2018 NFPA 301 Code - Current Edition
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  • Description

    The 2018 edition of NFPA 301 takes strides on merchant vessel safety. Stay up-to-code.

    Originally developed at the request of the United States Coast Guard, NFPA 301, Code for Safety to Life from Fire on Merchant Vessels provides minimum requirements, with due regard to function, for the design, operation, and maintenance of merchant vessels for safety to life from fire and similar emergencies. Patterned after the NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®, it provides requirements for various types of merchant vessels.

    Important updates in the 2018 edition of NFPA 301 are essential for naval architects, vessel owners, and enforcers.

    • Updated references in Chapter 2 and Annex D, along with changes in Chapter 3, Definitions, align with other NFPA® codes and standards.
    • Revised requirements for backup lighting reduce the total blackout time in spaces aboard a vessel that do not normally have any natural lighting (e.g., portholes and windows) to reduce the risk of panic and injury to passengers and crew.
    • Signage used on doors, passageways, ladders, or stairways that are neither an exit nor a way of exit access needs to be approved by the AHJ.
    • Added references to provisions in NFPA 90A, Standard for the Installation of Air-Conditioning and Ventilating Systems address insulation and coverings for pipes and ducts installed in areas where there is the potential for hot temperatures.
    • For fire test requirements for draperies or other vertically hung textiles, Code users are now directed to NFPA 701, Standard Methods of Fire Tests for Flame Propagation of Textiles and Films, or Part 7 of the IMO Fire Test Procedures Code.
    • Portable fire extinguishers shall now be classed in accordance with NFPA 10: Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers, or requirements for portable extinguishers in Title 46 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

    Make sure you're on top of critical safety changes for safety to life aboard merchant vessels. (Print, 102 pp., 2018)

  • Table of Content (2018 Current Edition)

    NFPA® 301, Code for Safety to Life from Fire on Merchant Vessels, 2018 Edition

    Chapter 1 Administration
    1.1 Scope.
    1.2 Purpose.
    1.3 Application.
    1.4 Equivalency Concepts.
    1.5 Units.
    1.6 Vessel Construction, Repair, and Alteration.
    1.7 Maintenance.
    1.8 Enforcement.
    Chapter 2 Referenced Publications
    2.1 General.
    2.2 NFPA Publications.
    2.3 Other Publications.
    2.4 References for Extracts in Mandatory Sections.
    Chapter 3 Definitions
    3.1 General.
    3.2 NFPA Official Definitions.
    3.3 General Definitions.
    3.4 Space Definitions.
    3.5 Special Definitions for Terms Used in Chapter 5.
    Chapter 4 Fundamental Requirements
    4.1 Fundamentals.
    4.2 Fundamentals of Means of Egress.
    4.3 Fundamentals of Construction.
    4.4 Fundamentals of Illumination.
    4.5 Fundamentals of Alarms.
    4.6 Life Safety Compliance Options.
    Chapter 5 Performance-Based Option
    5.1 General Requirements.
    5.2 Performance Criteria.
    5.3 Retained Prescriptive Requirements.
    5.4 Design Specifications and Other Conditions.
    5.5 Design Fire Scenarios.
    5.6 Evaluation of Proposed Designs.
    5.7 Safety Factors.
    5.8 Documentation Requirements.
    Chapter 6 Classification of Occupancy and Hazard of Contents
    6.1 Classification of Occupancy.
    Chapter 7 Means of Egress
    7.1 General.
    7.2 Means of Egress Components.
    7.3 Capacity of Means of Egress.
    7.4 Number of Separate Means of Egress.
    7.5 Arrangement of Means of Egress.
    7.6 Measurement of Travel Distance to Exits.
    7.7 Discharge from Exits.
    7.8 Illumination of Means of Egress.
    7.9 Emergency Lighting.
    7.10 Marking of Means of Egress.
    7.11 Low-Location Lighting.
    Chapter 8 Features of Fire Protection
    8.1 General.
    8.2 Construction and Compartmentation.
    8.3 Interior Finish.
    8.4 Furnishings.
    8.5 Fire Safety Requirements of Electrical and Fiber Optic Wires and Cables.
    Chapter 9 Vessel Services and Fire Detection and Protection Equipment
    9.1 Fire Detection, Alarm, and Communications Systems.
    9.2 Fire Protection Systems and Equipment.
    9.3 Fire Fighter Protective Clothing, SCBA Equipment, and Fire Control Plans.
    9.4 Ventilation.
    9.5 Elevators, Escalators, Dumbwaiters, and Other Transfer Devices.
    9.6 General Requirements for Electrical Equipment.
    9.7 Fixed Electric Heating Equipment for Pipelines, Vessels, De-icing, and Snow Melting.
    Chapter 10 Accommodation Spaces
    10.1 General Requirements.
    10.2 Means of Egress Requirements.
    10.3 Protection.
    Chapter 11 Medical, Health Care, and Child Care Spaces
    11.1 General Requirements.
    11.2 Means of Egress Requirements.
    11.3 Protection.
    11.4 Vessel Services.
    Chapter 12 Service Spaces
    12.1 General Requirements.
    12.2 Means of Egress Requirements.
    12.3 Protection.
    Chapter 13 Electrical and Control Spaces
    13.1 General Requirements.
    13.2 Means of Egress Requirements.
    13.3 Protection.
    Chapter 14 Engineering and Machinery Spaces
    14.1 General Requirements.
    14.2 Means of Egress Requirements.
    14.3 Protection.
    14.4 Vessel Services.
    14.5 Compartmentation.
    14.6 Pressurized Oil Systems.
    14.7 Ventilation Systems.
    14.8 Hot Surfaces.
    14.9 Bilges.
    14.10 Incinerator Spaces.
    14.11 Portable Extinguishers.
    Chapter 15 Storage Spaces
    15.1 General Requirements.
    15.2 Means of Egress Requirements.
    15.3 Protection.
    15.4 Special Provisions for High-Risk Fuels Storage.
    Chapter 16 Cargo Spaces and Fuel Tanks
    16.1 General Requirements.
    16.2 Means of Egress Requirements.
    16.3 Protection.
    16.4 Refrigerated Cargo Holds.
    Chapter 17 Open Decks
    17.1 General Requirements.
    17.2 Means of Egress Requirements.
    17.3 Special Considerations for Open Decks Intended for Storage of Ship’s Stores.
    Chapter 18 Helicopter Decks
    18.1 General Requirements.
    18.2 Means of Egress Requirements.
    18.3 Protection.
    Chapter 19 Towing Vessels
    19.1 General Requirements.
    19.2 Means of Egress.
    19.3 Protection.
    19.4 Accommodation Spaces.
    19.5 Medical, Health Care, and Child Care Spaces.
    19.6 Service Spaces.
    19.7 Electrical and Control Spaces.
    19.8 Engineering and Machinery Spaces.
    19.9 Storage Spaces.
    19.10 Fuel Tanks.
    19.11 Open Decks.
    19.12 Helicopter Decks.
    19.13 Vessel Services.
    Chapter 20 Cargo and Tank Vessels
    20.1 General Requirements.
    20.2 Means of Egress.
    20.3 Protection.
    20.4 Accommodation Spaces.
    20.5 Medical Spaces.
    20.6 Service Spaces.
    20.7 Electrical and Control Spaces.
    20.8 Engineering and Machinery Spaces.
    20.9 Storage Spaces.
    20.10 Cargo Spaces and Fuel Tanks.
    20.11 Open Decks.
    20.12 Helicopter Decks.
    20.13 Vessel Services.
    Chapter 21 Passenger Vessels
    21.1 General Requirements.
    21.2 Means of Egress.
    21.3 Protection.
    21.4 Accommodation Spaces.
    21.5 Medical, Health Care, and Child Care Spaces.
    21.6 Service Spaces.
    21.7 Electrical and Control Spaces.
    21.8 Engineering and Machinery Spaces.
    21.9 Storage Spaces.
    21.10 Cargo Spaces and Fuel Tanks.
    21.11 Open Decks.
    21.12 Helicopter Decks.
    21.13 Vessel Services.
    21.14 Group V Passenger Vessels.
    21.15 Group IV Passenger Vessels.
    Chapter 22 Reserved
    Annex A Explanatory Material
    Annex B Ventilation Guidelines
    Annex C Sample Ordinance Adopting NFPA 301
    Annex D Informational References
  • Prior Editions

    2013 Edition

    Keep pace with the latest provisions on merchant vessel safety in the 2013 NFPA 301.

    Originally developed at the request of the United States Coast Guard, NFPA 301: Code for Safety to Life from Fire on Merchant Vessels provides minimum requirements, with due regard to function, for the design, operation, and maintenance of merchant vessels for safety to life from fire and similar emergencies. Patterned after the NFPA 101® Life Safety Code®, it provides requirements for various types of merchant vessels.

    Revised new minimum requirement for water-based fire protection applies to vessels with overnight accommodations for more than 36 passengers.

    To bring provisions in line with other USCG mandates, the 2013 edition of NFPA 301 revises the minimum requirement for automatic sprinkler protection or automatic water mist protection for accommodation spaces, service spaces, and storage spaces on Group I and Group II passenger vessels and all other passenger vessels with overnight accommodations for more than 36 passengers. (Softbound, 91 pp., 2013)


    Interested in other editions of NFPA 301? Use the drop down menu above to select the edition year you need.

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