Survivability for ships in case of fire: Final report of SURSHIP-FIRE project

Tuula Hakkarainen, Jukka Hietaniemi, Simo Hostikka, Teemu Karhula, Terhi Kling, Johan Mangs, Esko Mikkola, Tuuli Oksanen

    Research output: Book/ReportReport

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    Survivability of ships in case of fire has been studied in the SURSHIP-FIRE research project as a part of the SURSHIP cooperation, a coordinated European research program on Maritime safety. The work was performed in four subprojects related to materials used in shipbuilding, fire hazards on board, ship structures, and evacuation in ship conditions. Fire test data of products commonly used in shipbuilding were stored to a free-of-charge accessible database for the use of design engineers. Guidelines were defined for using fire test data in simulation and product development. Procedures for quantitative fire risk analyses of cabins and cabin areas were defined, applicable also to other cases with different features and details. A methodology for defining design fires for various ship spaces was formulated and applied to shops on board as a practical example. The sophisticated simulation and risk analysis tools utilized in the work were the FDS5 fire simulation program with its evacuation module FDS+Evac, the Probabilistic Fire Simulator, and the method of time-dependent event trees. The effects of engine room fires on car deck structures were analysed in detail since the situation was recognised critical for the structural integrity of the ship. Thermal and mechanical analyses of the structures with different dimensions and insulation extents were performed considering both the standard fire curve and the hydrocarbon curve. A survey of specific features of ship evacuation was carried out. Since the use of staircases and the movement of evacuees between decks is an essential part of ship evacuation, a new staircase sub-model for the FDS+Evac program was created, verified and validated. The results of the SURSHIP-FIRE project can influence on IMO rules for alternative fire safety design of ships. The contributions of SURSHIP-FIRE are guidelines for using fire test data as input of simulations, a methodology for estimation of design fires, practices for quantitative risk analyses, a summary of critical fire situations for structures, and suggested improvements of the IMO guidelines for evacuation analyses.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationEspo
    PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
    Number of pages134
    ISBN (Electronic)978-951-38-7315-8
    Publication statusPublished - 2009
    MoE publication typeNot Eligible

    Publication series

    SeriesVTT Tiedotteita - Research Notes


    • fire
    • fire safety
    • fire safety design
    • ships
    • shipbuilding
    • fire simulation
    • evacuation
    • evacuation simulation
    • risk analysis


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