If you see smoke does it mean there’s a fire?
No but it may be a fire about to start!
A few causes of smoke
Smoke can be from a wide range of sources, some of which include:
- Slipping belts
- Leaking exhausts or turbo chargers
- Electrical fittings, fixtures and equipment
- Faulty clutches
- Overheating oil
- The cook burning the toast, oops it’s time to get a new cook!
- And many other sources you can probably think of
While it may be just smoke now, in many cases it’s likely to be a fire about to start.
So…how do you deal with a smoke situation when you see it?
It’s simple, treat it as a fire because if it’s not now, there’s a high chance it’s going to be very shortly.
I don’t know a Master that would get upset if you raised the alarm for a fire and they found out it wasn’t a fire, in fact, I think most would be pleased.
My recommendations for dealing with smoke are:
- Treat it like it is a fire
- Keep all exhaust clamps and fittings properly secured
- Monitor electrical fittings, fixtures and equipment
- Ensure oil is maintained at the recommend temperature
My top tips are:
- Undertake regular inspections of items that have the potential to cause smoke or become a fire
- Don’t use old cooking oil or fats. This not only cause smoke it’s a fire hazard in itself
- Ensure all crew know where fire extinguishers are stowed because if it turns into a fire you’re going to need them!