boatsafetyFirefighters across Cleveland and Hertfordshire have led efforts to highlight boat fire and carbon monoxide risks as part of Boat Fire Safety Week [26-30 May].

As part of the national Fire Kills campaign both brigades visited local boat owners urging them to to make vital safety checks and learn more about fire and carbon monoxide (CO) risks to stay safe this summer.

In the past 20 years 30 boaters were killed in boat fires and another 30 lost their lives to carbon monoxide across the country.

Herts' Chief and CFOA Director of Operations Roy Wilsher said: "As the summer approaches many families will be taking advantage of Hertfordshire’s scenic lakes and waterways. While of course we want our residents to have fun and enjoy their leisure time, we are also using Boat Safety Week to gently remind people to also remain safe. Each year boaters die or are made seriously ill from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Boats are built to keep water out, but this also makes them good containers for gases and fumes."

The key message of this year's Boat Fire Safety Week is that owners should understand the risks, make regular, basic checks, and follow their engine and appliance operating guidelines, as the essential steps to deal with the fire and carbon monoxide threat.

Further reading: Fire Safety in Boats Blog

Phil Lancaster, Director of Community Protection with Cleveland Fire Brigade, added: “A boat is no different to someone’s house; it poses just the same risks and boat owners need to be aware of this.

“Throughout Cleveland we have many miles of coastline and lots of pleasure boats in areas such as Hartlepool Marina and the River Tees and during Boat Fire Safety Week we’ll be stepping up our awareness raising to get across key safety messages to boat owners.

“Just a few breaths of toxic smoke or gas can cause unconsciousness, which is why it is so important for boats to have smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors fitted and they should be tested regularly.

This year’s Boat Fire Safety Week has the support of the Royal Yachting Association, The Maritime and Coastguard Agency and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).