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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Fire Safety Afloat!

26/05/2011

Staffordshire firefighters will be raising awareness of fire safety afloat as part of National Boat Fire Safety Week which runs from 30th May – 5th June.

"Although boat fires on inland waters are less common than fires on land, when they do occur, they can have devastating consequences."

Head of Risk Reduction, Ian Sloss

Head of Risk Reduction, Ian Sloss said: "Fire safety is just as important on a boat or barge as it is in the home - over the past few years we have attended two fatal boat fires, which highlights why members of the boating community need to take fire safety seriously.

"Although boat fires on inland waters are less common than fires on land, when they do occur, they can have devastating consequences. Boats are often in remote locations with difficult access, which may result in firefighters taking longer to arrive at an incident and allowing a fire to totally destroy a boat and everything on board.

"As well as taking into account fire safety on the boat we would urge boaters to ensure that they know their location at all times so that in the event of any emergency we can get there as soon as possible."

Firefighters will be visiting canals and marinas across the county offering boat owners free Boat Fire Risk Checks, which will include the fitting of smoke alarms. Advice will also be provided on general boat fire safety including:

Making a fire action plan

  • Taking extreme care when refuelling with petrol or changing gas cylinders
  • Avoiding using portable gas equipment onboard, where possible, and store all gas canisters in special gas lockers or open places where any leaks will flow overboard
  • Checking such items as battery terminals and fuse box connections routinely for damaged strands or signs of overheating
  • Taking care when doing repairs, and keep interiors well ventilated if you’re using adhesives, paints and spirit based products
  • Always keeping your eye on a solid fuel stove when it’s lit, try to avoid leaving the boat with the stove running
  • Never leave cooking unattended
  • When drinking alcohol the risk of a fire rises, therefore ensure that you drink sensibly and safely

Boaters interested in receiving free fire safety advice from the Fire and Rescue Service should call FREEPHONE 0800 0241 999 to book a FREE Boat Fire Risk Check.