When spending time with friends and family on your boat or yacht, everyone’s enjoyment and safety should be your top priorities. As the frequency of recreational marine fire-related accidents has increased, so have the injuries and deaths associated with them. To keep yourself, your family, and your friends safe while aboard your boat or yacht, it’s important to abide by safe boating practices, particularly fire safety, so you can enjoy your time on the water and make it back to the dock for your next adventure.
Below, we’ve outlined the three “P’s” of marine fire safety every boater should follow.
- Understand how to fuel up safely. Be sure the engine blower is operational and on before fueling and restarting the engine.
- Develop a plan and practice what you’ll do if you need to extinguish a fire or abandon ship.
- Know who to call for help and what to say, depending on the situation.
- Make sure you know how to safely use a galley stove or barbeque grill on board.
- Install smoke and CO detectors in the cabin and other enclosed compartments.
- Install automatic fire suppression system in the engine room. This might also save you money on your insurance premiums – contact your broker or agent for details.
- Inspect the wiring on battery terminals and breaker panels on high-amperage circuits. If necessary, obtain an electrical inspection or survey.
- Not all fire extinguishers are alike or should be used for every fire. Make sure you purchase the correct quantity and type of fire extinguishers as required by the USCG and have them inspected at least every two years by a local fire department or civil authority.
- Purchase fire blankets and mount them in the galley so they are readily available if needed.
- Create an evacuation plan in the event your vessel needs to be moved from a fiery area.