Alarming trends found on Fixed Gas Detection Systems

The US Coast Guard (USCG) has highlighted a trend in an increasing number of deficiencies relating to fixed gas detection systems (FGDS) on liquefied gas carriers.

FGDS are designed to detect the presence of gas vapours within monitored spaces and are a requirement of the International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk (IGC Code).

The USCG has noted that during routine Ports State Control (PSC) inspections, multiple sensors measured outside pre-established manufacture settings and failed calibration checks. As a result, the PSC officers were recording deficiencies and delaying cargo operations.

The USCG has therefore strongly recommended that liquefied gas carrier owners and operators ensure the following:

  • Testing and calibration of fixed gas detection systems are completed per the vessel’s safety management system (SMS) and manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Sensors are operating within established parameters as required by the vessel’s procedures and manufacturer’s instructions.
  • The appropriate span gas for the type of sensor is correctly applied to the sensor, as established by the manufacturer and vessel’s SMS.
  • The crewmember responsible for maintaining the gas detection system has adequate training, is fully knowledgeable on the system, and is proficient in conducting system tests.