A new water-free fire sprinkler test method, which utilises artificially created vapour to check for blockages and obstructions in pipes and heads, was given an initial trial onboard the ferry M/V Yakima at the Eagle Harbor Maintenance Facility.

Ferry systems use primarily salt water to extinguish fires, WSF officials said, an effective but eventually destructive method. Even with proper cleanup and maintenance requirements, salt water corrodes most kinds of metal.

The ability to use vapour instead of salt water for at least some of the required annual sprinkler tests could conceivably extend the life of a vessel and onboard equipment by sparing it unnecessary soakings, officials said.

The vapour-based dry deluge testing system was designed by Siron, a Netherlands-based company, and CEO Antoon Buitenhuis was onboard the Yakima to demonstrate the system for WSF and US Coast Guard officials.

Buitenhuis explained that similar systems are already being used in various locales with similar special fireproofing considerations such as nuclear power stations, offshore oil rigs and other waste treatment and refinery operations.

WSF Officials began implementing dry deluge testing to some of their vessel fleet from September 2018.