With so many boats on the water, boat fires are quite common these days. According to insurance companies, around 20% of boat accidents are only boat fires. So, every boat owner should learn about fire safety protocols and preventive measures to keep the passengers on the boat safe.
If you see the question paper of Boat Ed exams, you will see a common question – “What Should You Do if a Fire Breaks Out in the Back of Your Boat?” You can either take the help of fire extinguishers or use the wind to suppress the smoke and flames.
What are the causes of fire eruption in a boat?
A boat fire can be caused due to several reasons. Some of these are overheating, use of cooking equipment, faulty wiring, etc. As per the report of insurance companies, around 26% of boat fires are caused due to DC electrical issues, off-boat sources, etc. The breakdown of the boat engine and fuel leak can also be reasons behind fire break out in the back of the boat.
What are the preventive measures for boat fire?
If a boat fire goes out of control, it can lead to the death of passengers. So, both the boat owner and the passenger should know about basic fire safety guidelines. Keep reading to know about these preventive measures.
Monitor the fuel frequently
As a boat owner, you shouldn’t keep the flame near the fuel tank. You should check for fuel leaks as that can be a potential reason behind starting a fire. To avoid sudden fire breakout, you should clean the fuel tank more often. A boat owner should religiously follow the safe fuelling procedures.
Using fire extinguisher
Fire extinguishers are generally pressurized with carbon dioxide, which can put out the fire. Whenever you see a fire, you should apply a fire extinguisher to the base of the flame.
Check the engine and wiring regularly
A broken engine can cause sparks which can result in a fire eruption in the back of the boat. So, you should check the engines more often, and if you notice any damaged parts, you should ask the mechanic to repair the engine as soon as possible. Other than the engine, you should check other areas of your boat where there is the use of electric wire. Faulty wiring can cause a short circuit and boat fire eventually.
Ask for help
Though you can try the above preventive measure to control the boat fire, you should call for help as early as possible. So, you should have a VHF marine radio in your boat.
What should you do in the time of the fire?
If you see a fire in the back of your boat, you should stop the engine immediately. Position your entire boat in such a way, where plenty of air can enter the boat. This process will push out the smoke from the boat and will prevent the chance of suffocation for passengers onboard. In case of a sudden fire, you should ask all the passengers to come to the deck and wear a US coast guard recommended personal floatation device or life jacket.
Take boat safety seriously from the very first day of boat ownership. After all, you will have to keep your passengers safe in any case.