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Find out what to do when a fire emergency occurs on your boat, and what to expect when abandoning ship. Your safety matters! Be prepared to know what you will do in an emergency situation.
Facing a fire on a boat is not only scary but very stressful. How do boat fires start, what are the most common causes, how do we prevent them, and what do we do in this situation?
A fire is a terrifying ordeal, but you need to act immediately and take control of the situation. Fires can happen on any size or type of vessel and it's important to know what to do when one occurs.
The best thing to do in this situation is not panic, but instead, make a distress call and notify the coast guard immediately. In this blog, we will give you tips on what to do, learn more about fire safety.
Fires are classified under three types/classes, also known as the "ABCs," and fire extinguishers are rated according to the class of fire/ type of fire.
Boat fires, most often occur in the galley or engine compartment, it is vital to keep fire extinguishers on your boat, the number of fire extinguishers you need will depend on the size of your boat because you never know where boat fires start or when I would say its best to have at least two fire extinguisher, one inside and one outside. Many people have a fire extinguisher on their boat, but it's scary when you find that not everyone knows how to use a fire extinguisher, so always make sure that every person aboard knows and understands how to use it and when to use it.
Fire extinguishers are marked Type A, B, or C – These markings show the type of fire for which the fire extinguishers are used for. The fire extinguisher is equipped for type A fire or type B fire or type C fire; however, you do get multipurpose fire extinguishers, which would be the best option when buying.
When we plan a day out boating we don't think of bad things that might happen, yes we do think of everyone's safety, but more in way of "life jackets" which is very important! Nobody thinks of a fire, however, it is best to prepare yourself and your passengers in case you find yourself in a fire emergency situation, safety equipment should always be easily accessible and your passengers should know where to find it, so as a safety precaution always point out the location of your marine safety equipment.
Most boat fires occur on older boats, and generally, if a boat is not well maintained. The electrical problem most often occurs on older boats, and most fires start due to electrical issues, fires also occur in engine compartments and galleys.
Boat fires are not very common, but they happen, fires are very scary and it is important to practice fire safety, for you and your family.
Abandoning a vessel is the last resort; this will occur when the vessel is sinking or if there is an uncontrolled fire. Regular drills (Practice) are essential; every person on board should be prepared for such situations to avoid panic and uncertainty. Panic leads to severe injury and even death, everyone is scared when they come face to face with a fire emergency or if they need to abandon ship, I am sure many things go through your mind, however, if you are familiar with the safety procedures and you inform your passengers prior every trip, the panic will be less because every person will know what to do and what to expect.
Heading into the water, especially in the ocean is a scary thought, most people will want to avoid going into the water and wait for the coast guard rescue team, but if a fire is uncontrollable your best protection is the water, staying on the boat will not work.
Never cause panic, do not scream and run, do not push or bump each other as it will lead to injuries and slow the process of abandoning the vessel.
Always be prepared, inform passengers of the procedures in case of an emergency. Stay calm, stay collected, and stay safe.
Fires are a scary and stressful event, especially for boat owners. Knowing what to do when your boat catches on fire can save lives." Having this information at the ready is crucial for quick, timely decisions that could potentially save a life. Practice safety drills with any passengers and crew members before you set sail so they know how to react in case of an emergency and so that abandoning the vessel is less traumatic. Remembering these tips will help keep everyone calm if there's ever an issue while out on the water.
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