Fire Safety for Yacht Clubs

While most members of a yacht club have undergone safety training, until an actual fire occurs, it’s difficult to assess how a person may react during such a crisis. In the event of a fire occurring while sailing the waters, the first thing you need to know is where fire extinguishers are kept on the vessel.

You must keep extinguishers maintained so that they will work when needed and make sure that the right type of extinguisher was purchased to fight fires on yachts and other boats. Finally, you’ll need to be instructed on the proper use of an extinguisher in order to correctly put out a fire. Your insurer will address any damage that occurs provided that you have insurance coverage for yacht clubs.

Knowing the location and number of extinguishers on-board

Knowing the exact location of fire extinguishers is vital to fighting a fire. Not knowing creates a precious waste of time during that could result in the fire growing quickly out of control and the boat could wind up a total lost. The U.S. Coast Guard has regulations for what it feels is the absolute minimum number of extinguishers the average boat of any length needs onboard, which is one less than the National Fire Protection Agency and American Boat & Yacht Council suggests.

The engine compartment, or galley, are the most likely places that a fire will break out, so mount fire extinguishers near both of these areas. Other locations to mount extinguishers are aft of the engine compartment (cockpit area), forward of the engine compartment, just outside the engine compartment, and at the helm. In doing so, anyone onboard should be able to grab an extinguisher before reaching the location of a fire.

Choosing an Extinguisher

Being properly prepared means having insurance coverage for yacht clubs, buy also means confirming that the correct type of extinguishers are onboard to fight the classes of fires found on a boat. Fires are classified A, B, C, D & K depending on what materials are burning:

Class A – wood, fabric, paper and plastics
Class B – flammable liquids
Class C – electrical
Class D – combustible metals, and
Class K – cooking oils and greases such as animal and vegetable fats.

Boats contain materials that are mainly included in Classes A, B and C. For this reason, ABYC and NFPA recommend types A, B, & C extinguishers except when the extinguisher is specifically intended for machinery space protection. The most common extinguisher and the most recommended for use on boats is dry chemical.

 

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