What Should You Do If A Fire Breaks Out In The Back Of Your Boat?

When boating, you never know what is going to happen from one second to the next. With that being said, you cannot ignore the potential risks involved. There is always a chance that you’re going to experience a boat fire. If this happens, you need to know how to handle the problem. So, What Should You Do If A Fire Breaks Out In The Back Of Your Boat?

Otherwise, there is a higher risk that someone is going to get hurt. Thankfully, there are numerous ways to handle a boat fire. As long as you’re calm and everyone knows what to do, you should be okay.

What should you do if you experience a fire on the back of your boat? Within this guide, you’ll find out.

Common Causes

Unfortunately, boats can experience fires for a handful of reasons. There is a risk that you’re going to pass another boat that is experiencing a fire. If this happens, the fire may spread from your boat to theirs. In addition to this, you have to worry about electrical issues.

If something goes wrong with the electrical wires, there is a risk that you’re going to run into problems. An electric problem could easily spark a fire. Another reason boat fires happen is because someone decided to smoke on the boat. Doing so is a bad idea. Smoking on a boat could easily lead to a boat fire.

It is vital to make sure that you’re properly prepared for boat fires because they’re more common than you could ever imagine. The good news is that you can take steps to minimize the risks. As long as you do that, you should be able to avoid the risks involved. Learning how to handle a fire on the back of the boat can help you protect yourself and the ones you love.

What Should You Do If A Fire Breaks Out In The Back Of Your Boat?

What Should You Do If A Fire Breaks Out In The Back Of Your Boat?

What should you do if you experience a fire at the back of your boat? You cannot ignore the problem. Instead, you need to go above and beyond to act and protect the ones you love. Get started by heading into the wind. Depending on the severity of the fire, you may need to shut off the engine.

If you need to do this, you’ll want to use a paddle to ensure that the bow remains pointed into the wind. Once you’ve done that, you need to take steps to deal with the fire. You may need to shut down the fuel supply to stop fueling the fire.

You should have access to a fire extinguisher. Remember that it is always a good idea to carry one with you. Therefore, you should get the fire extinguisher and use it to put out the fire. If you’re dealing with a gas, oil, electric, or grease fire, you cannot put it out with water.

Doing so will only make the fire intensify. When using a fire extinguisher, remember to point it at the base of the fire. You’ll also want to sweep from side to side.

At some point, you will need to ask for help. Use your VHF marine radio to call for assistance. Doing so could make a big difference in the long run. Getting help ensures that you can escape the boat if necessary.

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Preventing Boat Fires

Now that you’ve learned how to handle a boat fire, you’ll want to find out how to prevent one. Thankfully, there are several ways to reduce the likelihood that you’re going to experience troubles. First and foremost, you have to remember the fuel, heat, and oxygen should never be mixed.

With that being said, nobody should be allowed to smoke on the boat. Be cautious and make sure that people smoke on the deck. Another thing you’ll want to do is use the ventilation systems. They need to be installed and used correctly. Don’t forget to pay attention to the fuel system.

Make sure that it doesn’t have any leaks. Be sure to keep the bilges clean. Before going to sleep, you’ll want to make sure that all of the appliances are turned off. Also, be cautious where you install drapes. They should be placed away from cooking appliances. Otherwise, they could encounter the flame from the cooking appliance and create problems.

Again, don’t let people smoke on your boat unless they’re on deck. Don’t forget to check your electrical wires from time to time. Doing so can help you avoid a future electrical fire. Finally, you need to know how to handle a boat fire. Be ready because you never know when you’re going to experience problems.

Make Sure Everyone Knows

Unfortunately, you never know when you’re going to experience an issue. With that being said, it is pertinent to prepare for potential problems. One of the best ways to do that is by having a plan. Once you’ve created a plan, you can share it with your passengers.

Doing so guarantees that you’ll know how to handle a problem when one occurs. For instance, you should make sure that your guests know where to go and how to get there. You’ll also need to take steps to prevent the fire from spreading. You might be able to stop the fire before it worsens.

By finding out what you need to do, you can reduce the likelihood that someone is going to experience problems. Tackle the problem quickly and you’ll likely be able to protect your guests and your vessel. Once you’ve assembled a plan, you’ll want to share it with everyone on the boat. The vessel’s operator needs to explain the fire plan to everyone to minimize problems.

Evacuate Boat If Possible

No captain expects a fire to break out in the back of their marine vessel. While the possibility of fire continuously lingers in the back of the captain’s mind, when it actually happens, you just hope to be prepared. One thing is for sure, marine vessel fires contribute to hundreds of fatalities each year in the United States. In 2019, 613 passengers perished in boat fires in the United States alone. Another 2,559 passengers were injured during boat fires.

If possible, experts recommend evacuation immediately following a fire outbreak on a marine vessel. If the boat is near a dock when a fire erupts on board, the captain and passenger(s) should immediately evacuate. Once everyone is on dry land, call 911 or the local fire department.

A quick reaction could minimize the damage to the surrounding area and boats.

Consider Jumping Overboard

When some people are involved in a boat fire, they do not think twice about jumping overboard. Regardless of the vessel’s position, the captain and passenger(s) jump overboard. While this is the right thing to do, it is crucial to keep safety in mind. Don a Personal Flotation Device (PFD) before jumping overboard.

All passengers under the age of 13 should be wearing a PFD at all times when aboard a marine vessel. The life jackets must be approved by the US Coast Guard (USCG) for young children. If your young passengers are wearing life jackets when a fire breaks out on your boat, they can safely jump overboard without delay.

Know the USCG life jacket guidelines before investing in a marine vessel. Only invest in brands that are approved by the USCG. Unapproved brands may not offer the correct buoyancy to keep you and your passengers afloat after jumping overboard.

Read Also: Who Is Responsible For Explaining Fire Safety Procedures To Passengers On A Boat?


At the end of the day, you never know when a fire is going to break out on the back of your boat. If this happens, you need to take steps to ensure that everyone is going to be safe. To do that, you need to make sure that everyone knows how to handle a fire.

They should know how to evacuate the boat without running into one another. You’ll also want to take steps to prevent boat fires in the first place. Use the advice below to prevent problems from occurring.

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