Fire…A boaters nightmare.
One of the worst things to a boater is fire. Fires are among the most dangerous, yet preventable, accidents. Most fires are caused by fueling, electrical or maintenance issues.
Here are a few tips that may help prevent those fires.
- Have passengers leave the boat and wait on the dock.
- Shut off all flames (galley stove, pilot lights, grills, etc.).
- Close all windows, doors and openings to prevent fumes from entering the boat.
- While fueling, keep the nozzle in contact with the tank to prevent sparks.
- Do not overfill the tank, the fuel needs room to expand.
- Never smoke while fueling!
- After fueling, open all the windows, doors and openings and run the exhaust blower for at least four minutes.
- Before starting the engine, perform a “sniff” test of the bilge and engine compartment. If you smell gas, continue to use the blower until all of the fumes are gone.
Boaters tip on fueling – one third to get out, one third to get back and one third for emergencies.
- Frequently check your electrical system and wiring for corrosion and signs of wear, look for cracked, brittle, or discolored insulation.
- Inspect any shore power connection lines before plugging them into your boat.
- Be cautious when using heaters in enclosed spaces and don’t leave them unattended.
- Keep up with the maintenance on your boat.
- Check the fuel system, especially the fuel lines. Check for wear, small cracks or discoloration.
- If you have a metal tank, check for signs of corrosion. If plastic, check for swelling, bulging or discoloration.
- Double the number and size of the fire extinguishers required for your boat.
- Make sure you know how to use them and inspect them monthly.
- Stow all flammable materials in an area with good circulation, away from the engine compartment and any electrical connections.
Following these tips may not only help boaters prevent a fire, but also could help save lives. Newmarks’ wishes everyone safe boating.