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VIGILANCE. The Role of The Shipboard FIRE MARSHAL. Fire Marshal Definition.

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The Role of The Shipboard FIRE MARSHAL

fire marshal definition
Fire Marshal Definition
  • The fire marshal (FM) is designated to aid the damage control assistant (DCA) in the prevention and the fighting of fires (NSTM 555 Volume 1, Surface Ship Firefighting). To accomplish this, he or she must be thoroughly familiar with the ship plans, compartmentation, shipboard work packages and projects, and always looking for potential fire hazards or dangers within the ship.
  • Duty fire marshals are assistant fire marshals that are appointed for each inport duty section and while underway to perform the same function.
  • The fire marshal will be designated in writing by the CO and will remain free of all other duties that would inhibit responding instantaneously to emergencies.


duties responsibilities
All ships shall have a designated FM to assist the Engineer.

The FM will aid the DCA in the training of personnel in fire prevention and fighting of fires.

Duties & Responsibilities


fire marshal qualifications
Fire Marshal Qualifications
  • The Fire Marshal shall be a qualified DCTT member to ensure consistency of inspections.
  • The Fire Marshal is overall in charge of the Rapid Response Team/Flying Squad and will remain on scene until relieved by the scene leader.



  • House keeping
    • Trash Receptacles
    • Storeroom stowage
    • Proper stowage of flam liquids/haz-mat
    • Incinerator Room stowage

Conduct a daily inspection throughout the ship paying particular attention to:


fire stations extinguishers installed systems
Fire Stations, Extinguishers, Installed Systems
  • Firefighting equipment
    • Missing items
    • Completeness of station
    • Conditions of hoses, wrenches & nozzles
  • Safety Precautions
    • Properly posted & updated

Spanner wrench

Hoses on deck


fire hazards
Fire Hazards
  • Flam Liquids
    • Proper stowage
  • Smoking
    • Regulations posted & enforced (butt disposal)
  • Welding and Burning
    • Gas free/hot work certificate posted (date and time)
  • Stowage of compressed gas
    • Tight connections/proper covers & caps
    • Properly secured


fire watch
Fire Watch
  • The Fire Marshal shall train all fire watches IAW NAVEDTRA 43119-J PQS Standards DC, 108 & 304
    • Obtain Equipment & PPE (eye, respiratory, hearing), Extinguisher, Gloves etc
    • Pre Work Inspection
    • Communications
    • Surveillance
    • Post Work Inspection
    • Response to abnormal conditions


galley specifics
Galley Specifics
  • Gaylord Hood
    • Fume tight/Explosive Proof light caps
    • Grease filters & traps empty & clean (daily)
  • APC system
    • Inspection tags and PMS up to date.
    • Activation areas unobstructed

Gaylord hoods that are not clean are a fire waiting to happen.


throughout all compartments
Throughout all Compartments
  • Ventilation/Air conditioning ducts flam stowage ventilation
    • Ducts clean
    • Inspection covers in place
    • Air flow indicators operative
  • Material Condition
    • Properly set to resist fire & flooding spread.
    • DC Closure & INOP Fitting Logs current


Not set



Debris discovered in a ships ventilation system during a Fire Marshal Investigation. The investigation was conducted after a significant fire occurred on another vessel in which cigarette butts in the ventilation system were a major contributing factor.



Requirements in Drydock

    • Maintain a Dry Weight Log (Approximately 500 lbs or more)
    • Each Skin Valve Blank Flanged
    • Permission Granted for ALL Overboard Discharges
    • Conduct Fire Drills / Use of Firemain & VITAL SYSTEMS
      • FM pressure to be verified from farthest and highest plug from riser!
  • **All requirements from NSTM 997


The Fire Marshal will submit reports citing fire hazards & make recommendations for correction. Immediate steps should be taken to eliminate hazards resulting from poor housekeeping, hot work, smoking & equipment deficiencies.

**Know your ship’s Fire Prevention & Fire Marshal instructions**


  • NSTM 555 V1- Surface Ship Firefighting
  • NTTP 3-20.31- Surface Ship Survivability
  • NSTM 074 V1- Welding & Allied Processes
  • Army Reg 56-9, Surface Transportation - Watercraft
  • Gas Free Engineer & Fire Marshal webpage
  • NAVEDTRA 43119-4F PQS Standards DC Watches, Section 304
  • NSTM 074 V3- Gas Free Engineering
  • (USCG) COMDTINST 9000.6- Naval Engineering Manual chpts 077, 079, 555