and impact of fires. The framework would be quite similar in principle to the well established probabilistic damage stability regulation. The project addressed fire risk of passenger ships only.

The objectives of FIREPROOF were:
Enhancement of the fire safety regulations by the development of a probabilistic framework for fire safety.
Presentation of the framework to IMO and the Maritime Safety Committee for future enforcement
The methodology of the proposed fire safety regulation is summarized as follows: The methodology would consist of a mathematical model that would generate instances of fire scenarios according to the correct probability distribution of the elements of the scenario. It would also consist of numerical models to assess the consequence of the scenarios so generated. 

For any given ship - traditional or novel, a large number of scenarios would be generated and their consequences assessed, and the results would be aggregated to give rise to fire risk metrics. Constraints based on such risk metrics would serve as statutory regulations that would be completely applicable to novel and unprecedented designs. It would offer the designer greater freedom on the design while enforcing a greater level of safety.

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