When a fire occurs on a vessel it can range from a
minor fire that can be extinguished quickly, to a major
blaze and possible explosion that can put the lives of
all those onboard at risk.
Marine pollution will often be a by-product of a
If a fire occurs ...
- GET OUT.
- You should be wearing your PFD.
- For all but minor controllable fires, issue a
- if you can ...
- Tackle the fire if it is safe to do
- Isolate fuel and other flammable materials if
- exhibit signals to indicate distress and need
(the fire itself is a distress signal).
- Avoid other craft ... and alert them.
- Prepare emergency grab bag and liferaft.
- Remove non essential crew ...
- If necessary, ABANDON SHIP !!!
Should you feel that it is safe to tackle the fire,
recognize the following factors.
- In enclosed areas the main problem is smoke which
can lead to disorientation, collapse, unconsciousness
- Do NOT use water on liquid fuel fires.
Water will instantly turn to steam causing a rapid
'boil' over and spread the blaze. The
mandatory type BC extinquisher required by larger
vessels is appropriate for fuel fires.
Proper maintenance and awareness of potential
hazards can minimize the possibility or severity of a
- Service your fire extinguishers annually,
preferably at the start of the season.
- Keep the vessel tidy. No debris or unnecessary
materials stored in nooks or crannies.
- Make sure fuel is properly stowed and separate
from habitable areas.
- Ensure inboard engines and fuel tanks are
properly maintained. Check all fuel line fittings and
be alert to recognizing fuel odours.
- Properly vent all engine enclosures for four
minutes before starting inboard engines.
- Make sure through-hull electrical connections to
outboard engines are protected from chaffing.
- All electrical equipment should be properly
protected from overload by fuse or circuit
- Keep inboard cooking areas neat and clear of