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Boat safety advice

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As part of the Fire Kills campaign, Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) is reminding sailing enthusiasts to take care when out on the waves and waterways this summer.

Station Commander Alan Haley, HWFRS said "The number of boat fires on our coastal and inland waters is relatively low. But when they do occur, they quite often have devastating consequences. The remote location of most moorings means that fire and rescue services can find it hard to get close to boating incidents.

Station Commander Haley continued "we want people to make sure they can give a good indication of their location when aboard a boat, explaining that access to rivers and canals can be difficult. Good directions can help avoid any unnecessary delay in the event of an emergency and on many occasions, this delay can result in the total destruction of the boat and surrounding property".

By following the Fire Kills campaign's top tips you can ensure your time afloat is safe and enjoyable, for yourself and your passengers:

  • Make sure you know your boat and make a fire action plan with everyone in the boat.
  • Fit a smoke alarm that carries an approval mark such as 'kitemark'.
  • Fit a gas and petrol vapour detector alarm in the bilge and even in the cabin space to give you early warnings of dangerous build-ups of explosive gases.
  • Check all appliances are turned off and if possible, close the valve on the LPG cylinders before you go to bed or leave the boat.
  • Never leave a burning candle unattended. Make sure they are put out safely.
  • Keep candles, matches, lighters and other sources of flame out of reach of children.
  • Make sure cigarettes are put out safely – use metal ashtrays. Avoid falling asleep with a lit cigarette – never smoke in bed.
  • Never leave a hot hob unattended especially when cooking with oil or fat.
  • Don't fit curtains or fabrics over hob burners and don't dry tea towels or clothes over a cooker or hob.
  • Ensure you wear appropriate life jackets and have suitable buoyancy aids on board.

In closing Station Commander Haley said: "This may seem a long list but most of the actions are common sense. If you follow the advice you will help reduce the risk of fire occurring on your boat".

Issued by Emma Roberts, Senior Community Risk Administrator, 01905 368238