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Galley Hazards
Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 6:19 PM
Joined: 02/05/2008
Posts: 392

As mentioned before, the galley is the busiest location on the ship aside from the engine room. There are numerous appliances in the galley that generate heat for heating or cooking food, and the greatest fire hazard among them is the grease fryer (not all yachts have grease fryers). A common cause of a grease fire is a malfunctioning thermostat. If the thermostat allows grease to overheat — and if the grease has not been changed recently and contains food debris — it’s likely to flash into a fire. The grease should be changed on a regular base. If a mechanical failure is not at fault, most galley fires can be linked to poor housekeeping.

An additional hazard of the grease fryer is the potential for a fire to spread into the ventilation system. During operation, grease particles accumulate in the ventilation system ducting; this accumulation can cause a secondary fire, which could easily spread through the yacht. Since the grease fryer is known to be the greatest fire hazard in the galley, there is a fire prevention system installed in the ventilation system and a fire suppression system for the grease fryer. These two systems are independent but both can be used to suppress and extinguish a grease fire.
The fire prevention system is called a Gaylord System. It can be programmed to operate on a predetermined schedule or it can be started manually. During operation of the Gaylord System, a solution of degreaser and water is sprayed inside the ventilation ducting. This solution breaks down the grease and removes it from the ventilation ducting. In the event of a grease fire, the Gaylord System can be activated. Upon activation, it will close the ventilation damper and spray water in the ducting to prevent the fire from traveling into the ventilation system.
The fire suppression system used for a grease fire is Wet Chemical, or Aqueous Potassium Bicarbonate (APC). APC extinguishes the fire by covering the fire and separating it from the air, thus inhibiting the flames. It also mixes with the grease to stop the burning process. Wet Chemical is the best extinguishing agent for a grease fire. The Wet Chemical system has both automatic and manual activation. The automatic activation is done via a fusible link; to manually active, pull the handle. The handle should be located a safe distance away from the fryer or at the entrance/exit of the galley.
The fusible link for automatic activation is typically made of lead. During a fire, the link melts and allows the system to discharge. The melting temperature is around 600 degrees which also is the flash temperature of most cooking oils. The automatic activation is very reliable as long as the system is maintained correctly. The fusible link is the critical part of the system to maintain. If the link is not changed on a regular basis, there is a possibility that it will not melt at the correct temperature and a fire could cause damage before the link melts and discharges the system. The resulting fire could be beyond the capabilities of the fire suppression system. The heat from cooking over a period of time affects the link and the constant heating and cooling will cause the molecular structure of the fusible link to change. This change increases the tensile strength of the lead and prevents it from melting at the correct temperature. (See NFPA 1701A on Wet Chemical fire suppression systems for more information.)
If a grease fryer takes place on board your vessel, and it does not have an APC fire suppression system, there should a Wet Chemical fire extinguisher in the galley. The extinguisher has the same extinguishing agent as the Wet Chemical fire suppression system. The extinguisher should be a safe distance away, but still within sight of the fryer. If there is no Wet Chemical extinguisher, there should be a fire blanket in the galley. Fire blankets are effective in suppressing a grease fire, but a Wet Chemical extinguisher is the better option.
Drill:  Gather all crew in the galley to inspect and discuss galley operations and the firefighting equipment located in the galley. Discuss and locate the fusible link if there is a Wet Chemical system installed. Locate the manual activation handle. Discuss and develop a procedure in the event of fire in the grease fryer. Locate the power isolation controls for the galley as well as the fryer.  Locate the extinguisher and the fire blanket. Simulate a grease fire emergency scenario in the galley and have the crew respond in a timed exercise.
By Tom Jones, training manager at Resolve Maritime Academy, 1510 S.E. 17 St., Suite 400, Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. 33316, Tel: 877-975-3473, info@,

Minimise Fire Risks
Posted: Saturday, June 30, 2012 6:07 PM
Joined: 30/06/2012
Posts: 35

Intersting. I would like to discuss this, its so important
Posted: Thursday, April 2, 2015 7:53 PM
Joined: 20/01/2014
Posts: 2

Anyone know the recommended time or how often the ducts in the galley should be serviced or cleaned? Thanks
Posted: Friday, April 3, 2015 3:15 PM
Joined: 09/10/2008
Posts: 134

Grease screens on the extractor hood should be washed monthly in hot soapy water - this is a requirement & will prevent grease getting carried over into the ducting. Even if you know that this is being done, I would still recommend having the galley duct cleaned annually - it is not expensive and can be done fairly quickly in most cases.

TBH, I have never seen a wet chem system in the ducting, only a CO2 system, but for sure a wet chem extinguisher is the best type of portable extinguisher if you have a deep fat fryer. I believe that new builds are required to have a separate fire suppression system over the deep fat fryer if you have one.

Posted: Tuesday, May 5, 2015 10:02 PM
Joined: 20/01/2014
Posts: 2

Thanks for your help.