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boat on waterA fire on your boat—especially while far from land—could spell disaster. Your preparation tactics could be the difference between extinguishing a fire and watching your boat burn. Before hitting the water, review these fire safety tips with your family and equip your boat with the proper equipment.

Make a fire safety plan and run through a drill with your family and any other passengers. Everyone should put on a lifejacket, meet on the foredeck and prepare to abandon ship if the need arises. Assign someone who would call for help and someone who would get the fire extinguisher.

If a real fire ignites on board, the person designated to call for help should make the call using VHF channel 16.

The person on fire extinguisher duty should know where the device is stored and how to use it. Ensure that the model you have on board is designed for a variety of fires, including solid fuels, liquid fuels and electrical fires. Regularly inspect the extinguisher, as they do expire after some time.

In the event of a fire, try to locate the source. If it appears to be either an electrical fire or liquid fire (such as gasoline), shut off the power and close off the fuel lines first.

If the fire is small and appears as though it could be contained, use a fire extinguisher. Remember the acronym PASS. Pull the pin, aim at the base of the fire, squeeze the handle and sweep the hose from side to side until the fire dies out.

Never use water on a fire that is fueled by electricity or flammable liquid.

After a fire is extinguished, there’s still a chance that it could flare up again. Assign a person to keep watch, while everyone else works to open windows and clear the smoke away.

If a fire is too big to control, do not try to extinguish it. Get everyone into the life raft or dingy and paddle away from the flames. If there’s no life raft, abandon ship by jumping into the water and form a chain by holding hands so no one gets lost.

A boat insurance policy can cover fire damages, should they occur. Contact your independent insurance agent to get a policy before boating season begins so you can rest at ease knowing that you’re protected.

We’ve got your back. Call Auto Insurance Express at (417) 206-3733 for more information on Joplin boat insurance.
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