Reducing the risk of electrical faults and fires

Since 2021, electrical installations and test records have been in the top five issues found by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) inspections.

The risk of electrical fire has increased as electrical systems have become more common on vessels, and more complex.

Issues commonly involve:

  • battery terminal covers
  • wiring
  •   fittings

Navigation lights, engine starting circuits, energy storage systems, audio, video, Wi-Fi, satellite navigation and communications are now all driven by electrical systems.

Batteries have played a part in several serious vessel fires. Some of these fires have been catastrophic, resulting in the loss of a vessel and the lives of people on board.

AMSA offers safety management system guidance on how to address the risk of fires from batteries, portable device charging and wiring.

Be aware of the common electrical hazards to look out for and implement best practices to ensure a safer boating experience.

You should include management arrangements for the risk of fire from batteries, portable device charging and electrical installations in your safety management system.

Further information can be found here.