As many Australians take to the water to enjoy the long warm summer days, fire protection specialist Wormald is urging watercraft owners and operators to ensure they have adequate fire protection equipment on board.
According to Mark Brown, National Marine Manager with Wormald Technology, regardless of boat size or type, or whether it’s used for commercial or recreational purpose, careful consideration should be given to ensuring fire protection equipment is in place. “Inadequate or improper fire protection can, in the case of a fire, expose those on board to extreme dangers and lead to potential loss of equipment and assets.
“Before setting sail, it’s important to identify all fire hazards and install suitable fire protection equipment. The choice of fire extinguisher, fire blankets and fire detection equipment will depend on a vessel’s type and size so it’s a good idea to consult a fire protection expert”, says Brown.
Powder fire extinguishers ABE are the most widely used type of fire extinguisher and work by discharging a fine powder that smothers fire. Available in a range of sizes, they are suitable for most vessels.
Smoke alarms should be installed in cabin and saloon areas, and thermal detection systems should be considered for spaces where machinery is located. “In the event of a fire, smoke alarms can assist in providing the precious time needed to act or escape. Regularly check that the alarms are working by pushing the test button and replace batteries as necessary.”
Once fire protection equipment is installed, it should be regularly serviced to ensure it is in proper working order. “Any fire protection equipment on board should perform to the standard to which it was originally designed and installed to. Regular checks and servicing can help uncover any faults or issues that may prevent the equipment from working correctly at the time of greatest need,” says Brown.