Fires on ships create a huge risk to life and cause millions of dollars in damages.

JENSEN HUGES engineers are uniquely qualified to provide forensic and scientific support to law firms dealing with cases involving fire on marine vessels.  Ocean going marine vessels must comply with internationally recognized Safety of Life At Sea (SOLAS) regulations, which are applied by Marine Insurance societies and enforced in US waters by the US Coast Guard.  These regulations define minimum requirements for ship construction and fire safety systems on all types of vessels. Our engineers have been industry advisers to the U.S. Delegation of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Fire Protection Sub-committee making major contributions to the development of standards for shipboard fire protection for the past 18 years. In addition, JENSEN HUGHES’ corporate experience includes fire safety research, hazard analysis, modeling and testing conducted for the U.S. Coast Guard to aid in the development of these IMO standards.

Non-Ocean going vessels must comply with either the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) or NFPA 301 (Code for Safety to Life from Fire on Merchant Vessels). JENSEN HUGHES engineers have been committee members on NFPA 301 since its inception, making major contributions to the development of the standard.

Our experience includes numerous fire investigations (origin and cause) for the spectrum of private vessels including 20 meter cruisers and sailboats up to 60 plus meter luxury yachts. US Navy and US Coast Guard fire investigations include large combat ships, cruise ships, submarines and fires in ship/boat yards including high rack storage of pleasure boats (boatels).

After the fire on the Star Princess, JENSEN HUGHES conducted a number of fire hazard surveys and assessments of large cruise ships (3000+ passenger capacity). We have designed, assessed other firms’ designs and performed acceptance testing on the spectrum of fire suppression systems currently installed on ships.

Investigating fire and smoke spread on marine vessels requires an understanding of the unique characteristics of vessel construction and marine fire protection systems.  JENSEN HUGHES engineers have analyzed fire and smoke spread through ships, including flashover and backdraft phenomena and fire spread via ventilation stacks.  We developed the fire and smoke spread methodology and computational model (FSSIM) currently used by the US Navy for predicting fire spread through a ship following a weapon hit.

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