How to Prevent Fire on a Boat
A fire on a boat, especially one that is isolated out on the water, presents harrowing challenges and can leave you with no choice but to abandon your burning prized possession.
Preventive planning, including having sufficient fire safety and suppression equipment on board, is essential to fighting the blaze, and ensuring your own safety and the safety of your passengers as well.
Preventing Fire on a Boat
Fires need fuel, oxygen and heat to ignite. There's an abundance of fuel and oxygen on a boat, and it's up to you to eliminate potential fire hazards onboard. One of the most important ways to do that is to inspect the integrity of your electrical system. Look for chafed wires, and learn how to prevent the type of corrosion on a boat that can degrade connections and generate sparks.
Watch the video below to learn about boat corrosion prevention products and tips.
Keep an eye out for common heat sources on your boat such as propane camping grills and space heaters, as the heat from these devices can interact with wood or fiberglass and ignite a fire.
Get More Fire Extinguishers
Know where to find an extinguisher on your boat in case a fire breaks out, and strategically place more than one extinguisher onboard.
That means having multiple fire extinguishers readily available in each area of the boat in the event that a fire separates you from one of the other extinguishers on board. Shake up your fire extinguishers every couple of months to keep them from getting dry, and to prevent the chemicals inside from settling at the bottom. You should also recharge a fire extinguisher after every use, and have each one on board inspected annually.
Inspect Your Boat
Check your boat often for possible ignition sources. One way to prevent fire hazards is to keep your bilge clean and dry, which will help you quickly pinpoint leaks.
Gas fumes can also gather in the bilge, since the fumes are heavier than air, so run your blower for 4-6 minutes after refueling to vent out any fuel vapors.
Portable generators on a boat are also fire hazards. Follow these 4 safety tips for using a portable marine generator for additional fire prevention preparation.