VIKING puts professional-grade firefighting expertise to work on seafarer safety

04 April 2024 – VIKING Life-Saving Equipment has drawn on its experience as a leading supplier of professional-grade structural firefighting equipment to ensure that seafarers can have the same level of fire suit protection as their land-based counterparts. In a direct response to rising shipboard electrical fire numbers, VIKING is offering shipowners the option to specify suits that include both professional-grade outer shells and moisture barrier protection against water penetration and steam burns.

VIKING YouSafe™ Torch

Ship losses were 65 per cent lower in 2022 than they were in 2013 (1), but fires hit their highest number for a decade. Insurer Allianz now ranks ship fires as the leading cause of a claim (2). The assessment comes as traffic in Lithium-ion batteries is also growing, with McKinsey (3) projecting new registrations of electric vehicles will rise by over 30% per year 2022-2030.

“Fire safety is a core and growing part of VIKING’s business, with recent examples including our expanding marine safety role in firefighting foams, huge uptake for our unique HydroPen™ container firefighting tool and our supply agreement with Bridgehill Electric Car Fire Blankets,” said Dorte M. Hansen, VP Sales Regions, VIKING. “It is critical that seafarers have the suits to protect them against the intensity and unpredictability of electric fires and we are delighted to respond by putting our expertise in professional-grade structural firefighting equipment at their disposal.”

Last year, the first European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) fire safety guidelines covering electric cars on board ro-ro vessels acknowledged the safety benefits of fire suit moisture barriers as protection against water penetration, radiant heat and steam burns. The feature is given ‘Y2’ notation within new EN 469:2020 ‘level 2’ standards for fire suits. While non-mandatory, many see EMSA’s recommendation as progressive, given water is often needed in high volumes to fight electrical fires. The International Maritime Organization is considering whether moisture barriers should be mandatory where risks warrant them.

New generation of firefighter protection

To future-proof owners VIKING has developed the VIKING YouSafe™ Torch – a marinized version of a fire suit it offers to structural firefighters on land. The SOLAS-approved suit includes moisture barrier protection while benefiting from a professional-grade outer shell with the breathability to ensure comfort during extended wear. Appropriate for cargo ships, passenger ships, or offshore applications, the VIKING YouSafe™ Torch meets the new EN469:2020 standard. It is offered in standard sizes and with practical features such as reflective trim and radio pockets to meet the cost and exchangeability needs of marine firefighting.

“The breadth of expertise VIKING has as a one stop provider of safety solutions feeds into its ability to respond to changing risk scenarios,” said Charlotte Nielsen, PPE Product Manager, VIKING. “Seafarers need extra protection at a time when electrical fires are on the rise. VIKING’s response has been to give owners a comprehensive choice on PPE fire protection packages that cover the full scope of risks their seafarers are likely to face.”


1 Fires at sea | Allianz Commercial

2 Top causes of loss by value of claims in marine (

3 McKinsey forecasts 4.7 TWh of Li-ion battery demand in 2030 (