News release text
As boats start to arrive in Maidstone for the upcoming river festival crews are reminding owners that fire safety is just as important when afloat as it is in the home.
The advice comes after two separate incidents within a week in Wateringbury where emergency services have been called to the Marina.
Two fire engines attended Bow Road shortly before midday yesterday (Wednesday) after a 13ft boat caught alight due to a suspected engine fault. Crews used a hose reel and main jet to tackle the flames and a man believed to his fifties was taken to hospital by ambulance suffering from burns to his arms and face. Following the incident the boat was wrecked and retrieved by the environmental agency.
This followed another incident on Saturday (6 July) when a man suffered burns after vapours from a gas stove being used on a boat ignited.
“Kent Fire and Rescue Service Station Manager, Mark Woodward, said: “Although both these incidents were accidental it does highlight just how important it is to remain vigilant and remember that fires on board spread quickly and could totally destroy your boat.”
Mark added: “If you live on your boat it’s even more crucial that you take fire safety seriously. Ensure you fit working smoke alarms and detectors as these can help keep your crews safe and your boat afloat.”
Follow these basic fire safety precautions on board your boat:
Smoke alarms – if you sleep aboard, you need to have a fitted and working smoke alarm
Carbon monoxide and gas detectors – these are necessary when using gas and solid fuel appliances.
Escape plan – make a fire escape plan and have at least one fire extinguisher put near the boat exit.
If a fire starts – think of your safety - get out, abandon ship immediately and phone the fire service.
Know your location – so that we can get to you as quickly as possible in the event of an emergency.
Fuel – only carry spare petrol if necessary. This should be stored on-deck in a self-draining locker. Never re-fuel near naked flames or with engines running.
Gas – ensure appliances are properly fitted, with cylinders stored secure and upright in a self-draining locker.
Electrics – all systems should be professionally fitted and turned off as much as possible when not on board.
Fires, heaters and cooking appliances – never leave unattended when lit. Keep flues clear and the appliances well secured to a fireproof bulkhead.
Insurance – your boat should be fully insured and documents kept in a fire-proof container, or ashore if possible.
If you have concerns over any fire safety issues or live aboard, and would like free fire safety advice, please contact Kent Fire and Rescue Service on 0800 923 7000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org