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It may seem an oxymoron that a fire can be a catastrophic event for a marina, yacht club, or boatyard, surrounded by water. Yet, the danger of a devastating blaze is all too real. No marine business is immune to the risk of fire. The key is to implement the necessary fire mitigation strategies, fire response plans, and training programs. You want your team ready to respond, so they can prevent a small fire from becoming a five-alarm disaster.
While fire claims aren’t the most frequent type of claim, they are among the most devastating and costly. In an analysis of 10 years of claims data from 1,300 yacht clubs and sailing organizations, fire claims ranked fifth in severity (total loss dollars), behind storms, boat liability claims, trips and falls, and injury from trespassing.
Behind the numbers are the tragic stories of the impact of these fires on businesses and boat owners, firefighters, and communities. Here are some recent headlines:
Preventing marine fires will save lives, property, and loss of community trust. When fires do occur, being prepared with a trained staff, response plan, and firefighting resources is the best offense to reduce the risk of spread and minimize potential damage.
When considering all the possible ways fires could start at yacht clubs, boatyards, and marinas, there are a plethora of potential failure points. Furthermore, fires can spread quickly from one source to another, resulting in a small manageable fire becoming a five-alarm community disaster. Here are 10 of the most common causes of marine industry fires, along with precautions boatyards and marinas can take to prevent them.
Everyone benefits from more training. Local fire departments are an incredible safety resource for boatyard and marina owners, and for yacht clubs too. Invite them for an in-depth facilities tour. Ask if they can conduct an audit and help update the location’s safety programs. Be honest and transparent — fire fighters will risk their lives to save a marina or boatyard property and protect the surrounding community. Giving them complete access allows them to recommend changes that can prevent the fires from starting.
Spend the time to implement the fire prevention precautions outlined across the 10 categories. These commonsense fire safety protocols will reduce the likelihood of a severe fire, and keep property, employees, and communities safe.
Want to learn more?
Find Kellie Crete on LinkedIn.
Connect with the Risk Strategies Marine & Yacht team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the author
A specialist advisor to the marine industry and OSHA authorized instructor, Kellie Crete has more than 30 years of experience in safety and loss control. She works with marinas, boatyards, yacht clubs, and other marine businesses on fire safety and prevention, risk management strategies, and customized training programs.