Make sure you’re on the Right Tack with National Boat Fire Safety Week
Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service (GFRS) has a safety message to all boat users this summer; “Its time for all boats to have suitable smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.”
Next week, (28th May – 3rd June) is National Boat Fire Safety week and Gloucestershire firefighters are holding special events across the county to talk to boat users and provide information to educate users on the risks and how to protect themselves in an accident or emergency.
As the sails begin to unfurl for boating season, GFRS are working with communities across Gloucestershire to make sure all crew members understand the risks around boat fire safety and the ‘silent killer’ carbon monoxide (CO).
GFRS will be asking boat users to follow the published safety advice from the Boat Safety Scheme. All safety advice is available online and in educational leaflets that firefighters will be handed to boat users.
Cllr Nigel Moor, cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “There’s a very healthy boating community here in Gloucestershire and we want to make sure that users are fully up-to-date with the latest advice.
“Boat Fire Safety Week is a great chance for us to offer extra awareness to boat owners and users. I hope that people take advantage of the support available and attend one of these events.”
Stewart Edgar, chief fire officer at Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Boat safety week is a great opportunity to highlight basic safety tips to help people enjoy the beautiful river and canal networks here in Gloucestershire.
“We want to work with the boating community throughout the summer to ensure people have a fun, safe time whilst on their boats and help prevent the increased risk of fire during colder months. Any activities involving boats will always have the ever present risk of falling into water, so #BeWaterAware and #DontDrinkAndDrown.”
Graham Watts, manager for the Boat Safety Scheme, said: “In the past 20 years, 30 boaters were killed in boat fires and another 30 lost their lives to the highly toxic CO gas.
“It’s time everyone in the boating community said ‘no more avoidable tragedies’. Being protected by suitable smoke and carbon monoxide alarms should be viewed as a normal part of boat ownership.”
Should a fire break out or a carbon monoxide leak occurs, the critical surviving factor will be the presence of suitable working smoke and CO alarms.
The Boat Safety Scheme publishes detailed lists of suitable smoke alarms on its website with advice from manufacturers on the best places to fit devices to ensure the best detection.
All smoke and CO alarms should be tested regularly using the test button and the batteries replaced as necessary and never removed.
For further information about general boat fire and CO safety, visit www.boatsafetyscheme.org/stay-safe.
To book a Safe and Well visit from the fire service please call 0800 1804140.
Follow us on Twitter @GlosFire #BoatFireSafetyWeek
Firefighters will be at the following locations engaging with communities and boat users throughout National Boat Fire Safety Week:
Stroud Community Fire Station
29/5 Splatt bridge
30/5 Saul Junction
31/5 Saul Junction
01/6 Splatt bridge
02/6 (from 11:15) Kitch café
03/6 Saul Junction
04/6 Splatt bridge
Gloucester Community Fire Station
28/5 (2-5pm) Gloucester Docks
30/5 (11am onwards) Saul Junction
30/5 (11am – 1pm) Monk Meadow Basin
1/6 (14:30pm onwards) Gloucester Quays
Fairford Community Fire Station
31/5 Lechlade Marina
31/5 Trout Marina
Tewkesbury Community Fire Station
29/5 (11am-3pm) Tewkesbury Marina, Sanchards Pit
Please note that in the event of an emergency, fire crews may need to attend and could leave engagement events at short notice.
For more information about any of these events please contact us on 0800 1804140.
10 top tips to keep you and your crew safe from CO poisoning:
- All crew should know the symptoms of CO poisoning and how to react if it is suspected.
- Install fuel burning appliances properly, in-line with makers directions
- Follow servicing guidelines; maintenance should be routine and competent - Don't allow bodged repairs, adjustments and adaptations.
- Always use appliances as per the instructions and never use cookers for space heating.
- Don’t block ventilation – appliance fuels like gas, coal, wood, oil, paraffin, etc. need sufficient air to burn safely.
- Don’t bring charcoal BBQs on board, or have them near a cabin during or after use - only stone-cold charcoal is safe.
- Keep engine fumes out of the cabin space, never use a portable generator in or near a cabin.
- Learn about the danger signs, spot potential hazards before CO occurs.
- Deal with problems immediately, never use equipment you suspect has problems.
- Install a certified CO alarm (BS EN 50291-2), test it routinely and never remove the batteries.
Boat Safety Scheme – safety advice leaflets:
Fire safety on boats leaflet –
Carbon monoxide safety on boats leaflet –
Boat petrol safety leaflet –