Unawareness about SOLAS regulations for firefighting requirements on-board yachts has lead communication equipment supplier Integrated Radio Systems (IRS) to launch a campaign to make boats more aware of how to comply with these changes.

The regulations mean that ships require a minimum of two two-way portable radios to be onboard to enable communication with firefighters. It already applies to ships constructed on or after the 1st July 2014, and ships built before that date must comply by 1st July 2018. The radios should be explosion-proof/ intrinsically safe.

However, IRS account manager Steve Barnett believes that a lot the yachting community remain uninformed about, and therefore ill-equipped, for these changes. “[This] is why we are stepping in good time,” he said.

MISIS legislation declares that the reason for these ATEX compliant radios is to provide “a dedicated means of communication between a team of firefighters entering the space, and the crew member located outside the space who is assigned to control this team, i.e. one Fire Party. The total number of these radios to be carried on board will depend upon the number of fire parties detailed on the Muster List, as each fire party must have at least two of these dedicated radios.”