Although fires on board boats are relatively rare, they can and do happen. A fire extinguisher could prevent a minor incident quickly turning into a serious emergency. However, investing in the right fire extinguishers will only help you if you know when and how to use them.
Fire extinguishers should be positioned with easy reach and preferably close to exits in areas of high risk like the galley and engine compartment. Always check that your extinguishers carry the appropriate safety marks and are within date. You should also ensure that any extinguishers on board have not had their safety pins removed and have not been damaged or deployed.
Dry Powder Fire Extinguishers
At Pirates Cave our 1kg and 2kg dry powder extinguishers are multi-purpose models suitable for marine use. Dry powder extinguishers are appropriate for tackling the following types of fire:
Class A: Solids including paper, wood and plastics
Class B: Flammable liquids including paraffin, petrol and oil
Class C: Flammable gasses including propane, butane and methane
Dry powder is also safe for use on electrical fires but may not prove effective.
Those on board should be provided with clear instructions on how to operate the fire extinguishers. Fire extinguishers should only be deployed by those physically able and confident to do so. Children and people with disabilities might find them difficult to handle. An understanding of fire extinguishers is a potential life safer wherever you are, not just on board your boat.
Some fires will simply be too large or out of control to be tackled with an extinguisher. Always employ common sense when deciding whether you should tackle a fire or make your escape immediately. Only use an extinguisher if you feel confident that you will be able to extinguish the fire with the size of extinguisher that is available to you. When unsure, if possible, seal off the area by closing any doors, make your escape and call for help.
Automatic Fire Suppression Units
The engine compartment of your boat may benefit from the inclusion of an automatic fire suppression unit. Only one unit should be installed in any compartment and your choice of unit will depend on the size of the compartment. The Pirates Cave range features both 1kg and 2kg units. These have built in fire detectors and are suitable for tackling class A, B and C fires (see above).
If you have any questions about fire safety equipment for your craft then please do contact our friendly team who will be happy to help you make the right decisions.