What Should You Do If a Fire Breaks in the Front of Your Boat?
If a fire occurs in front of your boat, the first thing you need to do is to Stop the engine of the boat and steer the boat into the wind.
It’s always best to take precautions to avoid emergencies because we all want to enjoy ourselves when boating. Make sure you have a suitable, unused fire extinguisher before you even begin. Always choose safety over regret.
What Should You Do If a Fire Breaks in the Front of Your Boat?
A study examined the principal reasons for fires aboard. Electrical parts, engines, and fuel are a few mentioned in their reports. Smoking and extreme heat are additional factors in boat fires. Most fires occur ashore, in places like garages and marinas. If these fires are not removed, they will eventually spread to your boat.
Meanwhile, wiring harnesses, starters, batteries, motors, power cords, and appliances are frequently the electrical sources of boat fires. Operator errors in the management of electrical systems also cause fires.
Being cautious and responsible will help you avoid causing excessive harm, accidents, and fatalities.
Shutting down the engine
If a fire breaks out in the front of your boat, it is imperative that you immediately shut down the engine. Leaving the engine running could worsen the situation, as the fuel could explode. If you cannot shut down the engine, you should position the boat away from the wind and try to stop the fuel flow. When you have stopped the fuel flow, turn off the engine and yell “Fire!” several times.
A fire in the front of your boat can happen at any moment and be very dangerous. In many cases, the fire starts in the fuel lines, so shutting down the engine and turning off the fuel supply is essential. Regardless of the cause, it is crucial to shut off the fuel supply to minimize the risk of an explosion. Also, if the fuel lines are damaged, you should shut off the engine to ensure the safety of everyone on board.
In addition to shutting down the engine, boaters should immediately turn the boat to the port side. This will not stop in controlling the spread of the fire, and the wind will keep the rest of the boat unaffected. However, if the fire is on the starboard side, you should move the boat to the port side. It is unlikely that the wind will put out the fire completely, but it will help to keep other parts of the boat unaffected by the fire.
A fire extinguisher can save your life! However, they are not all the same. Depending on the type of fire they can put out, they are available in several classifications.
Be aware that there are various classifications of fire extinguishers. They are given titles that specify the type of fire they will put out.
- Class A – for flames involving solid objects, such as clothing and wood.
- Fires that start from liquid sources, such as gasoline and oil, fall under class B.
- Gas fires are under Class C.
- Metal fires are class D fires.
- For fires started by live electrical equipment, use class E.
- Cooking oil fires are under Class F.
All you need to remember is PASS if you want to know how to use a fire extinguisher. Remove the pin. Aim low toward the fire’s base. Sweep gently from one side to the other while squeezing the fire extinguisher’s handle. Continue doing this until flames are present everywhere.
There are too many fire extinguishers to choose from, but professionals only suggest the First Alert HOME1 Rechargeable Fire Extinguisher as one. The Coast Guard has given it the seal of approval for marine applications, and it is portable, lightweight, and easy to use.
Evacuate the Boat’s Passengers
If the fire spreads despite your efforts, immediately begin an evacuation strategy. First, assemble all the passengers in one place. The life raft will then be deployed, and they can put on their life jackets. As you do this, make sure everyone maintains their composure.
Repositioning the boat in the water against the wind’s direction
If a fire breaks out in the front of a boat, immediately reposition the boat in the water against the direction of the wind to prevent the fire from spreading. Smoke from fire carries hazardous substances that harm the person breathing. Carbon Monoxide, for instance, can kill and render someone unconscious.
Putting out the flames
Knowing how to put out the fire can minimize the damage to your vessel. The following are some tips and tricks to help you handle the situation. Remember to use the correct fire extinguisher and wear a life jacket if you are on board.
Water is an effective firefighting agent that can create fires caused by different materials. However, do not use water if the fire is electrical or gasoline. If you cannot locate the fire extinguisher, use another method to put out the flames. The fastest way to extinguish a fire is to smother it with sand, a metal lid, or a cookie sheet.
If you see fire at the front of your boat, don’t panic. Remember to use your life raft and wear a life jacket. Call your insurance company for help immediately if you can’t do this. You should be able to contact them right away, as well. During the process, don’t hesitate to call the U.S. Coast Guard on Channel 16.
Fire prevention can be challenging, but a fire suppression system will do most of the work for you. In the meantime, you can prepare to call emergency services in case of a fire in your boat. First, cut off the engines and prepare the passengers for evacuation. When this is not enough, try positioning your boat in the wind so the wind will blow away from the burning area.
Fire extinguishers are essential boat safety equipment. Boats have a safety feature to cut off the fuel supply if there is a fire. This mechanism prevents fuel from spilling into the water, which could ignite the fuel tank and cause an explosion. Also, make sure to turn off the nozzles of gas cylinders. Fuel and oil are highly flammable and can explode if water gets into them.
Once the fire has been discovered, ensure everyone on board is wearing their life jackets. If the fire is small, try to identify the direction of the wind because the wind may be blowing the fire in the front area of the boat, preventing it from spreading to the rest of the boat. If the fire spreads throughout the boat, call for help to stop the spread the flames.
Next, gather your crew and plan an evacuation plan. Figure out an escape route and make sure you have purchased some handy equipment for emergencies. A two-way VHF marine radio and a First Alert Home1 Rechargeable Fire Extinguisher are excellent choices to have on board. Having a fire plan is always a good idea because accidents happen.
Ensure Safety and Cleanup
It might not be safe to head back to the boat even when there are no longer any flames or smoke. Examine the area thoroughly immediately, or hold off until expert aid is available. Until you are confident there is no longer fire, wait before opening the engine or gas line.
After a fire, open doors with caution; without knowing what is going on on the opposite side, you can get blindsided. It is therefore recommended that you maintain a fire extinguisher close at hand so that you may quickly put out any fire that may still be burning on the other side.
Submit Insurance Claims
After all, the hustle, gather yourself and consider your next course of action. Consider your insurance coverage if there was significant and expensive property damage due to the fire. Obtain photos and police reports.
Prevention Always Beats Cure
Even if it sounds cliche, preventing boat fires is the best action. Here are some suggestions I have as a frequent boater for avoiding boat fires:
- Regularly check the boat, especially the ignition sources. Find any gas leaks or other issues and get them fixed right away.
- Smoking is not permitted below deck, next to the engine and gas supply, or anywhere else on the boat where explosive materials may be present.
- When cooking, be careful. In the kitchen, proper ventilation is vital. If you’re not utilizing the gas valves, shut them off.
- Put in a smoke alarm. When a fire starts, this unit will immediately alert you so you may take appropriate action.