How to Handle a Boat Fire

Boating fires can be very dangerous which is why it’s important to practice good fire safety on a boat just as you would inside of your home. In the event that a fire does occur on your boat, you should know how to handle it.

Here are some of the important things you should do in the event that you experience a boat fire.

If you’re on the water when a fire breaks out on your boat, stop the boat and shut off the fuel supply completely. Summon help with your radio, and if necessary, you and your passengers should exit the boat. Alerting the authorities immediately will help to ensure that they are on their way; when you’re out on the water, it might take them a while to get to you, so notifying them as soon as possible is key.

You should always make sure that all of your passengers have access to a coast-guard approved life jacket, at all times. Children under six years of age should be wearing them at all times and all people should be wearing them when the vessel is underway. Visit your state’s life jacket guidelines here.

Position the boat so that the fire is downwind: since the engine is shut off, you may have to use paddles. If you suspect the fire is in the engine room, don’t open the compartment: you could be giving the fire the extra oxygen it needs to spread.

If there are flames, aim your fire extinguisher at the flames, and sweep back and forth. Remember that in the event of an electrical, gasoline, oil or grease fire, you should not use water to put out the fire. All boats should have a fire extinguisher on board.

Remember that prevention is the key when it comes to fire safety, so make sure your boat’s mechanical parts are regularly inspected and well-maintained. Remind each of your passengers where the fire extinguisher is when they come aboard, and have life jackets available for each person on board. Be careful when cooking or adding fuel to your boat, and take extreme precaution with an open flame.

Triangle Marine Center has one of the largest ship stores in Lake County. We stock a wide range of marine accessories for all types of boating needs.

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