Do you have a response plan in place should a fire break out on your boat? Fire on land is dangerous enough, and you may think it’s actually better to have a fire on a boat; after all, you’re surrounded by water, so it can’t spread. While that may be true, a fire on your boat also leaves you without an exit strategy. Implementing a fire safety plan while boating is important.
1. Ensure no oil is spilled while refueling.
Boating is a fun, relaxing activity. Having a cigar or two while fishing isn’t a big deal, provided there are no flammable or hazardous substances nearby. However, if you fail to wipe up the fuel that spills while refueling your boat, you may inadvertently create a fire risk. Make sure to clean up the area around the fuel tank and wipe away any spills that could put you or your passengers in harm’s way.
2. Extinguish all smoking materials.
If you sat anything down on your boat that is smoking, make sure to extinguish it completely. This includes charcoal, cigarettes, or any other fire risk you may come across. Making sure there is noting to ignite a flame is important.
3. Keep your boat properly maintained.
Failure to maintain a vessel is one of the leading causes of fire. Without knowing where potential problems can arise, you can’t prepare for them. Check the fuel system on a regular basis, and then replace any fuel lines that are cracked or worn. Keep an eye on the electrical system for shorts, and pay attention to any strange behavior while operating your boat. A proactive approach is the best one.
4. Have the proper safety gear on board.
You should make sure you have boat fire extinguishers on hand should a fire break out. You should also have life vests, flares, and other materials that will allow you to signal for help if a major fire does occur and you’re forced to abandon ship. When on the water, you’re at the mercy of mother nature.
By taking a proactive approach to boating safety, you can prevent fires and other accidents that can put you in harm’s way. It’s important to prepare beforehand for whatever incidents may occur.