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Surprised they will allow smoking on balconies as it was a discared cigarette carelessly throw out that blew in further down the ship and caused the last bad fire on a cruise ship last year. With the level of ventilation I don't believe there is such a similar rsik for those passengers who wish to smoke in their cabin and no recent history of any bad fires being caused as a result. I admit that I am a non-smoker but feel there has to be some flexibility otherwise smokers will look for the least likely places to be caught and perhaps cause a even greater problem, so some degree of flexiblity I think is essentail no doubt others will take exception to this view.
Extract from maib report please note that it says probably not that it was the cause. Star Princess On March 23, 2006, at about 3 am, a fire broke out in the passenger compartments, amidships, on the port side of the ship While a smoldering discarded cigarette probably caused the flames the following items were also at fault for allowing the fire to spread as quickly as it did:
The balconies’ polycarbonate partitions, polyurethane deck tiles, and the plastic furniture were highly combustible and produced large quantities of very thick black smoke when burned.
The glass in the doors between the staterooms and balconies were neither fire rated to meet with the requirements of an ‘A’ class division, nor self-closing (a la spring-loaded).
The balconies crossed main zone fire boundaries, both horizontally and vertically without structural or thermal barriers at the zone or deck boundaries.
No fire detection or fire suppression systems were fitted on the balconies.
This is a further indicator that there is a great change in where one can smoke. It will be followed up by other cruise lines and in time will become even more restricted. I am certain that smoking, despite what some people say or wish for, is on its way out and will vanish from most countries sooner than most think. I will give you a good example...I was told by one of the officers on Explorer of the Seas that there had been many complaints about the room designed for smokers because it smelt of smoke despite all of the modern extraction machinery in there, these complaints had been made by smokers! .... Neil .