Preventing Fire and Explosions Aboard Commercial Ships

Fire and explosions are among the most significant dangers aboard any sizeable vessel. This is true for all seafarers, including military, commercial, and privately owned ships. All crew members should be well trained in fire fighting, but the best training is on how to prevent fires from happening in the first place. The proper choice of portable LED lighting can reduce the risk of fire and explosions.

Three elements are needed for a fire to occur: a fuel source, oxygen, and an ignition source. The ignition source is the easiest part of this equation to remove using Intrinsically Safe (IS) lighting. So what does IS actually mean? Generally speaking, anIS-rated portable light is carefully designed and manufactured so that it cannot release enough electrical and thermal energy to ignite combustible gases or vapors. 

One of the many IS rating requirements is that lighting must be constructed of a non-sparking substance. Engineered polymer is the most commonly used material. Because of its saltwater and chemical corrosion resistance properties, this makes polymer ideal for maritime use. Additionally, IS lights must be completely waterproof, another feature sailors appreciate. Innovative Manufacturers that create lighting specifically for use aboard commercial ships also add useful features such as rare-earth magnets and dual lights. In smoke-filled environments, dual lights allows the user to activate the spotlight and downward-facing floodlight simultaneously, navigating around trip hazards while also lighting the path ahead.

The combination of magnets and a floodlight gives the ability to attach IS portable lighting to the bulkhead to operate equipment hands-free without the intense glare of a spotlight.

Because of the knowledge, time, and expense required to engineer and produce IS-certified lighting, few companies achieve this. Nightstick is a global manufacturer of over 50+ Intrinsically Safe LED lighting products used worldwide in 70+ countries. Find a distributor near you at


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