As part of the Fire Kills campaign, East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is reminding sailing enthusiasts to take care when out on the waves and waterways this summer.
“The number of boat fires on our coastal and inland waters is relatively low,” said Dave Sheppard, Eastbourne Borough Commander for East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service.
“But when they do occur, they quite often have devastating consequences. The remote location of most moorings and close proximity of other vessels in harbours and marinas mean that fire and rescue services can find it hard to get close to boating incidents. And on many occasions, this delay can result in the total destruction of the boat and surrounding property.
“By following the Fire Kills campaign’s top tips you can ensure your time afloat is safe and enjoyable, for yourself and your passengers.
“This may seem a long list but most of the actions are common sense. If you follow the advice you will help reduce the risk of fire occurring on your boat.”
“People should make sure they know their boat and make a fire action plan with everyone in the boat, fit a smoke alarm that meets the EN 50291 standard 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 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 and 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 and 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.”
Mr Sheppard said, “This may seem a long list but most of the actions are common sense. If you follow the advice you will help reduce the risk of fire occurring on your boat.”
The advice on boat and fire safety follows hot on the heels of warnings about the dangers of barbecues and fire risks when camping, cooking or exploring.
“A long hot summer is what we hope for, however like many changes in activity, it can bring risks. If you’re intending to take out your tent, ready your rucksack or get your caravan back on the road, you should go armed with some safety advice before heading for the great outdoors.”