Boat Fire Safety Week 2014: Top 10 Tips to stay alive

During Boat Fire Safety Week 2014 (26-30 May), the national campaign by Fire Kills and the Boat Safety Scheme (BSS), boat owners are being asked to pass on tips from the BSS website and leaflets that help skippers and their crews to stay safe from fire and carbon monoxide (CO) risks.

In the past 20 years over 30 boaters were killed in boat fires and just over 30 have lost their lives to the ‘silent killer’ carbon monoxide. This year has already seen 1 fatal boat fire and 3 people die from CO poisoning.

Timing the week at the start of the peak boating season, the request to boat owners is to take a moment to follow the fire and carbon monoxide safety tips found in the Fire Kills and Boat Safety Scheme leaflets, websites, twitter feeds and Facebook walls.

Ten Top Tips To Take On Board Today

With the mix of fuels and combustibles materials all packed into a relatively small space, boat owners know they have to take extra care.

Here are ten pointers linked to everyday activities aboard your boat that will help to keep you and your crew safe

* Test the boat’s smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms

* Have a fire action plan, everyone on board should know the plan and be clear on what they each should do if there’s a fire or CO incident

* Make sure the escape routes are clear. Never lock or bolt doors and hatches on the outside while you’re aboard

* Whenever possible, turn gas-valves off before you go to bed or leave the boat

* Keep the galley attended when cooking. Don’t cook while tired – note that the effects of alcohol, drugs and medications can cause drowsiness and may affect your judgement

* Smokers should dispose of cigarettes carefully. Make sure you’ve put them out, right out. Take care with lit candles – only use secure holders

* Keep fabrics like curtains, cleaning cloths, tea towels, etc far enough away from cooking hobs and heating stoves to prevent them from charring and catching fire

* Be extra cautious when refuelling with petrol. First, get all the crew ashore (they should only re-board when the engine is re-started and running smoothly)

* Put out naked flames – turn off the engine and any cooking appliances. Then close doors, windows or hatches and any awning or pram-covers

* Replace the filler cap, clean up any fuel spillages and ventilate the engine space completely before turning the ignition key or switch

For more tips and advice to help you and your crew stay safe go to