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An innovative fire safety regulatory approach concerning the fire safety on board ships is about to be introduced by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). It will be possible for shipyards and ship designers to use a new approach where alternative, performance-based fire safety design and arrangements are accepted in lieu of traditional prescriptive designs. A guideline specifying the application of the alternative design and arrangements is still under development, and its finalisation at the IMO is expected by January 2001. Alternative designs, assessed accordingly, will be accepted starting from July 2002, when IMO's  revised fire safety regulations are scheduled to enter into force.


The aim of SAFETY FIRST is to ensure that a tried and tested fire ship engineering analysis toolkit, enabling ship designers to comply with IMO's alternative design guidelines, is in place by the year 2002.  The analysis toolkit developed within the project, according to IMO's guidelines, will be based on three pilot case studies of practical engineering relevance, involving the fire protection design of passenger and crew accommodations and technical spaces on cruise ships as well as vehicle decks on ro-ro passenger ferries.

Achieving these goals involves a good degree of scientific and applied research and development activities, which are being carried out, within the project’s scope of work, by a team of 9 partners from 4 European Countries.

The project co-ordinator is FINCANTIERI Cantieri Italiani Navali S.p.A. one of the major European shipyard worldwide leader in the passenger ship segment. Other partners are: RINA SpA, the Italian Ship Classification Society; AEA Technology plc, expert in providing Safety and Risk Management Services; D’Appolonia  consultancy firm; Bureau Veritas, the French Ship Classification Society; CETENA S.p.A., FINCANTIERI's Group R&D company; Three Quays Marine, a P&O Group company providing naval architecture and engineering consultancy; TNO, the Netherlands Organisation for  Applied Scientific Research and the University of Greenwich- Fire Safety Engineering Group.

The project partners have been awarded European Community partial financial support early in 2000, in the framework of 1998-2002 Growth Programme managed by DGXII.   The 36 months project started on 1st March 2000.


Due to the novelty and complexity of SAFETY FIRST objectives, experience from civil buildings, nuclear and transport industry (railway and aircraft applications) is being considered, since fire engineering science is more developed in other industrial fields rather than in shipbuilding,.
To find an acceptable way of overcoming the limitations imposed by current fire safety regulations, that are not able to keep the pace with technological developments and customers’ demand, the SAFETY FIRST project is structured into two main parts. The first one, roughly covering 18 months of the project time scale, is based on scientific research and risk assessment techniques, aimed at assessing the applicability on ship design of performance-based analyses of fire and smoke models derived from other industrial fields. The second part of the project is devoted to practical simulations - with fire consequence modelling, qualitative and quantitative analyses of the selected Case studies - involving therefore a higher degree of applied research.

The two parts of the project are linked by Work package 1 being specifically dedicated, since the beginning, to the identification of the case studies and their specification, to ensure that the models and the tests are always focused on real design alternatives.

The project partnership is selected among leading organisations in complementary fields, providing scientific and engineering  know-how and skills:


Skills & main role in the project

FINCANTIERI Ship designer & ship builder; project manager; specifications of case studies
RINA Classification Society; exploitation manager; co-ordination of case studies' execution
BV Classification Society; co-ordination of probabilistic models' development
AEA TECHNOLOGY Consultancy company in the nuclear and civil building sectors, co-ordination of fire and smoke consequence models' development
CETENA  R&D company in the shipbuilding sector; contribution to probabilistic models' development
D'APPOLONIA Consultancy company in the offshore, aerospace and shipping sector; co-ordination of fire tests execution and characterisation of materials
Three Quay Marine Consultancy company in the shipping sector; collection of operational data (ship specific) and contribution to case studies' specifications
TNO Fire Research Centre, including consultancy for several engineering fields; execution of fire tests, collection of data from civil building and industrial applications
University of Greenwich Fire Research and Computational Fluid Dynamics experts in aerospace and civil building fields; development of fire and smoke consequence models for the case studies


The expected achievements of the SAFETY FIRST project are:


FINCANTIERI Cantieri Navali Italiani S.p.A.
Cruise Ships Business Unit
Mr. A. Maccari
SAFETY FIRST Project Manager
Passeggio S. Andrea 6/a
Ph. +39 040 3193547 Fax +39 040 308488
e-mail alessandro.maccari@fincantieri.it
Research & Product Development Department
Mr. M. Dogliani
SAFETY FIRST Exploitation Manager
Via Corsica 12
Ph. +39 010 5385398 Fax +39 010 5351434
e-mail mario.dogliani@rina.org
AEA Technology Energy
Dr. S. Ramsdale
RD. 10 Risley, Warrington
Cheshire WA3 6AT (UK)
Ph. +44 1925 254637 Fax +44 1925 254557
e-mail sue.ramsdale@aeat.co.uk
Bureau Veritas
Advanced Technology Department
Dr. C. Vivalda
17bis, Place des Reflets – La Défense II
Ph.. +33 (0)1 4291 3231 Fax +33 (0)1 4291 3395 
e-mail claudia.vivalda@bureauveritas.com
Mr. P. Degli Esposti
Head, Palermo Branch Office
Via Ippolito D'Aste, 5
16121 Genova (Italy)
Ph. +39 010 5995785 fax +39 010 5995790
e-mail pietro.degliesposti@cetena.it
D'Appolonia S.p.A.
Mr. F. Zuccarelli
Via S.Nazaro, 19
Ph. +39 010 3628148 Fax +39 010 3621078
e-mail franco.zuccarelli@dappolonia.it
Three Quays Marine Services Ltd.
12-20 Camomile Street
London EC3A 7AS (UK)
Ph. +44 20 76212942 Fax +44 20 79291650
e-mail wyn.davies@threequays.com
or BMATT@tinyworld.co.uk
Centre for Fire Research TNO
P.O. Box 49
2600 AA DELFT (The Netherlands)
L. Twilt
Ph. +31 15 2842307 fax +31 12 2843955
e-mail l.twilt@bouw.tno.nl
University of Greenwich
Fire Safety Engineering Group
Prof. E. R. Galea
Director FSEG
School of Computing & Mathematical Science
Maritime Greenwich University Campus
30 Park Row
London SE10 9LS (UK)
Ph. +44 20 83318730 fax +44 20 83318925
e-mail e.r.galea@gre.ac.uk