What Should You Do if a Fire Breaks Out in the Front of Your Boat?

Last Updated on January 12, 2022

Fire safety is a big issue when it comes to boats that are traveling. There are many different types of fires that can break out on a boat, including in the engine room and in the front of the boat. In this article, we will explore what should you do if a fire breaks out in the front of your boat.

Why Are Boats Such Big Fire Hazards?

Boats are made mostly of wood and some plastic. This means that they can easily catch on fire in a matter of minutes, and they don’t have as much protection from fires as buildings do. Fire is a huge problem on boats because there are many flammable items around the boat. 

These include gas containers, mattresses, bedding materials, fabrics, plastics, varnishes, and paints. In addition to this, most boats use diesel for their engines which makes them even more likely to catch on fire than other types of engines that use gasoline or propane. 

Fires can happen for a number of different reasons while you’re on your boat, including:

  • Lightning – if lightning falls on your boat and hits something flammable, you could have a fire.
  • Smoking – if you or someone smoking on the boat drops their cigarette into an upholstered chair (like a couch) or other fabrics, they can easily set it on fire.
  • Accidents – if someone is using welding tools or power tools and they cut through a wire that goes to a spark plug, this too could start a fire.

What Should You Do if a Fire Breaks Out in the Front of Your Boat?

#1 If you are on a boat with an engine, turn the engine off

Do everything you can to put the fire out. Fire drills are very important for your boat if it has an engine because they teach you how to respond quickly and keep everyone safe.

In case of a fire in a gasoline-powered boat, turn off the motor and move away from the boat as quickly as possible. The fumes from gasoline are extremely flammable and will explode into flames with just the slightest spark, so make sure that the area is well ventilated before your start working on putting out a fire. 

If there is no wind or breeze, open up all of your windows to get rid of any harmful gases. Be careful not to use electricity if there is a chance that it could be set off by something else like water; use flashlights or lanterns instead.

If there is a fire in an engine, remember that the exhaust pipe can get very hot when water pours on it so use caution if you are reaching into the motor to try and put out a fire. 

You might want to consider getting some kind of fire-resistant gloves from your local hardware store for this type of emergency. 

Make sure that all passengers have moved away from the area before beginning work on putting out the fire, and don’t let children help in any way; they will just be another pair of hands that need protecting.

 If someone does not know how to swim, teach them right now! Safety should always be your top priority, even during emergency situations like this one.

#2. Turn off all electronics and power sources within the boat

If there is a fire in your boat it will be important for you to turn off all electronics, batteries, and power sources that are within the boat. 

There may not be enough time or energy for you to put out an electrical fire so be sure to take the necessary steps now before any problems arise. 

Before you do anything else with a fire on board, turn off all of your electronics and make sure that everyone is safe; this means turning off computers, televisions, and cell phones as well.

Also, remember to remove any clothing items that could catch on fire easily such as shoes and jackets without pockets or zippers. It also wouldn’t hurt to have some bottled water nearby in case it gets too hot inside the cabin or if someone jumps in the water to cool off.

If you have a gasoline-powered boat, do not use the telephone or radio as this can be a very serious safety hazard. If you need to contact someone, consider using your cell phone when it is safe to do so. 

If there is an emergency or other important reason that you need to get through immediately, focus on putting out the fire and leave the communication for later.

#3. Put out any fires around the boat with a fire extinguisher or bucket of water

If you have a fire extinguisher aboard your boat, this will be one of the most effective ways that you can put out small fires like those in lamps or upholstered furniture. 

However, if there is a very large fire such as one from an engine room then putting it out with an extinguisher might not be possible. 

If there is no other option available for putting out the fire and someone who knows how to swim jumps into the water immediately, do everything you can to keep everyone away from harm by using a life preserver or through the communication of some sort (like yelling from the edges).

In case of emergency, helping hands always come in handy so make sure that everyone stays calm even if they are panicking; consider carrying a cell phone with you in case someone needs to contact the police or their family for assistance. 

Also, make sure that everyone is out of harm’s way before jumping into action, and try to keep everyone together as much as possible without worrying about being social. 

You will have enough things on your plate just trying to get through this type of emergency, not including having to worry about who likes whom or what position Joe was going for when he jumped overboard.

If you don’t have a fire extinguisher onboard but are still able to fight whatever fire has broken out, use a bucket of water from the closest source available (if it is life-threatening then using gasoline might be an option). Make sure that all people are clear of the area first and then put out the fire, but remember to be careful since you might get burned.

#4. Put on some fire-resistant clothing:

Here are a few items that may help you put out a fire if there is one on board your boat: Always wear full body and headgear when fighting fires for protection purposes, even if it doesn’t look pretty – this includes goggles, helmets, and boots made of leather or resin materials. 

Wear long-sleeve shirts, pants, or aprons whenever handling extreme heat around your engine room as these will shield your entire body against burns from sparks or excess heat without sacrificing your comfort while helping you work. 

Also, consider wearing gloves with vents so that your hands don’t get overheated; thick-soled rubber boots will protect your feet from direct heat exposure but will also allow you to move easily around the deck.

#5 If it seems that all hope is lost: Let go of your boat!

The last on what should you do if a fire breaks out in the front of your boat is to get out. If you cannot fight the flames yourself, always remember that jumping overboard will save your life any day of the week. 

You can swim to safety and let go of your boat in order to save everyone else on board, just make sure that you have a life vest on and other people are wearing one as well; it is not worth risking your own safety if another person cannot float safely on their own unless no other option exists.

Everyone on board should know what to do in case of an emergency (hopefully you made a plan together) but if not, remember that jumping into the water and swimming for safety is always the best solution!

What Should You Do if a Fire Breaks Out In The Front of Your Boat – Conclusion

Surviving a fire on board is difficult but not impossible! If you need the motivation to fight through this type of emergency, always remember that you can swim to safety while letting go of your boat in case it gets too hot – there is no shame in jumping overboard when all else fails. 

Make sure that everyone knows how to swim before taking them out on the water; it is always good to be prepared in case something happens.