How often do boats catch fire due to motor issues?
Thankfully, not too often; however, it does happen. And fire usually happens when you least expect it.
In case it happens to you, it’s best to be prepared so you can react accordingly.
Below are critical steps of what you should do immediately if a boat motor catches fire.
If your boat motor caught fire, stop immediately and put on a life jacket. Turn the boat so that the fire is downwind and shut off the motor fuel supply. Aim at the base of the fire with a fire extinguisher and call for help as soon as possible.
Another helpful tip should be to have a plan if your boat catches fire. Knowing what to do might not be as easy to put into place if things go a different way than you imagined. Have a solution for multiple scenarios, so nothing surprises you.
How to Prevent a Fire on Your Boat
Fires happen for a reason, so if you can eliminate the reason for fire by following the below steps.
- Regularly maintain fuel system and the engine itself
- Keep your bilges clean
- Don’t mix fuel, oxygen, and heat, that’s a bad idea.
- Install a gas vapor detector near the motor
- Install ventilation system and make sure it’s working correctly
- If you are sleeping on the boat, shut the valves off on LPG cylinders
- Keep your appliances turned off when not in use
- Try not to smoke close to the fuel line
What are the Most Common Causes of Boat Fires
- 26% of fires are due to off-the-boat sources. Typically, this happens when there is a fire in the marina, which is not caused by you.
- 20% of fires are due to an electrical issue. This usually happens on older boats, older than 25 years of age. Find a good electrical to take care of the wiring for you before it’s too late.
- 15% of fires are due to DC electrical issues. These are your faulty battery installations,
- 12% of fires are due to AC Electrical issues. Caused by a faulty connection between the boat’s shore power inlet and shore power pedestal.
- 9% of fires are due to boat engines. Problems are many, but they can all be minimized by regular maintenance.
- 8% of fires are due to batteries. The most common cause of fires is the voltage regulator.
Aside from those listed already, there are many less common causes of fires. But they all happen for a reason, which is usually ignorance or faulty equipment.
In conclusion, to avoid motor fire on your boat, have inspected your boat regularly, be cognitive of things happening around you, and always have a fire extinguisher an easily reachable place.