The fire alarm sounded in the early morning hours during a period of diverse weather.
The fire panel showed the alarm had been activated in the vessel battery locker. The crew mustered and the fire team assembled.
Ship battery locker fire
Upon investigation it was discovered that small flames and sparks were coming from a spare battery that was stored in the battery
locker on the top shelf.
The battery had been delivered during the previous port call and stored within the battery locker. It had been placed on a storage shelf without being secured and without protection on the battery terminals.
During a period of heavy weather, vessel movements had caused the battery to tip onto its side and slide against the steel lining of the bulkhead.
The bare battery terminals against the steel bulkhead caused the battery to short and consequently overheat.
Once the battery had reached ignition temperature, the casing melted, setting off the fire alarm.
Handling with battery on ship
– All stored batteries should be secured against movement.
– Battery terminals not in use should be protected with insulation material to prevent unwanted shorting.