How to Prevent Boat Fires
A boat fire, especially one that's isolated out on the water, presents harrowing challenges and can leave you with no choice but to abandon your burning prized possession.
Preventive planning and ensuring your own safety and that of your passengers is crucial to fighting boat fires. Here are some tips for preventing boat fires.
Inspect Your 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 way to do that is to inspect your boat's 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.
Keep an eye out for common heat sources on your boat such as gas 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 have multiple extinguishers readily available in each area of the boat.
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. Always recharge a fire extinguisher after every use, and have each one on board inspected annually.
Look for Fire Hazards
Check your boat often for possible ignition sources. One way to prevent fire hazards is to keep your boat's 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. Run a 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.