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How do I become SOLAS compliant?

Posted on: 15th Apr 2019 by: DTS.Solutions (U.K) Ltd

As of 1st July 2018, it is now a requirement under SOLAS regulations that any ships in operation must now carry a minimum of two ATEX two-way radios for onboard firefighter access.  These rules were drafted some years ago, but have only come into full law in recent times.  SOLAS, the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, governs all merchant ships to obey to a number of different safety standards and operations. 

It's extremely important that all ships carrying firefighting staff now have two-way radios available on a portable basis.  Not only is it a matter of law, but it is also a matter of safety for all on board your vessels.  But do you know for sure that your ships are completely compliant with new SOLAS standards?  Let's take a closer look. 

How Do I Become Compliant with SOLAS Regulations? 

It’s simple!  Your ships will need to make sure they carry at least two ATEX radios onboard at all times.  ATEX models are built for safety and simple portability.  If you are unsure whether or not you have the equipment or standards in place to ensure you are fully compliant, it is a good idea to consult with a radio supplier or expert. 

DTS Solutions can be your go-to supplier for ATEX radio standards.  This way, you'd be sure that you are always ready to equip your firefighting staff with safe, recommended two-way systems that can be used to assure passenger safety at all times.  We have considerable years of experience in handling and supplying ATEX radios for compliance.  This means we will always be able to find the right fit for your ships and staff. 

What are ATEX Radios? 

ATEX radios, or ATEX Intrinsically Safe Radios, are built to support and assist in some of the highest-risk scenarios and situations.  These radios are built to withstand much more than your standardised two-way radio systems. 

For example, ATEX systems are developed with fire resistance and electric safety in mind.  Standard two-way radios may not be completely safe to use in a shipping environment.  This is because they may emit sparks overheat, which can cause fires in a closed environment.  When working on ships out in the ocean, you are going to need complete assurance that the radios you use are always safely designed with no risk of error. 

ATEX radios are developed and regulated to ensure that they never create heat or sparks which could create such a disastrous situation.  Therefore, these models are commonly used in environments such as power plants, oil rigs, refineries and more.  They have become the standard for safe radio communication in high-intensity situations. 

How Do I Buy the Right ATEX Radios Under SOLAS Regulations? 

Don’t worry.  With DTS Solutions at hand as your friendly experts, we will always be able to source you the best ATEX fit for your fleet and operation.  You're going to need two-way communication that's not only safe and compliant but which also supports you in day to day running.   

We are able to supply our own intrinsic radio systems as well as ATEX specialised units which are widely used across the globe.  We can supply UHF ATEX radio systems as well as handheld microphones, which are of huge benefit to any firefighting staff on board ships or in any other potentially dangerous environment. 

Ships and other vessels out at sea can always be potentially hazardous.  Therefore, it makes sense to always have relevant, safe equipment to hand which can be relied on day to day.  ATEX radios, as declared via SOLAS, are going to be the best fit for any shipping regime.  You should never worry about taking safety too seriously.  You are always better to be safe than sorry! 

What Recommendations Does SOLAS Make? 

If you are unsure at any time whether or not you are complying with SOLAS standards, it is always a good idea to read the physical details they have provided for shipping firms to abide by.  The important text you need to pay attention to with regard to two-way radios is as follows: 

"(…) two-way radio telephone apparatus shall be of an explosion-proof type or intrinsically safe." 

This can be found under regulation 10.10.4.  It is very clear that any radio systems you use on your ship should be safe for firefighting teams to use in the event of an emergency.  Any firms or teams using lesser radio equipment may not only be at risk of violating SOLAS but may also be putting lives at risk. 

It is also generally recommended that firefighter radios have specific colour-coding.  This is so that they can be easily distinguished from other two-way radio units which may be in use elsewhere.  Therefore, you will be able to immediately tell which units are to be reserved for high-intensity firefighting operations.  It is always a good idea to keep your radio systems separate wherever possible! 

Why Have Such Recommendations Been Made? 

Shipping vessels and other sea craft are at extreme risk of fire and other hazardous situations.  Ships can provide for extremely closed-in environments, which means even a small blaze could escalate into a tragedy despite best efforts to keep matters contained. 

Therefore, it has become a general standard for all equipment used on board ships and sea vessels to be manufactured to fire and electrical safety optimums.  Some equipment, such as standard two-way radios may not be recommended for use while at sea.  Therefore, it is always a good idea to pay attention to any regulations and changes suggested by SOLAS. 

Unsure whether or not your two-way radio systems are SOLAS compliant?  Need help with finding ATEX radios which are safe for shipping on a day to day basis?  DTS Solutions’ fleet of two-way systems and brands will always make sure you have the safest communications to hand out at sea – or on dry land! 

 

 


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