The top 4 causes of fire
"Number one is definitely the pantry," says Wolfgang Behnk, technical director of the DGzRS training center in Neustadt and a sailor himself. "These are often curtains that catch fire or frying pans - little things that have a big impact." Behnk continues: "Of course the gas system is also a problem. There are ships on which it has never been looked at for years. Is not mandatory. That can then lead to leaks. And that eventually results in a risk of explosion!"
In the narrow pantry with a low ceiling and open gas flames, there is a high risk of fire - the curtains often catch fire
The propulsion system follows in second place. "Diesel fuel can also burn if it is hot enough. For example, if it drips onto the still uncooled part of the exhaust. A spark is enough and it burns," warns the technician. As a rule, however, it is gasoline engines that pose a greater risk of fire. Leaking fuel lines or carburetor seals create flammable mixtures. Incidentally, this also applies to outboard tanks or canisters that are in the locker.
Behnk sees the electrical system on yachts as the third largest fire hazard, especially if it is older. There are two reasons for this. Behnk: "Over time, more and more devices are being retrofitted. Then suddenly currents flow through lines that are not suitable for the cross-section. If the fuses fit, that doesn't matter. Often, however, the defective fuse is simply replaced by a larger one the problem is there. " Furthermore, cables could be eaten away by corrosion over the years. This reduces the cross-section and increases the resistance in the cable. The fuse does not trip because the currents are not high enough for it. However, the cable is too thin. The result, according to Behnk: "It heats up and a fire can occur."
Last but not least, the expert knows of some fire hazards that are known from home: "Candles that are forgotten, or even cigarettes in bed." Whether triggered by an open fire or electronics: If parts of the yacht catch fire, there are usually only a few seconds to extinguish. Therefore, the greatest attention should be paid to prevention.