Deadly Ala. dock fire prompts extra safety precautions at Decatur marinas

Deadly Ala. dock fire prompts extra safety precautions at Decatur marinas

DECATUR, Ala. (WAFF) - The marina fire that claimed eight lives in Jackson County is prompting other marinas and fire departments to go the extra mile.

On Tuesday, Decatur’s fire marshal and team went to every marina in the city to double check safety measures. Stacy Rose wants to make sure all Decatur marinas are up to code.

“We walk through our marinas once a year already, so this is part of our yearly inspection program, but we did go ahead and make an extra walk-through," said Rose.

Rose says he's gotten dozens of calls from people concerned about local marinas.

“We look at things like the fuel lines to make sure they’re United States Coast Guard A1 fuel lines, we look at the fire extinguishing systems on the boat, life jackets and every other component on the vessel," said Joel Jenkins, lead marine supervisor with Yacht Surveyors Inc.

Jenkins says it’s crucial for boaters to have a surveyor look at their vessel before and after they make the purchase.

Regulations don’t require smoke detectors on board. However, that’s one thing Jenkins highly recommends.

“In all cases, you should. If you have a compartment you sleep in or occupy, you should have a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector," he said.

Jenkins says you can even buy special marine engine detectors that are less than $100.

He also recommends having multiple fire extinguishers on board.

“I like to see every living compartment, every sleeping compartment to have a fire extinguisher that you can grab and put the fire out so you can get off the vessel if you can’t control the fire," Jenkins said.

Rose says regular inspections of fire extinguishers, electrical cords and fuel lines helps save lives and prevent fires.

“Our hearts and our prayers, especially our prayers, from me and my family go out to all the boaters involved in this horrible event," said Jenkins.

Crews in Jackson County have thrown out containment booms that float to basically keep the oil and debris where they are for eventual removal.

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