A fire on a sailing ship is extremely dangerous, as the fire spreads instantly and can destroy the yacht in just 5 minutes. At sea, the crew members do not have to rely on someone's help, she simply will not have time to come. A yacht is a kind of "floating bomb" made of combustible materials (wood and plastic) and, in addition, has gas and fuel tanks on board! A fire on a yacht is a extremely dangerous situation, and so that recreation on the water does not turn into a tragedy, we must act prudently, harmoniously and most importantly: strictly observe safety precautions!
According to statistics, a fire on a ship is an extremely rare phenomenon. The specialists of the largest insurance company Pantaentius note that they have to consider no more than 80 such cases every year. If we take into account that about 60 thousand yacht owners take out insurance, then this is not much, although compensation payments for insurance in the event of a fire take more than four million euros, while insurance indemnity for all other cases (combined) does not exceed 50 thousand.
The Coast Guard of the American coast maintains its own statistics and, in accordance with its data, the share of fires in small boats accounts for 5% of all accidents occurring on a yacht. At the same time, every year a third of sunken ships die due to ignition on board.
According to experts 2yachts, the main causes of fire include: inattention of passengers, failure to comply with basic rules (for example, smoking in the wrong places ) or negligence of the crew members to their duties, including careless handling of gas. The next common cause is technical failure and lack of preventive fire prevention measures. Let's take a closer look at what specific actions (or inaction) can lead to a fire.
First, on the electrical wiring; due to this malfunction, 50% of all fires occur, not only at sea, but also on land. Often, the cause is loose contacts that have not been eliminated in time, causing the wires to heat up. Failure to insulate the wiring in wet conditions will result in a short circuit.
Secondly, on the engine compartment; a quarter of all fire hazardous situations are formed here. This is caused by the accumulation of combustible materials in a confined space at high temperatures. The main reason is overheating of the engine, caused by a violation of its seawater cooling. A running motor heats up a lot, parts made of plastic melt, the insulation of wires is broken - all this can provoke a fire. Similar effects can be caused by insufficient cooling of the exhaust pipe.
Fuel leaks are due to faulty fuel lines or negligence while refueling. Outbreaks from outboard engine diesel fuel leaks account for only 10%, and 90% of fire situations start with gasoline leakage when the dinghy engine is carelessly refueled.
Thirdly, storage of gas cylinders; which in a confined space pose an increased danger. A liter of liquefied propane combines with air to form 0.25 cubic meters of an explosive “cocktail”. Propane (butane) in a liquefied state is heavier than air and is capable of accumulating in an unventilated room, and the proportion of gas in the air of 5% or more already creates an explosive situation that can occur from an accidental spark.
Command actions in case of fire:
Even with a seemingly insignificant fire, action must be taken promptly, since the threat of rapid spread of fire in a confined space is too great and you can lose control over the situation at any time.
With the help of a fire blanket (bedspread with a special impregnation) you can eliminate small fires in the galley or in the cabin (for example, bed linen caught fire). It covers the fire site, stopping the access of oxygen to the fire. When storing the felt, it takes up little space.
The automatic fire extinguishing system is useful in cases where the ignition source is difficult to reach, and sometimes impossible, for example, a fire occurred in an internal confined area. Stationary systems prevent the development of a fire due to the use of carbon dioxide or halon. The gases are safe, but when in contact with the heated air, freon emits toxic substances, so after the fire extinguishing system is working, all rooms must be well ventilated.
Do not try to install such a system yourself, entrust this matter to specialists. During installation, they must provide for all possible situations and, if necessary, gas must flow freely into the galley, cabins, engine compartment, etc. Please note that there must be a duplicate function so that the automatic fire system can be manually activated.
Less costly option: Place automatic fire extinguishers in areas most likely to catch fire that will fire when the temperature rises above a predetermined level.
Extinguishing media that meet the requirements of the Register of Shipping of the Russian Federation:
The fires are categorized according to what substances are burning.
For effective liquidation of each type of fire, certain types of fire extinguishers are used. Carefully study the peculiarities of operation of each type of fire extinguisher (read the instructions), get acquainted with the technical characteristics, so that, if necessary, grab exactly what you need and not confuse anything in an emergency.
According to GOST, certified fire extinguishers are assigned a certain class, which is applied to the body in the form of letters and numbers. For example, class 4A and 8A fire extinguishers carry the following information: both are designed to extinguish solid substances, but the efficiency of the second (8A) will be 2 times higher.
Common types of fire extinguishers:
The skipper is obliged to inform the crew and show the location of the means used for fire extinguishing; instruct and organize a drill to practice actions in the event of a fire hazard. If a charter yacht, then taking it into account, pay attention to whether the shelf life of fire extinguishers has expired. For devices of different types, the service life is different, for example, for foam - no more than two years, and for powder - five. After the expiration of the storage period, the fire extinguisher must be completely replaced or refilled (the chemical reagents contained inside are replaced). The date of replacement is always stamped on the body, be sure to pay attention to this fact when purchasing a fire extinguisher.
The main security secret is PREVENTION, the best way to prevent a fire hazardous situation on board. Responsible attitude of all team members to the maintenance of the yacht, regular inspection of unsafe areas and timely elimination of minor problems will help to avoid a big trouble.