Fire needs heat, fuel and oxygen to ignite. Unfortunately, both fuel and oxygen are plentiful aboard most boats, making fire an ever-present hazard. It’s important to take safety precautions to mitigate the most common causes of fires on board boats and familiarize yourself with the procedure to follow in the event that a fire occurs.
You can also fit gas and smoke detectors on your boat as an extra prevention strategy.
Marine fire extinguishers are a vital piece of boating safety equipment to have on board. Canadian boating regulations require specific types and numbers of boat fire extinguishers for different kinds of pleasure craft.
Here are a few maintenance steps that should be done regularly to make sure that your fire extinguishers remain in good working order:
In the event of a boat fire, it’s important to act quickly, sensibly, and prioritize the safety of those on board. Only fight the fire yourself if it is small and contained to one area, you have a way out, you have an extinguisher that is rated for the class of fire in question, and you know how to use it. If these criteria are met, direct your fire extinguisher at the base of the flames and spray in short bursts, using movements that sweep from side to side.
Follow these steps in the event of a fire while underway:
Note that burning fiberglass is extremely hot and gives off hazardous fumes. If fiberglass on your boat is burning, evacuate immediately.
Preparation is the best way to manage any kind of emergency, and those on the water are no different. A well-informed and practiced boat operator will know what to do in the event of a boat fire and be able to take the necessary steps to mitigate the situation.
Drive a Boat Canada provides an online boating course that can teach you everything you need to know about boating safety and regulations. Get your boating license with us and set out on the water with confidence, knowing that you can handle anything that comes your way!