Preventing Fires and What to Do if Fire Erupts on Your Boat
Many boats and PWCs have burned to the water line needlessly.
To help prevent a fire:
- Don't mix the three ingredients required to ignite a fire—fuel, oxygen, and heat.
- Make sure ventilation systems have been installed and are used properly.
- Maintain the fuel system to avoid leaks, and keep the bilges clean.
- Follow the safe fueling procedures.
If Fire Erupts on Your Boat
If fire erupts on your boat:
- If underway, stop the boat. Have everyone who is not wearing a PFD put one on in case you must abandon the boat.
- Position the boat so that the fire is downwind.
- If the fire is at the back of the boat, head into the wind. If the engine must be shut off, use a paddle to keep the bow into the wind.
- If the fire is at the front of the boat, put the stern into the wind.
- If the fire is in an engine space, shut off the fuel supply.
- Aim the fire extinguisher at the base of the flames, and sweep back and forth (remember P.A.S.S.).
- Never use water on a gasoline, oil, grease, or electrical fire.
- Summon help with your VHF marine radio.
To remember how to properly use a fire extinguisher—remember P.A.S.S.
P: Pull pin.
A: Aim at base of fire.
S: Squeeze handle.
S: Sweep side to side.