Fire Safety Training Wednesday 3rd August

The Boating Committee recently conducted a Fire Training Night. This is an annual event and focuses on Club members reducing fire risk on their boats. The training was led by guest presenter Peter Donaldson.

Peter emphasised that fire risk can be reduced by:

  • Don't DIY on marine electrics – incorrectly installed electrical components are more likely to cause fire onboard your vessel
  • Electrical work done on your vessel must be carried out by a reputable and qualified person
  • Ventilate the engine compartment before starting the vessel (inboard engines)
  • Engine fires don't necessarily happen on the first start-up – be vigilant throughout the day.
  • Correct size portable fire extinguishers (dry chemical type) are required on all powered recreational vessels equipped with an electric start motor, gas installation, fuel stove or where any fuel is carried.
  • A fire blanket must also be carried on vessels where cooking facilities are located in an enclosed space. For example, the galley on a yacht.

Peter also covered the maintenance that should apply with fire extinguishers:

  • Determine that the extinguisher is the correct size and type for the vessel
  • Invert the extinguisher and ensure that the powder remains free-flowing by shaking it during regular checks
  • Check the contents by viewing the gauge. Does the needle indicate recharge is required?
  • Is the safety pin in place to prevent accidental discharge?
  • Is the bottle showing any signs of peeling paint, rust or external damage?
  • If fitted, does the service tag indicate more than 12 months since the last inspection?

If the extinguisher has not been inspected for more than 12 months it should be taken to an approved service agent – contact the extinguisher manufacturer or supplier to find an agent.

Peter demonstrated the effectiveness of various extinguisher types and sizes on small petrol fires at the rear of the Club. Attendees also had the opportunity to use extinguishers themselves and to assess their effectiveness.

Boating Director Tony Huxham congratulated Peter and thanked him for his excellent presentation.

Boating Members are encouraged to attend this most worthwhile training in the future and to ensure that they are current when it comes to reducing fire risk on your boat.

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