Posted on November 5, 2016
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Fire Protection for Marinas
Every year, fires and electric shock incidents occur in marinas, boatyards, piers, yacht clubs, and docking facilities around the country. These incidents result in numerous injuries and deaths and incur millions of dollars in property damage. Hazardous material spills also sometimes result from marina fires, which harms the environment. Most of these incidents and their devastating effects could be avoided by complying with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) safety standards for marinas and boatyards.
If you’re responsible for ensuring fire safety at a Houston marina, Kauffman Co. can help provide the fire protection services you need.
Fire Risks in Marinas
Before you can ensure adequate fire safety in a boatyard, you must understand how fires start here in the first place. Marina fires usually ignite in one of two places – boats or docks – and can spread between the two if inadequate fire safety measures are in place.
A fire that ignites on a boat can spread to other boats and the rest of the port or marina. Fires may ignite even if a boat isn’t being operated. The most common reasons for these fires include:
- Electrical malfunctions
- Unattended portable heaters
- Smoking materials
- Cooking equipment in kitchenettes
Fuel Docks and Cargo Areas
These are some of the most incident-prone locations in marinas and ports. Fires can start on fuel docks and storage areas while:
- Dispensing fuel
- Transferring oil and paint to servicing boats
- Completing maintenance tasks, such as welding
- Storing fuel and volatile cargo
Implement Fire Protection Tips for Marinas
Everyone that works and stores their boats at a marina is collectively responsible for preventing fires. Here are the most beneficial marina fire prevention tips you can implement:
- Enforce boat inspections, which can be performed by marina management or the Houston fire department. Check for potential electrical hazards, such as exposed wiring, overloaded electrical sockets, or improperly sized fuses or circuit breakers.
- Ventilate boat batteries during storage, and especially during charging, to prevent highly volatile hydrogen gas buildup.
- Extinguish smoking materials properly and dispose of them safely.
- Follow the same fire prevention tips you would at home in boats with sleeping quarters and kitchenettes.
- Ensure fueling pumps and pipes are properly installed on the pier. Then, use fuel transfer and dispersing equipment properly to prevent leaks and spills into the water or onto the pier. Make sure not to overfill fuel tanks to prevent overflow.
- Adhere to regulations regarding hazardous material cargo transportation and storage. This includes a rule that motor fuel storage tanks must be no larger than 12,000 gallons, and you may store no more than three such tanks at a single site.
- Require someone to monitor docked boats at all times to spot and report fires in a timely manner.
- Install fire extinguishers in accordance with NFPA 302. This regulation states that ABC fire extinguishers must be installed within walking distance of half the total length of the boat or 33 feet, whichever is shorter, throughout the entire vessel.
- Install standpipes in all storage buildings for fast access to water in a fire emergency.
- Make sure all fire protection equipment is installed, up to date, and properly maintained.
- Train staff on how to use fire protection equipment, including fire extinguishers.
- Have an emergency contact available at all times if a fire emergency occurs.
Work with a Fire Protection Company in Houston
Following all the regulations for fire safety at your marina can be overwhelming. Leave compliance and implementation to Kauffman Co., your trusted fire protection company in Houston. To learn more, or to schedule fire protection services, contact us online or call us today.
We provide estimates for new and replacement fire protection systems throughout Texas (TX) in:
- Deer Park
- Galena Park
- Jacinto City
- La Marque
- La Porte
- Lake Charles, LA
- Lake Jackson
- League City
- Missouri City
- Port Arthur
- San Antonio
- South Houston
- Sugar Land
- Texas City
- The Woodlands
For more information, contact us online or call us now at (713) 893-1090.
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