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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #1  
Old 12-27-2010
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Fire Safety

We have dealt with MOB/COB issues.
But we haven't really dealt with FIRE onboard your vessel.
When out on the water there are NO Fire Departments coming to your rescue.
Learn fire safety. Take a course in basic or advance fire fighting. On the smaller vessels the former is good.
Learn how to use fire extinguishers and other methods of fighting fire .
Know what is required to be carried on your vessel. i.e. fire extinguishers, hand held or fixed. And double that amount. Mainly once you use an extinguisher it is empty and needs replacement or refilled. So you need to carry extra on board in order to maintain the level of fire protection required.
Boats with Gasoline engines need to be ventilated after fueling and ventilated before starting the engine. Propane/LNG stoves can have leakage problems that causes a pooling of flammable gases that can ignite. Sniffer alarms placed near all low areas are a good thing to have... And VENTILATE to eliminate the pooled gases.
One cup of Gasoline in the bilges is evivalent to sixteen sticks of dynamite. Have seen two nice cabin cruisers blow up and have heard of a few more that did the same.
Keep your boat clean. Oily rags in tight metal containers. Everything picked up and properly stowed.

A member of a Yacht Club... Maybe they could have fire training for their members under the supervision of the local fire department.
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Last edited by Boasun; 12-27-2010 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 12-27-2010
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One item I do not see on boats is a fire blanket. They seem ideal for galley fires. Anyone have any experience, virtual or real, with using one?

A good memory aid for using an extinguisher is

P - pull the pin
A - aim at the base of the fire
S - squeeze the handle / trigger
S - sweep the fire base.



Make sure you have the right extinguisher.

Another memory aid.

A- Ash: wood fires
B- Boil: fuel fires
C- Current: electrical fires


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Old 12-27-2010
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Ship Hornet

Just finished Mark Twain's new autobiography. A section of it relates the burning of the clipper ship Hornet in the Pacific en route to San Francisco. One of the crew apparently went into the paint locker with an open light. Twain interviewed the survivors for a mainland newspaper article when they arrived in Hawaii more than a month later. He was impressed enough by their ordeal to make a handwritten copy of the journal one passenger kept.

Moral: Fire at sea can ruin more than your whole day.
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Old 12-27-2010
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Keep practicing your Man Over Board drills. If you get a fire and can't smother or put it out with an extenguisher in the first two minutes, you are in deep and it's time to leave. Send and SOS and activate the EPIRB and man the liferaft.

prevention is the key. Prpoer maintenance of electrical and fuel sytems, and care when fueling is extremely importan. Heres a check list for fueling. It's a PDF.
http://newboatbuilders.com/docs/FUELING_PROCEDURE.pdf
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Old 12-27-2010
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How long does a fire extinguisher last?

About as long as the number in its designation. A 10BC will last about 10 seconds.

You may not be able to save your boat, but you may be able to get off.
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Old 12-28-2010
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What a great topic to start us thinking about Bose.
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Old 01-05-2011
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Make sure that any fire extinguishers are located where they will be reachable in an emergency. I've seen a lot of fire extinguishers mounted in the galley where if the stove were on fire, getting the extinguisher would require you to reach close to or over it...and probably get burned in the process.

If you have dry powder extinguishers aboard, make sure you take each down and shake it at least once a month to prevent the powder from caking up inside the extinguisher. BTW, if you're not sure whether it is a dry powder extinguisher, it probably is.
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Old 01-05-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Make sure that any fire extinguishers are located where they will be reachable in an emergency. I've seen a lot of fire extinguishers mounted in the galley where if the stove were on fire, getting the extinguisher would require you to reach close to or over it...and probably get burned in the process. ...[/B]
It is always good practice to keep your extinguisher(s) next to the main exit of an enclosed space (e.g., room, boat cabin, etc.). Of course, on sailboats this is the main companionway -- right next to, or in the middle of, the galley. The last thing you want to have happen is to reach for the extinguisher, turn around, and find a (now bigger) fire between you and your main egress (i.e., the companionway). So, the compromise is to mount the extinguisher next to the companionway, but on the side away from the stove. If the stove fire is big enough to prevent using an extinguisher placed that far away, then you probably need to "get the hell out of Dodge" ASAP anyway.
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In Canada the location of fire extinguishers is specified for vessels over 12m.

Quote:
. One (1) 10BC fire
extinguisher at all of the
following locations:
– at each access to any
space where a fuelburning cooking,
heating or refrigerating
appliance is fitted;
– at the entrance to any
accommodation space;
and
– at the entrance to the
machinery space.
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Engine fires

Do not open the engine compartment if you suspect a fire. You will simply provide oxygen for the flames.

Use a BC fire extinguisher with a hose. Stick the hose into a hole in the wall of the engine compartment. Most newer boats have such a hole. If yours does not, consider drilling one.
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