If you own a boat, one of your worst nightmares is probably the thought of the boat catching fire.
There are lots of people that will think that it will never happen to them, but really, it can happen to anyone.
The last thing that you want to do is to be caught in a fire with no idea what to do, which is why it is really important to prepare yourself for the worst.
This way, if a fire ever does break out, you will know exactly what to do.
In this article, we are going to provide you with key knowledge and information that will help you to understand what you would need to do if a fire were to break out in the front of your boat.
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What Should You Do if a Fire Breaks Out in the Front of Your Boat?
If a fire breaks out in the front of your boat, (also see what happens if a fire breaks out at the back of your boat) you are going to need to act fast.
Fires can spread very quickly.
And the safety of all of the passengers on board is important to keep in mind.
We will explain exactly what you should do in the event of a fire below.
Turn the Engine Off
The majority of boat fires will actually worsen if the engine is left running, so you should turn it off straight away.
The fuel that runs through the engine can easily catch fire and cause an explosion.
Turn Off the Fuel Supply
Once you have turned off the engine, you will need to turn off the fuel supply to the engine to make sure that the fuel doesn't leak if the lines are compromised by the fire.
Turn Off Gas Cylinders
If there are gas cylinders on board, you should turn off the nozzles to make sure that there are no gas leakages.
These cylinders are already a huge fire risk, but making sure the nozzles are closed will reduce this risk.
Change Directions According to the Wind
You should try to turn the boat so that the wind is coming from the stern, to help slow down the spread of flames from the front.
Use a Radio to Call For Help
It is always helpful to have a portable radio that is ready to use in case of an emergency, as there may be others nearby that can come to help you.
Get Passengers to Safety
If there are other passengers on board that do not have boat experience, make sure to direct them to a safer area away from the fire.
Do check to ensure that everyone is accounted for.
You should also make sure everyone puts a life jacket on in case you have to abandon the boat if the fire worsens.
Make Use of a Fire Extinguisher
Every boat should have a fire extinguisher on board, and you should use it to try and put out the flames if you can.
The best extinguishers to use are those that are either foam or carbon dioxide extinguishers.
Do not use a water extinguisher if the fire is caused by leaking fuel or grease.
Choke the Fire
If a fire were to run out of oxygen, it would die out.
You can try to close all of the doors and windows that lead to the area of the fire and hope that it will burn itself out.
Be Careful When Opening Doors
If you are opening a door to use the fire extinguisher, you will need to be really careful.
You should only slight open the door so that it is enough to put the nozzle of the fire extinguisher through.
Opening the door wide really quickly will increase the oxygen flow, which can keep the fire burning, and in some cases, cause an explosion.
Call the Emergency Services
If you are able to get a phone signal, then your next priority is to call the emergency services for help.
The coast guard will respond to your call straight away.
It is really important to have emergency contact information to hand in case of an emergency, as you never know when you are going to need to use it.
How to Prepare for the Event of a Fire
The most efficient way to fight a fire is to be prepared for the fire before it starts.
You should make a habit of regularly checking your fire equipment and make sure that everything is in place before any journey.
This will ensure that you do not encounter any unexpected issues.
One of the best ways to be prepared for the event of a fire is to run regular fire drills, and this will only increase your overall chances of survival.
So, when a fire does break out, you will know exactly what you need to do.
You should always practice this drill with anyone that comes aboard your boat, so they are familiar with the drill.
You should also check your fire extinguishers and make sure that they are in good working condition.
There are fire safety officials that can check this for you, just to be on the safe side.
The coast guard fire officials will be able to vet your marine fire extinguishers, which involves checking that they are working, and weighing the extinguisher to check the contents inside it.
If it is found that the substance inside is less than 90% the extinguisher will need to be refilled straight away.
As well as this, make sure that any fire extinguishers that are on the boat are easily accessible.
You don't want to be left searching for a fire extinguisher when you are in the middle of an emergency.
Always ensure that all of the passengers on board know exactly what to do in an emergency, and take them through any safety drills that you have in place.
You passengers need to be just as prepared as you are for any emergency situation, like capsizing, storms, falling overboard, and fire.