Before heading out on a boat to enjoy time with friends and family, be sure to brush up on some boating-specific safety information. Take a few minutes to review these tips from The National Fire Protection Association.

Electrical Safety

  • Be sure your boat is well maintained. Have it inspected each year by a qualified marine electrician.
  • Only use cords intended for marine use. Never use household cords near water.
  • Know where your main breakers are on both the boat and the shore power source; this will help you respond quickly in an emergency.
  • Never allow swimming near the boat, marina, or launching ramp. Residual current could flow into the water from the boat or the marina’s wiring. This can put anyone at risk of electrical shock drownings (ESD).

Carbon Monoxide Safety

  • Poorly tuned engines produce more carbon monoxide (CO). Keep your engine properly maintained and follow manufacturer’s instructions for service.
  • Proper ventilation for engine and generator exhaust vents must be clear and pipes should be inspected for leaks.
  • Get into fresh air right away and get help if you feel symptoms of CO poisoning. These include headache, fatigue, confusion, dizziness, nausea, or seizures. The symptoms can be similar to seasickness. Assume it is CO exposure until you are sure the boat is safe.
  • Do not swim near the boat’s exhaust vents. CO accumulates there.
  • Install CO alarms inside your boat and test them before each trip.
  • Choose a CO alarm that is listed by a qualified testing laboratory.
  • If the CO alarm sounds, move to a fresh air location right away.