Calls for boat owners to use smoke alarms to stay afloat

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BOAT owners are urged to get a smoke alarm to ensure they stay safe as part of an awareness week.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service is encouraging people with accommodation on their vessels to ensure they have a device fitted during National Boat Fire Safety Week.

Other tips include carrying a fire extinguisher on board, making a fire action plan including an escape route and using portable gas equipment where possible and storing all gas canisters in special gas lockers or open spaces where leaks will flow overboard.

Station manager Ian Wadmore from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service’s community safety team said: ‘A fire on a boat can be as devastating as a house fire and puts lives at risk. It makes sense for boats with sleeping accommodation to be fitted with smoke alarms. A smoke alarm gives you the vital time to awake from sleep and escape the fire on a boat, just as they do in house fires.

‘With over 450,000 motorised boats on rivers, canals, lakes and the coast around the UK, I am urging all boat owners to take simple steps to reduce the risk of fire on their boats.’