Boating excursions are often filled with fun and relaxation. But with so much water between your vessel and land, you may not realize that fire is still a risk. Each year, hundreds of boats catch fire, causing panic and destruction. We’ve gathered a few tips to help you protect your property and loved ones from the risk of a boat fire.
Fire Safety Equipment
The Coast Guard has identified a few best practices in regards to keeping the right fire safety equipment on board various sizes and types of boats.
- Maintain and regularly inspect fire extinguishers.
- Learn how to use a fire extinguisher with the acronym PASS. Pull the pin, aim the nozzle, squeeze the trigger and sweep the nozzle back and forth across the base of the flames.
- Place fire extinguishers near exits so you can maintain an escape route.
- Apply a fire retardant to your boat’s upholstery to give yourself more time to vacate the vessel in the event of a fire.
Everyone on board should be familiarized with this equipment, where to find it and how to use it.
Gasoline, though necessary for fueling your boat, is a very flammable substance. Use the following tips for a bit of extra precaution while fueling and inspecting your vessel’s fuel lines.
- Ask passengers to step off the boat before fueling.
- Close the hatches and turn off the engine and electrical equipment before fueling.
- If gasoline is accidentally spilled, clean it up immediately.
- After fueling, open the hatches for ventilation, run the blower for a few minutes and check for fuel vapors in the bilges before restarting the engine.
- Regularly inspect the fuel lines and replace any that are cracked or discolored.
- Inspect metal fuel tanks for corrosion, or plastic fuel tanks for bulging or discoloration. Any potential issues should be checked by a professional.
It may seem excessive, but a little bit of safety may just save your life.
Similar to your fuel system, it’s also important to keep an eye on your electrical system for signs of potential danger.
- Look for corrosion, cracks or discoloration in your boat’s wiring.
- You can use a pencil eraser or nail file to scrub away minor corrosion. But major corrosion should be inspected by a professional because it could indicate overheating or poor connections.
- Never leave electrical equipment running unattended, especially portable heaters when the weather cools.
Fires can break out on the boats of even the most cautious people. That’s why boat insurance helps protect your property in similar events.
Your safety is important to us. Call Dave Millet Insurance Agency at (985) 331-9077 for more information on Metairie boat insurance.