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What's a range guard?

I ask the question, "What's a range guard?" because of what I've noticed in the submarine fleet regarding the range guard APC system PMS completion rate (or lack of a completion rate). As you can tell by the pictures that accompany this article, some systems are fire hazards instead fire extinguishers.

In FLASH (Feb-Mar 02) I addressed this issue as a top three damage control deficiency for 2001. (It currently is being driven right to the top of the list.) Some systems have not had the PMS accomplished in as long as 2-3 years (in one case almost 9 years). How can this be you ask? This is a case of expecting what you inspect instead of inspecting what you expect. (The PMS is a semi-annual requirement.)

Periodic spot checks should be done to ensure that your damage control petty officer has a working knowledge of the system and that the system will in fact operate when actuated. I say this because most systems surveyed have multiple deficiencies that indicate a lack of system and PMS knowledge. These deficiencies include: not having sufficient cable travel (at least three inches); ventilation scissors assemblies that are filthy (dirt and grease caked on and around them); ventilation systems with debris in them (e.g., plastic bags, paperwork, cleaning rags). All of these deficiencies are fire hazards.

If you have questions about your range guard APC system or its related PMS, contact me at (757) 444-3520 Ext. 7073 or e-mail at rdownham@safetycenter.navy.mil.
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Title Annotation:submarines
Author:Downham
Publication:FLASH
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Apr 1, 2002
Words:251
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