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Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service issue boat fire safety advice

Published 25/05/2015

Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) is encouraging boat owners to stay safe by raising awareness of fire safety on small boats.

During Boat Fire Safety Week which runs 25 May - 31 May 2015 firefighters will be visiting local marinas across Northern Ireland to talk to boat owners about protecting themselves and their passengers.

Last year, there were 6 incidents of fires on boats, ships and motor vessels which was the same figure for 2013.

Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service Assistant Chief Fire Officer Alan Walmsley said: “Boats are often in remote locations with difficult access, which may result in Firefighters taking longer to arrive at an incident.

"As well as taking into account fire safety on the boat we would urge boaters to ensure that they know their location at all times so that in the event of any emergency we can get there as soon as possible."

Reduce the risk from fire by:

·         Fitting a smoke alarm.

·         Ensuring furnishings, foam and insulation are fire retardant.

·         Making a fire action plan.

·         Fitting a suitable fire extinguisher in the engine compartment.

·         Containing and vent battery boxes.

If a fire occurs on the marina:

·         If safe to do so, isolate gas and fuel supplies.

·         Evacuate the craft and ensure all the crew are wearing lifejackets.

·         Call 999 for the Fire & Rescue Service.

·         Stay out.

·         Warn neighbouring craft.

If a fire occurs at sea:

·         Only tackle a fire if it is safe to do so.

·         Contact the Coastguard/Fire & Rescue Service by calling 999.

·         Identify position or give landmarks.

·         Ensure all crew are wearing lifejackets.

·         Prepare emergency grab bag and life raft.

·         If safe to do so, isolate gas and fuel supplies.

·         Do not open the engine panel.

·         Only as a last resort abandon ship.

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