In this paper, the authors have discussed the subject of fire and explosion hazards during the operation of a modern ship's high-power internal combustion engines. The causes of the occurrence of and the methods of preventing explosions in the starting manifolds of modern piston combustion engines equipped with a pneumatic starting system, with starting valves on the cylinder heads, have been specified. The concept of an active system for monitoring the technical condition of the starting valves has been presented in order to quickly diagnose leakages and reduce the risk of explosion. A conceptual design of a prototype of a non-invasive, new generation leak detector for starting valves and its technical design have been presented. Exemplary implementations of the prototype detector have been shown and its selected functionalities have been discussed. This paper has ended with an assessment of the possibility of further development and the applications of this device.