Oil leaking onto the engine’s hot spots is the most common cause of engine room fires onboard ships.
According to DNV GL casualty statistics, more than 60% of all engine room fires have been initiated by a hot spot. It is also our impression that fires caused by oil leakage onto hot spots is in general more serious than fires caused by other factors.
Most lubrication, hydraulic and fuel oils have an auto ignition point above 250°C. If a liquid hits a surface hotter than its auto ignition temperature, the liquid may ignite spontaneously. Any such hot spot represents an immediate hazard in the case of oil leakage.