Boat owners urged to reduce the risk of fire on board

Boat owners and people living on houseboats are being urged to think about how to protect their vessels from fire.

At the beginning of Boat Fire Safety Week, Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) is advising the boating community to ensure they take steps to prevent fire breaking out on board.

Throughout Boat Fire Safety Week, which runs from Monday 30 May to Sunday 5 June, AF&RS will be working with the Harbourmaster in Bristol and lock keepers across the Avon area to highlight fire safety advice to those living or staying on the water.

Avon Fire & Rescue Service Station Manager, Stuart Matthews, said: “We want people to enjoy the time they spend on board their boats and take steps to ensure they prevent fire. If a fire does break out it’s important they know what to do.

“The most important thing is to ensure working smoke alarms are fitted on board. Just two or three breaths of toxic smoke is enough to make you lose consciousness. In a confined space, like a boat, it wouldn’t take long for the vessel to fill with smoke.

“A smoke alarm will wake you in the event of a fire, giving you and your family vital extra minutes to escape. The sooner you are alerted to a fire the better.”

Tips for protecting your boat from fire:

  • Make sure you have a working smoke alarm on board your boat and ensure the batteries are working by checking it once a week.
  • Make sure everyone aboard your boat knows the safest way to escape if fire does break out. If the route involves windows or hatches, check they are big enough and that there is an emergency hammer nearby in case you need to break the glass.
  • Never leave cooking unattended and take extra care when using fat and oil.
  • Store any flammable liquids you need to keep on board, for example diesel or oil, safely.
  • Maintain your boat’s engine and fuel system regularly.
  • If a fire does break out, get out, stay out and dial 999.

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