The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is an organization under the United Nations, and it is responsible for global shipping regulations.
There are two key IMO documents that are relevant to water mist systems on ships:
- SOLAS, the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea. SOLAS is a maritime treaty that sets the minimum safety requirements for merchant ships.
- FFS Code, International Code for Fire Safety Systems. The FFS Code is a set of treaties under SOLAS, and it contains the requirements for the installation, performance and component testing for fire protections systems on board ships.
Maritime Safety Committee, MSC, is the highest technical body of IMO. These are IMO and MSC guidelines which apply to water mist systems on board ships.
In the early 1990s, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) set new fire safety requirements, and fixed fire protection systems became mandatory on all passenger ships. Marioff HI-FOG® systems were invented at the same time as these new IMO fire safety requirements were set. However, there were no guidelines other than for traditional sprinkler systems.
We had to prove that our HI-FOG high-pressure water mist systems, which used less water and had smaller pipes, could be just as efficient as traditional sprinkler systems. Full-scale fire testing was the answer to this challenge, and so HI-FOG systems underwent extensive fire testing programs for marine applications at the Technical Research of Finland (VTT) in Finland and the Technical Research Institute of Sweden (SP) in Sweden.
Many of these performance tests were witnessed by marine authorities representing classification societies and flag states worldwide. Over time, these tests formed the basis for most of the IMO fire testing protocols for water mist systems and are now used globally.