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Take care when refueling your boat

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Following the large fire in July at Upton Marina, Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) has confirmed that the cause was an accidental fuel-related explosion.

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The incident resulted in injuries to three people and the destruction of four moored boats.

HWFRS is reminding boat owners and users that boat fire safety should be a priority so that people can enjoy the pleasure of the rivers and canals throughout the year but especially when the weather is warmer.

Between 1 April 2009 and 31 March 2019, there were 28 boat fires in the HWFRS area. Half of these incidents occurred on motor yachts or other water craft while there were six incidents on barges, and five on houseboats.

In addition to handling fuel safely, boat owners need to consider the installation of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, the safe use of generators, portable gas appliances, and solid fuel stoves, and electrical safety.

Group Commander Mick Cadman of HWFRS reminded boat owners that: “During hot weather, fuel needs to be handled with extra care as even a small spillage can create a large amount of vapour that can easily be ignited by any spark or flame.

“While boat fires are relatively infrequent in our Service area, last month’s incidents show that they have the potential for devastating consequences and so we would urge all boat users to do everything they can to stay safe.”

For more information visit the HWFRS website and follow the links to boat fire safety advice from the Boat Safety Scheme.

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