Boat fire safety week

THIS week has seen Whitby fire brigade offering a stark warning to boaters: “Don’t drown in toxic smoke”.

The boat safety scheme has attempted to raise awareness of the importance of having a working smoke alarm on board boats.

Two breaths of toxic smoke are enough to cause unconsciousness and the fire service said that over the past five years, at least six people who died in fires on their boats could have survived if smoke alarms were fitted.

Watch manager Brian Oakley of Whitby fire station said: “Working smoke alarms make a difference to the outcome of fires on boats.

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

Boat fire risk checks offer boaters the opportunity to gain help and advice from the fire service about how to identify potential problems before a fire starts and what to do if a fire should break out.

The key messages are to fit a suitable smoke alarm and test it routinely, make an escape plan, know your location so you can tell the operator in an emergency and follow fire prevention advice.

For boats, optical sensor alarms with hush buttons and sealed for life batteries are recommended, as are choosing those with a British Standard Kitemark of a LPCB Horseshoe mark.

Alarms should be tested and never disconnected.

For more information contact (01947) 824080 or (01609) 788700.

For further information about general boating fire safety, visit