boat3Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) helped boat owners become more fire safe by visiting local marinas across the country as part of Boat Fire Safety Week [25–31 May].

Last year, there were 6 incidents of fires on boats, ships and motor vessels which was the same figure for 2013 and NIFRS aimed to reduce incidents further by talking directly to boat owners and handing out leaflets containing boat fire safety information.

SUBSCRIBE TO MAY'S FIRE FOR A FULL WATER RESCUE FOCUS

Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service Assistant Chief Fire Officer Alan Walmsley said: "Fire safety is just as important on a boat as it is in the home. Although boat fires on inland waters are much 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. We would urge all boaters to ensure they have working smoke alarms on board their boat to alert them and their passengers to the earliest stages of fire and just like you would do at home, test the smoke alarms every week. 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."

NIFRS urged boat owners to reduce the risk from fire by following these simple tips:
• Fit a smoke alarm,
• Ensure furnishings, foam and insulation are fire retardant,
• Make a fire action plan and ensure your crew and passengers are aware of what to do if there is a fire,
• Fit a suitable fire extinguisher in the engine compartment and the cockpit locker,
• Contain and vent battery boxes,
• If safe to do so, isolate gas and fuel supplies,
• Evacuate the craft and ensure all the crew are wearing lifejackets,
• Call 999 for the Fire & Rescue Service,
• Warn neighbouring craft.

To find out more tips see www.nifrs.org