Safety Check


    In the event of an emergency you don't want to be left stranded by expired flares, inoperable air horns or damaged floatation life jackets.


     


    Flares: Even though they may look good on the outside and there is no visible rust in the firing pin area, flares do expire. The expiration date should be no more than three years after the manufacture date and should be at least two years from the current year. That way the expiration date should not lapse during the current boating season. Also keep the flares in a readily accessible area on your boat. Preferably in a dry storage compartment inside a weather tight container. Also, dispose of any old and expired flares properly.


     


    Hand Held Air Horns: Hand held air horns should be kept on your vessel in case of an emergency. If the power fails during an emergency, a hand held air horn will still function. Check the condition of the air horn. If its all rusted and looks like its been there for years, replace it. Also check the cannister to make sure its not empty. In the event of an emergency, you don't need to grab the hand held air horn, push the button and only hear a peep come out. An alternate to an air horn would be a whistle or even a bell mounted on the boat.


     


    Fire Extinguishers: Fire extinguishers should be checked monthly. If the fire extinguisher is servicable and the gauge reads in red, get it serviced by your local fire department or fire extinguisher company. If the fire extinguisher is not of the servicable kind, properly dispose of it and get a new one. You do not want a small fire, that could easily be put out, grow to engulf the boat all because the fire extinguisher didn't work.


     


    Life Vests/ Jackets: Make sure the life vests are in good condition and do not have any damage from varmints or rodents during the storage season. If any are damaged, you should replace as needed. Also, there should be at least one on the boat for each person that is on the boat.


     


    Docklines: Docklines should be checked as well. If the lines are frayed or kinked, they should be replaced. You don't want a line breaking and the boat hitting a dock or worse, hitting another boat.


     


    First Aid Kit: Check the contents of the first aid kit to make sure that there is enough supplies in the kit. Also check any of the contents that might have an expiration date and replace as needed.


     


    As the old saying goes, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure". Take the time now to check over these items so that they'll be accessible and ready in case of an emergency.


     


    Have a safe and happy boating season.