If you are a boat owner, you want to ensure that the safety is on the highest possible level. Since the boats are generally a significant investment, keeping the security to the highest standards is of the essence. Today we are going to take a look at the best place to store a fire extinguisher on a boat since fire can start for numerous reasons and pose a huge threat to your property.
The location on which you will place the extinguisher entirely depends on the size of your boat, the type of the extinguisher, and many more aspects. It should be easily accessible in case of emergency, stored upright, and placed where it would likely be needed. There are many things to cover, so without further redo, let us get into it.
Do I Need a Fire Extinguisher on a Boat?
Yes, you do. Even though it seems like it would not be a huge issue, the fire on the boat can be extremely dangerous. Boat fires can spread very fast and eat through a ship’s hull, which can cause huge damage to the vessel and its occupants.
Fire extinguishers will keep you safe and afloat long enough to contact the Coast Guard or some other rescue party in case of a fire. It will also keep the objects onboard whole and prevent any type of physical damage that may occur.
The boat can be at a huge risk of fire due to the factors such as the engine, enclosed living spaces, heavy fuel tanks, and double bottoms that are not sealed to the hull, which is why a fire extinguisher is a must-have tool on any boat.
Where to Store a Fire Extinguisher?
When storing a fire extinguisher, it is crucial to place it near locations that have a higher risk of fire. The most important locations on the boat to store a fire extinguisher are the kitchen, the engine compartment, the fuel storage compartment, or any place where you keep flammable materials.
It is important to thoroughly inspect your boat and identify all high-risk areas. Wherever you store fuel, combustible materials, or any object that may catch fire, ensure that there is a fire extinguisher nearby.
Place a Fire Extinguisher at a Safe Distance From High-Risk Objects
One of the first things to keep in mind is that your fire extinguisher should be at a safe distance from the objects that could potentially catch fire. This means that you should not place it near a fuel tank or next to the engine. It should be nearby, but not too close.
It is of high importance since you should be able to access your fire extinguisher quickly and safely in case of an emergency. If your extinguisher sits near a burning fuel tank or any object that is on fire, you will risk your health and life in an attempt to get to it.
It is best to place it in a nearby doorway, where you can safely reach it, and you will have enough time to approach the fire, engage the fire extinguisher and deal with fire.
Place a Fire Extinguisher in a Visible and Easy-To-Access Location
Another important thing that you should do when storing a fire extinguisher is to ensure it is located in a place where everyone on board can clearly see it and can access it in case of an emergency. If you are the owner of the ship, you will surely know where to go in case of fire, but other passengers should be aware of the extinguisher’s location.
It is very important to perform a safety brief before the start of your journey so that all the passengers can be aware of what to do in case of an emergency. With that being said, the best place to store extinguishers in terms of visibility is a location that can be visible from anywhere in the compartment. As far as the accessibility goes, place it somewhere where passengers will not have to look for it for too long and risk damaging your boat.
It Is Important to Know the Class of Your Fire Extinguisher
When deciding where to store your fire extinguisher, it is also very important to know its class. In case you are not familiar with fire extinguisher classes and what they are, we are going to list them in the section below. In short, depending on their source, fires are classified as:
- Class A – Fires that are caused by combustible objects, such as wood or paper
- Class B – Fires that are caused by combustible liquids, such as gasoline
- Class C – Fires that are caused by electrical devices
- Class D – Fires that involve metals
- Class K – Fires that involve cooking oils or fat
Each fire class must be extinguished by a corresponding fire extinguisher type. This means that, for example, you should place a class D fire extinguisher in a kitchen or a class B extinguisher near the fuel tank. With that said, you should first identify fire hazards and place the appropriate extinguisher nearby.
There are also fire extinguishers that can put out fire hazards of different classes. For example, you can opt for AB, BC, ABC, and other types that can extinguish multiple types of fire.
Mounting Brackets Are Important
Every fire extinguisher comes with mounting brackets that you should always use. There are a few good reasons, among which are longevity, safety, visibility, and accessibility.
When it comes to longevity, mounting brackets are highly important. Once the extinguisher is mounted, it will not be jumping around in its storage cabinet during high-speed rides; thus, it will be unlikely that it will get damaged.
In terms of safety, the only thing that needs to be said is that a fire extinguisher is a safety hazard for everyone on board when it is not mounted.
As far as visibility and accessibility go, without a mounting bracket, you do not have many options to store your extinguisher safely, and most of these locations are not very visible or accessible. With a mounting bracket, you can store your extinguisher in an optimal location, where everyone will be able to see it and access it quickly and safely.
Can Fire Extinguishers Go Bad?
Fire extinguishers do not go bad if you store them appropriately. However, they do have their expiration dates, which is why you should change them after that. Although a fire extinguisher will not necessarily go bad after the expiration date, keeping a decade-old one mounted on your wall is not wise. You should also replace your extinguisher in case it is used, damaged, corroded, or leaking.
Safety should always come first, and this is one of the main reasons why every boat owner should place fire extinguishers where everyone can see them and access them easily in case of an emergency. It is also necessary to have extinguishers due to the legal requirements, so ensure that your boat meets all of them.
We hope our article will provide you with sufficient pieces of information regarding fire extinguisher storage. In short, a fire extinguisher should be placed wherever there is a danger of fire, so make sure to store it accordingly.