Marina fires can grow so rapidly that firefighters have a difficult time confining and extinguishing this type of fire. Rapid extinguishing of this type of fire is not likely. Many times firefighters find themselves just trying to limit the fire growth and protecting exposures. The key to saving lives and property lies in fire prevention.
Educating boat owners who may not have the skills or knowledge to recognize fire hazards that may exist aboard their vessels is the first step in prevention. Below is a list from Seaworthy Magazine that list causes of fires started aboard a vessel.
- AC and DC wiring/appliance - 55%
- Engine/Transmission Overheat - 24%
- Fuel Leaks - 8%
- Miscellaneous - 7%
- Unknown - 5%
- Stove - 1%
A marina occupied by tenants who are knowledgeable in fire prevention helps create a safer marina that all can enjoy.
Fire Prevention for Boat Owners
- When choosing a marina, check around for fire protective measures such as fire extinguishers, cleanliness, clear dock passageways, security, good lighting, etc.
- Be proactive about regular maintenance of your vessel, especially electrical and fuel systems.
- Use only UL listed marine approval cord sets and connectors.
- Never leave operating electrical equipment unattended.
- Smoke alarms should be installed in vessels.
- Have a U.S.C.G. approved fire extinguisher on board and know how to operate it.
- Properly dispose of oily rags in an approved container.
- Fuel portable tanks on the dock, not on your vessel.
- Before fueling, close all compartments, hatches, and covers. After fueling open everything up and ventilate.
- Tenants must take responsibility for preventing fire on their vessel. If you see a fire hazard bring it to the attention of marina management.