A boat fire is a very scary situation. Passengers may have to flee a burning boat, into the water, and then await rescue. Boat fires expose passengers not only to fire risks but also to common maritime risks.
Boats have become more and more complicated. Therefore, the potential fire triggers have increased. Engines, electrical and gas systems all pose fire risks to boaters and passengers.
Boats come with a variety of pleasure features to maximize the on-water experience. They might include grills, galleys, stoves and other items like TV monitors. You can sometimes prepare food and watch a football game right from the deck of your boat.
The pleasure activities now available on boats can raise the risk of fires. The good news is most boat insurance policies cover damages from accidental fires.
But, if a boat owner behaved negligently when using these items, insurance could deny the boater's claim. The boater may have taken inappropriate risks when using these items.
To avoid boat fires, make sure you use your appliances in appropriate ways. Keep these tips in mind when on the water or when storing your boat:
- If cooking or grilling on an installed range or grill, use caution when turning these systems on and off. Whether they operate on gas or electricity, a spark could easily lead to a fire in the system.
- Do not cook on your boat using portable grills or stoves that aren't approved for maritime use.
- Do not operate these systems if they begin to smoke, flame or spark. Turn them off and shut off the entire system.
- Have your electrical and gas systems inspected. Replace any worn parts and clean away any corroded materials.
- Don’t leave these systems turned on if you aren’t attending them. Always have someone near these items who knows how to intervene if a problem arises.
- Keep fire extinguishers or other fire suppressant systems on hand.
- Store gas canisters, propane tanks, lighter fluid and other accelerants in areas that aren’t at risk for sparks.
- Make sure that you know the appropriate times to operate these systems. Also know how to appropriately fire up, shut down, and dismantle the systems when not using them.
- Shut down electrical appliances completely before exiting the boat. Unplug systems from generators, and cover and seal them correctly. This will help prevent corrosion or other problems.
If an onboard fire begins, stay calm. Follow all boat safety procedures in the event of a fire.
Voyager Insurance Services, Inc. can help you get the correct amount of boat insurance to protect you from fires. We can help you get the right coverage with a free online quote today. Get in touch with us at (860) 521-1420 if you have any questions.