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Does Your Existing Dead Man Alarm Comply With SOLAS BNWAS Requirements?

Posted on 5th May 2011

Does Your Existing Dead Man Alarm Comply With SOLAS BNWAS Requirements?

There are a number of companies who already have a simple dead man alarm or similar type of system installed on some of their vessels and are unsure whether or not this is sufficient for compliance with SOLAS Regulation V/19 BNWAS requirements.

In some cases they may be able to get an exemption from the BNWAS regulations but this is not always the case. The existing system still needs to meet certain requirements and so we have produced a checklist of required features to help give you determine whether your existing system is compliant. The following is only a guide and if you are at all unsure then you should check with your relevant class society or flag authority.

  • System should have 3 operation modes – Automatic – system comes into operation when ships heading or track control system is activated; Manual ON and Manual OFF.
  • Alarm system to have a configurable dormant period of 3-12 minutes.
  • The reset function or alarm cancellation can only be located on the bridge. (NB Lloyds have some restrictions on acceptance of PIRs as reset device).
  • First level Alarm – Initially a visual indication on the bridge followed 15 seconds later by an audible alarm if system not reset.
  • Second stage Alarm – remote audible alarm in Masters(compulsory) and other Officers quarters(as required).
  • Third level Alarm – remote audible alarm at locations designated general crew areas.
  • All alarms should be easily identifiable by its sound and should indicate urgency. Volume should be significant enough to wake people up and be tone selectable.
  • The reset function should, by single operator action, cancel all visual and audible alarms and initiate a further dormant period.
  • Resets should be tamper alarmed and designed to prevent continual activation.
  • System should have an emergency call function which will activate Level two and esclalate to Level 3 alarms in remote locations.
  • System should be security protected so that access to the system configuration is only available to the Master.
  • System should be powered by ships main power but MUST have a battery back up giving a minimum of 6 hours usage.
  • Inputs should be available for additional reset devices for connection to bridge equipment capable of generating reset signals as verified by the appropriate approved bodies.
  • Output(s) should be available for connection to bridge visual and audible alarms and equipment.

If you find that the above checklist shows that your current deadman alarm system does not fully comply with the requirements of SOLAS Chapter V Regulation 19 then we would be delighted to discuss your requirements with you to see how we can help.

Navgard™ – our bridge navigational watch alarm system (BNWAS) – was designed specifically for compliance with these regulations and is Type Approved by all the major classification societies to meet the performance standards outlined in MSC.128(75) and IEC 62616:2010.