Representatives from the Boat Safety Scheme (BSS), a public safety initiative owned by the Canal & River Trust and the Environment Agency, are urging the industry to take onboard safety seriously following the deaths of three inland boaters.
Ahead of issuing the latest advice on carbon monoxide (CO) detection, communications manager Rob McLean has shared that three boaters died in 2018 as a result of onboard fires whilst several more were taken to hospital following fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning.
In light of this and following a public consultation in the autumn, the BSS management committee has decided to introduce new CO alarm requirements from next April.
BSS manager, Graham Watts, thanked those at the consultation for their contributions. “Your comments and views have been exceptionally valuable and have caused us to reflect a little longer before publishing checks in order to ensure that the wording is clear.”
Strong support for the changes was demonstrated in the responses to the consultation with 84 per cent in favour of introducing a requirement for suitable working CO alarms.
All boats with accommodation spaces subject to the BSS will see mandatory checks introduced for CO alarms in good condition and in appropriate locations.
The alarms will warn people in the area about immediately dangerous levels of CO. They can also alert craft occupants to moderate levels of CO, which can be a long-term threat to health if left undetected.
The changes come into force on 1 April 2019.