NFPA Certificated Marine Chemists – A Century of Fire Protection and Life Safety

By Lawrence B. Russell and Guy R. Colonna, P.E.

As the NFPA Technical Committee vote on the First Draft of the 2024 edition of NFPA 306, Standard for the Control of Gas Hazards on Vessels, the National Fire Protection Association will mark 100 years of the NFPA Certificated Marine Chemist Program and its advocacy of fire protection and life safety on marine vessels, in shipyards, marine terminals and waterfront facilities.

What started a century ago as an industry effort to prevent fires on vessels under repair has never been more important. According to a 2007 report of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 25 percent of fatalities in shipyards result from fires and explosions caused by hot work. Hot work incidents also cause injuries to personnel and property damage or loss.