Friday, 4 June 2010

Warning to Boat Owners


By Ben Aulakh

Boat owners in Northamptonshire are being warned, “Don’t drown in toxic smoke, fit a smoke alarm and test it regularly.”

The County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service and Boat Safety Scheme are strongly encouraging anyone with a boat to ensure they have a working smoke alarm on board.

In the last five years half a dozen people have died as a result of breathing in toxic smoke from fires on their boats; deaths which could have been avoided.

Community Safety Officer Staci Leach explains ‘Working smoke alarms make a difference to the outcome of fires on boats. 

“All craft with overnight accommodation ought to have smoke alarms fitted that are suitable for them.”

Anyone with concerns about alarms, or fire safety in general, should contact Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service on 0800 38 999 50 for a free Boat Fire Risk Check.

They offer boaters advice from their local fire and rescue service about how to identify potential problems before a fire starts, and what to do if fire should break out.

The service also has four key messages for anyone with a pleasure craft;
-         Fit a suitable smoke alarm which is routinely tested
-         Make an escape plan.
-         Know their location for informing the operator in an emergency.
-         Follow the fire prevention advice from the Boat Safety Scheme
The Boat Safety Scheme aims to minimise the risks of fires or explosions on boats cruising the country’s inland waterways network.

A list of requirements have been set up under the scheme which most boats must meet before they can be granted a navigation licence. 

Anybody wanting more  about general boating fire safety should contact Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service Community Safety on 01604 797000, or visit www.boatsafetyscheme.com/fire.

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