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Boat Fire Safety

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Boat Fire Safety

Boat Fire Safety

Category : Fire Safety Blog

Cooking and Heating whilst on the Boat: 

Stoves and heating devices get hot and often use flammable fuels which are a recipe for fire! Follow these tips to ensure yours and everyone else’s boat fire safety.

  • Check what fuel the manufacturer of the heater or stove recommends you to use.
  • Only use appliances in areas with plenty of ventilation to stop build up of gas.
  • Avoid the use of stoves whilst the boat is moving.
  • Ensure all appliances are completely off when you have finished using them
  • Ensure all embers have cooled before disposed of to ensure they do not re-ignite!

Fire Extinguishers: 

To get a navigation licence owners must adhere to standards laid out by the Boat Safety Scheme (BSS) that include laws on fire extinguishers.

Size of Boat Min. Number of Extinguishers Min. fire rating of extinguisher Min. combined fire rating of each extinguisher
Up to 7m 2 5A 34B 10A 68B
7-11m 2 5A 34B 13A 89B
Over 11m 3 5A 34B 21A 144B



BSS say that all extinguishers should have at least one of the following marks to ensure its quality: BSI kitemark, BAFE symbol, SGS symbol, AFNOR ‘NF’ shield or other accredited certifying body’s mark to EN3. Extinguishers do NOT need the Marine Equipment Directive mark.

BSS also advises to use extinguishers in the engine that do not require the opening of the primary access. An automatic fire extinguisher that discharges when a specific temperature is reached is perfect for this job.

Fire Alarms: 

For boats, optical smoke alarms are the most suited. They should be linked, if possible, so that all alarms will sound if fire is detected. Boats are also prone to gas leaks, including carbon monoxide, so you must also be prepared with the correct detectors for this.

Suitable fire alarms will be made with BS7860 or EN50291 standards, come with an LPCB approval label or it comes with a BSI kitemark label.

Like all domestic alarms they should be tested weekly and batteries regularly replaced.

Plan for the Worst

If you adhere to all our previous advice you should minimize your opportunity of fires. However, as in your home, you should have an emergency escape plan that all passengers understand and have rehearsed.

Also, ensure you always know your location so that you are able to notify the authorities!


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