Boat owners are advised to avoid using portable gas appliances with integral gas canisters on board boats
|Boat owners to treat all such portable gas equipment with great respect and change fuel canisters away from the boat and sources of ignition.Even portable gas equipment can cause an explosion big enough to send people to hospital.Escaped lpg from only one can form a flammable gas cloud the size of 250 cans.In the poorly ventilated, tight confines of a boat escaping gas is more dangerous than when it happens ashore out in the open.||An explosion on the Norfolk Broads saw two people taken to hospital for treatment for burns to their legs, hands and faces.The explosion happened when the gas canister of a camping stove was being changed in the open cockpit of a small sailing boat where candles and cigarettes were in use.|
Think about the alternatives, for example, if all you want is a hot drink onboard a day boat, a flask is probably the simplest and safest way. If wanting light, some battery powered or wind-up LED lights will last for ages and are far easier to use than gas lanterns.
Where a simple cooker is needed aboard, think about installing a marine spirit stove as an alternative to a portable gas stove.
Anyone using a portable gas appliances has to be completely familiar with the correct and safe way of operating the appliance, from taking out of its storage case to fitting new fuel canisters.
Inland waterway regulations do not ban portable gas equipment on boats, but when not in operation, any appliance with a canister fitted and all spare gas canisters, empty or full, must be stowed in lockers that are self-draining, or on open deck areas where any leaking gas will flow overboard. The risk of causing a pool of explosive vapour inside the boat must be avoided.
|Never use a barbecue (BBQ) on board a boat – take it ashore, enjoy it safely and avoid the twin risks of fire and carbon monoxideBBQing off the boat reduces the risk of setting fire to decks and on-board combustible materials from the heat from the red hot charcoal or loose embers.|
|When BBQing ashore remember to be careful not to place a disposable BBQ where it could set alight wooden jetties, boardwalks, or dry grass and vegetation.BBQs need to be far enough away from the boat so that any hot embers blowing in the wind can’t reach boat furnishings, or any anything else that can burn, like newspapers or clothes.|
|BBQs need to be far enough away from the boat so that any hot embers blowing in the wind can’t reach boat furnishings, or any anything else that can burn, like newspapers or clothes.When the BBQ is lit, keep a bucket of water or your fire extinguisher nearby.|
Don’t forget the carbon monoxide (CO) risk
BBQs continue to produce dangerous amounts of CO for hours after the cooking is over.
It is never safe to have a lit or cooling BBQ in a cabin or covered cockpit area. The only safe charcoal is that which is absolutely stone-cold.
And because of the risk of both fire and CO…
…you cannot drop your guard
Before you dispose of a used charcoal double-check that it is completely cold to the touch, either
Let charcoal burn out and go cold in a safe place protected from wind, or pour water onto the fire.
Used charcoal should be disposed of responsibly.
|For more BBQ and outdoor fire safety advice go to the Fire Kills Fire safety leaflets download on Facebook
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|
For more information contact European Marine Services Ltd. Marine Surveyors & Consultants
EMS also undertake Boat Safety Inspections & Engine Inspections
Tel: 01603 327 123