May 13, 2014
Fire prevention is always your primary protection from fire on boats but a smoke alarm can be your next line of defence, particularly if you sleep aboard. Smoke from a boat fire will affect your ability to breathe, a sensation similar to drowning. With two to three breaths of toxic smoke you could be unconscious. A working smoke alarm of the right type can warn you very quickly of the danger and buy you precious seconds to escape.
|Choices, choicesThese guidelines tell you about choosing the best types of smoke alarms for your boat, the best place to fix them and how to maintain them for maximum levels of protection. Even as a day boater if you feel at risk from being surprised by fire, please read on. Detecting fire Fires happen when you least expect them and will put you in most danger when you are in deep sleep. Boats are often full of combustible materials and highly flammable fuels, which mean that fire can spread rapidly, damaging property, injuring and killing people. But the real killers are smoke and toxic fumes which kill very rapidly. If you are asleep, your survival will almost certainly depend upon being woken very quickly before the smoke and fumes reach you.
||Being alerted to a fire will help you escape.If there is a fire, a reliable smoke alarm can warn you and your family early enough to allow you to escape. Smoke alarms are cheap, and readily available in chandleries, high-street stores, supermarkets, DIY stores and online suppliers. They are easy to fit and maintain. Make a fire action plan now A reliable alarm alone, won’t by itself keep you safe. All crew and passengers must know what to do in an emergency – make a fire action plan, make sure everyone knows it, every time you sail.
|Fit alarms and replace them when outdated (check the date label on the alarm).
||Never remove batteries and replace the batteries when they have lost power.
||Test alarms when returning to the boat, then at least weekly when staying aboard