VESDA for Marine Applications


Marine vessels come in all shapes and sizes and cover many different purposes, including; leisure activities, fishing and resource extraction, transportation of cargo or passengers and for carrying out combat or salvage operations.

There are many types of marine vessel – passenger ships, ferries, cargo vessels, container ships, floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) units, petrochemical ships, defence vessels and submarines, all of which share some unique fire risks and challenges.

It is essential that marine vessels have a suitable fire detection solution in place to protect the crew, passengers, onboard cargo and equipment, as well as the vessel itself. If a fire is to remain undetected, not only does it put lives at risk, but the financial impact of damaged equipment, consequential loss, downtime and negative publicity could be devastating.

What are the Risks?

There are many fire risks that are common to all types of marine vessels. Electrical malfunctions, leaking fuels and oils onto hot engine parts and welding fires are just a few of the more common risks. Combine those with the risks introduced from onboard kitchen facilities, leisure facilities and living quarters, and the necessity for suitable and reliable fire detection becomes even more apparent.

What are the Challenges?

Some of the challenges presented by marine applications mean that traditional type detection is unable to detect fire reliably, or may be easily contaminated and cause nuisance alarms or reduced sensitivity.

Electrical Faults

Fires from electrical faults are typically slow burning fires that initially produce low-volumes of smoke over a long period of time. Therefore, employing a very early warning smoke detection system can provide enough time to investigate a potential fire and take action during the initial stages of the fire’s development.

Engine Rooms

Engine rooms often have high levels of background smoke from exhaust fumes and vapours. This can cloak smoke that is produced from an actual fire, rendering traditional type fire detection ineffective, and allowing the fire time to develop beyond control.

Humidity and High Airflows

Humidity and high airflows around parts of a marine vessel, particularly in external areas and around exhaust and engine systems can also be very difficult to detect and make traditional types of fire detection much less effective.

What is the Solution?

VESDA Very Early Warning Smoke Detection Systems can overcome many of the challenges that marine vessels present. VESDA detectors can provide fast and reliable detection of even the smallest of fires in the harshest of environments.

VESDA detectors can distinguish between normal and abnormal levels of smoke and can, therefore, provide reliable detection in areas with high levels of background exhaust.

Powerful aspirators used in VESDA detectors mean that they can provide reliable and fast detection of fire during the early stages, even in areas with high airflow, providing a good window of opportunity to investigate and address potential fires before they become out of hand.

Marine Approved VESDA Detectors

Xtralis has a number of detectors available that are approved for marine applications.

Vesda VLC – Marine

The VESDA VLC – Marine (VLC-MRN) is tested and certified to provide all the benefits of aspirating smoke detection for marine environments. VESDA VLC – Marine aspirating smoke detectors combine VESDA Laser Detection Technology, dual-stage air filtration and reliable aspirator design to provide very early warning smoke detection.

VESDA VLC – Marine detectors are approved by Det Norske Veritas (DNV) and USCG for use in marine applications.


VESDA VLC-EX detectors have been designed to provide all the benefits of aspirating smoke detection for hazardous areas applications that require Zone 2 classification. VESDA VLC-EX detectors combine VESDA VLP detection technology with a modified aspirator design, and incorporates them into an IP54 rated, corrosion resistant, stainless steel enclosure.

VLC-EX detectors are also approved by Det Norske Veritas (DNV) for use in marine applications.

For more information about VESDA VLC detectors, please feel free to get in touch either by phone on +44 (0) 1329 835 024, by email to [email protected] or via the online enquiry form situated on our contact page.

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