When fuel or flammable materials are heated, the energy stored inside starts to react with oxygen in the air, giving off heat. This creates a vicious cycle, which causes the fire to spread. To stop the spread of a fire you have to remove one of these elements to break the TRIANGLE

A few basic tips to help you stay safe

Make sure you know your boat and make a Fire-Action Plan, familiarise yourself with how to operate fire extinguishers, and keep them serviced.

Only tackle a fire with fire extinguishers if you are confident on how to use them. Keep fire blankets and extinguishers within easy reach, close to exists and high risk areas such as the galley.

  • Don’t go to sea without a working VHF, do not rely on mobile phones! Know your position
  • Keep a working torch readily available
  • Have enough Life-jackets for everyone onboard and keep them in good condition
  • Keep exits clear
  • Turn cooking appliances off properly after use, keep curtain and fabrics away from cooking hobs, be extra careful when cooking with oil/fats, ensure all hobs have shut-off valves
  • Take extra care with lit candles, do not leave them unattended
  • Dispose of cigarettes carefully, do not smoke when refuelling
  • Know how to close emergency fuel and gas valves, ensure gas appliances and hoses are properly installed and inspect them regularly
  • Do not overload electrical adapters, use the correct fuse or circuit breaker
  • Know how to close Air-Vents particularly to engine spaces
  • Ensure you or someone qualified inspects and maintains your boat’s fuel, gas and electrical systems on a regular basis

Engine Spaces

  • Do not let oil or debris build-up in the bilges
  • Clean up all oil and fuel spillages immediately
  • Inspect exhaust lagging on engines/generators/heaters
  • Pay particular attention to heat damage and charring. Damaged wires can overheat rapidly
  • Inspect engines for loose joints, damaged fuel tanks or deteriorating hoses
  • Take care when refuelling
  • Only carry spare petrol for outboards if necessary and store in a self-draining locker on deck

In the Event of a Fire:

If in doubt, do not fight a fire yourself

  • If you are moored alongside, move everyone off the vessel immediately and warn persons on any other craft in the vicinity and call the emergency services on 999.
  • If you are off-shore move as far away from the fire as you can on deck. Get everyone into life jackets and put out a distress call to the Coastguard.
  • Do not enter a smoke filled space.
  • If you are already in a smoke filled space, keep down as low as possible.
  • DO NOT open engine hatches or doors unless you have to, starve the fire of air.
  • Turn off remote fuel valves and close any air vents.

For additional safety information visit www.boatsafetyscheme.com