Firefighters in Cheshire will be out and about this week (Monday 27 May to Sunday 2 June) promoting fire safety on boats as part of continued efforts to reduce the number of accidental boat fires.
The work comes ahead of the summer boating season and coincides with National Boat Fire Safety Week. Throughout the week firefighters from across Cheshire will be talking to boat owners offering safety advice and warning them about the dangers of not having smoke alarms fitted on their boats.
Nick Evans, head of prevention at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “It is important that if you are planning on using your boat over the summer months that you make sure that if you have a smoke alarm they are working properly or if you don’t have any that you get one installed. Fires on boats are always serious. They can take hold very quickly and are often in remote areas so if you have a map reference, nearby landmark or address then it can help crews locate you more quickly. The best advice we can give is to try and avoid the fires in the first place. A lot of the fires are caused by simple things such as people lighting candles, cooking fires and smoking. It might seem an obvious thing to say but use your common sense by avoiding lighting candles and matches, never leaving cooking unattended and don’t smoke inside.”
The week of action comes just days after a small fire on a canal boat in Poynton that caused by heat radiating from an unattended oven which had been left on accidentally. Thankfully, nobody was injured and firefighters were able to extinguish the fire before it got out of hand. However, the incident did cause significant damage to the kitchen area of the boat.
In addition to installing smoke alarms crews are also urging all boat owners to ensure that have an escape plan in pace, to ensure that everyone on board knows what to do and where to go in the unfortunate event of a fire.
Below is some simple advice to help ensure your boating activities are a safe and enjoyable event: > Make sure you know your boat and make a fire action plan with everyone in the boat. > Fit a smoke alarm that meets British Standard BS5446 Part 1 and carries an approval mark such as ‘kitemark’. > Fit a gas and petrol vapour detector alarm in the bilge and even in the cabin space to give you early warnings of dangerous build-ups of explosive gases. > Check all appliances are turned off and if possible, close the valve on the LPG cylinders before you go to bed or leave the boat. > Never leave a burning candle unattended. Make sure they are put out safely. > Keep candles, matches, lighters and other sources of flame out of reach of children. > Make sure cigarettes are put out safely – use metal ashtrays. Avoid falling asleep with a lit cigarette – never smoke in bed. > Never leave a hot hob unattended especially when cooking with oil or fat. > Don’t fit curtains or fabrics over hob burners and don’t dry tea towels or clothes over a cooker or hob.
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