Fire crews hit the canals near Daventry to highlight boat safety

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Crews from Daventry Fire Station are visiting boaters along the Grand Union Canal to hand out fire safety tips ahead of Boat Fire Safety Week.

Crews are visiting Braunston, Weedon and Long Buckby Wharf this week, speaking to boat owners, handing out advice and inviting people to take up the opportunity of booking a Boat Fire Safety Check.

The aim is to boost awareness among boaters about taking basic steps to protect themselves from fire and carbon monoxide poisoning.

In the last 20 years, 30 boaters have been killed in boat fires and 30 lost their lives to the ‘silent killer’ carbon monoxide – according to national figures.

Since 2009, Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) has attended eight boat fires.

Norman James, watch manager at Daventry Fire Station, said: “When boat fires happen, they have a devastating effect. Fires on boats can spread very quickly – a boat can behave like a horizontal chimney. Other hazards include the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and of possible explosions from LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) cylinders on board.

“There are many measures people can take to prevent these kinds of danger. Make sure that working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are fitted inside, always keep exits clear and make sure people on board know how to exit in case of an emergency.

“The general advice is also not to use charcoal barbecues on boats (due to carbon monoxide and fire risks), avoid using candles on boats and also make sure that gas cylinders are secure after they have been changed.

“If a fire breaks out, the advice would be to evacuate the boat as quickly as possible and ring 999.”

Fire crews will also be giving boat fire safety advice at the Crick Boat Show on Monday, May 30.

For more information on boat fire safety, visit www.boatsafetyscheme.org/stay-safe.

Boat Fire Safety Checks can be booked by ringing 01604 797000.