In the early hours of the morning during a period of adverse weather the fire alarm in the vessel’s battery locker was activated. The crew mustered and a fire team assembled. Upon investigation it was discovered that there was a small flame and sparks being emitted from a spare battery that was stored in the battery locker on the top shelf.
The battery had been delivered during a previous port call and stored within the battery locker. Unfortunately, it had been placed on a storage shelf with no attempt to secure it in place.
During a period of heavy weather, the battery tipped onto its side and slid against the steel lining of the bulkhead. As the battery terminals were not covered, this caused the battery to short and led to it overheating.
Once the battery had reached ignition temperature the casing melted, setting off the fire alarm.
- All batteries, including spares, must be secured in place to prevent movement
- All spare batteries should have the terminals covered with insulating material to prevent accidental shorting
Damaged battery after the fire