According to UK government statistics around 20 fire related accidents and injuries occur every year on boats in the UK. Nobody wants to be one of those statistics, so if you are a boat owner or operator, you need to make sure you are taking the appropriate action to protect your vessel and everyone using it from the risk of fire.
Fitting smoke alarms is an absolute must. Depending on the size of your boat, you may only need a single alarm or several. The important thing is to have alarms in the places most likely to be the sources of fire, which usually means cooking areas and potentially around the engine where appropriate.
However, you will have to be careful with placing alarms too close to the engine as petrol vapour can set off alarms. Your best bet is to consult with your installer to find the best place to position an alarm with respect to your engine to offer protection without the risk of numerous false alarms.
Whatever alarms you fit, you will need to make sure they meet the BS5446 Part 1 standard to be confident that they will offer adequate protection.
Carbon monoxide and gas detectors
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless and tasteless gas which can be toxic and even fatal at relatively low doses. It is given off in small amounts by many types of appliances and is usually not a problem if there is adequate ventilation. However, if an appliance is faulty or ventilation is poor CO can quickly reach dangerous levels. CO detectors are usually relatively cheap, although they will need to meet the BS7860 or EN50291 standards.
It is also a good idea to fit a gas and petrol vapour detector in the bilge and in the cabin. This will give you an early warning if anything goes wrong with the engine, causing a potentially dangerous build-up.
Having alarms and detectors is not enough, you also need to make sure everyone on the boat knows what to do in case an emergency occurs. Make sure people know where to go on the boat if an alarm sounds and keep a torch and a charged, handheld, waterproof VHF radio somewhere close to hand at all times. You should, of course, make sure to have enough life jackets for everyone on board and check that these are in good condition on a regular basis.
With nearly 30 years in the business and over 8500 customers, Standfast are one of the top installers of fire alarms in Bristol, Bath and the surrounding area. We handle all types of installations, as well as repairs and maintenance, so whatever your situation, we have the expertise you need.