Fire

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Although Ephemerisle takes place on the water, fire is also a large large risk. A boat cabin can fill with blinding, poisonous smoke in just a few minutes. For example, here's a story about a couple who survived a boat fire:

http://www.boatus.com/magazine/2014/october/fire-onboard.asp

Therefore, here's ten suggestions for how to prevent/respond to fire:

1. Prevent fires in the first place by keeping your boat in ship-shape condition. Most boat fires are caused due to faulty electrical systems. Inspect your electrical systems at least once per month. Tighten loose connections, replace corroded wire ends and terminals, secure and support all wiring to protect it from chafe and vibration, and replace battery switches that are more than 15 years old.

2. Have a plan ready in advance for how to respond to a fire. Post, in prominent locations, diagrams of your vessel showing the location of all portable extinguishers as well as the controls for permanently mounted units (such as those in the engine room).

3. Practice fire drills with your crew in advance. Post simple instructions and provide training on operation of VHF radios and how to determine vessel location (reading coordinates from a chartplotter, for example). Make sure your crew knows when it's worth trying to fight the fire, and when it's time to give up and get off the boat.

4. Install ABC-rated fire extinguishers in easily visible/accessible locations.

http://www.boatus.com/boattech/articles/fire-extinguishers.asp

Practice operating the extinguishers during your drills. Remember "PASS":

1. P: PULL the safety pin.

2. A: AIM the extinguisher at the base of the fire.

3. S: SQUEEZE the handle.

4. S: SWEEP the hose from side to side while discharging.

5. Keep exit pathways clear at all times. Install emergency lighting around exits and along pathways.

6. Install smoke/CO2 detectors in every cabin. Set up a testing and maintenance schedule.

7. Make sure you and your crew know the location of shutoff valves and switches for electrical, fuel, and LPG or CNG systems.

8. Make sure your crew know how to untie, and de-anchor in a hurry. Many boat fires occur because one boat catches fire, and then starts nearby boats on fire.

9. Given the high incidence of fires in the engine area, consider installing fire port so that you can suppress the fire without having to open the compartment.

10. Store fuel away from sources of heat/spark, stow fuel properly so that it can't spill/slosh. For fire performers, keeping your fuel store away from your fire poi, fire staff, etc. is especially important.

More reading (from which many of these suggestions were derived):

http://www.boatus.com/magazine/2016/june/your-boats-on-fire-now-what.asp

http://boatus.com/magazine/2016/june/your-boats-on-fire-now-what.asp