BSS generates a stark warning
USING TVs, LAPTOPS, mobile phones, power tools, heaters or simply charging the boat’s batteries could cost lives if boaters use a petrol generator incorrectly, a stark warning from the Boat Safety Scheme ( BSS) claims.
Petrol generators can be seen as critical to some boaters wanting off-grid electrical power, yet the fact that they emit deadly carbon monoxide and need refuelling with highly flammable petrol means they must be never be installed in an enclosed cockpit area or engine space of a boat and must never be used on, or close to, the boat where exhaust fumes could enter the boat.
“On too many occasions we hear of fatalities or near fatalities on boats caused by the incorrect use of portable generators,” said BSS manager Graham Watts. “The heart-breaking thing is that on most occasions, the accident could have been avoided, and lives saved, if generators are used according to the manufacturer’s instructions – in the open and away from the boat.” The BSS says that if boaters want to use generators, these three points should be followed:
Never install a portable generator permanently or make unauthorised modifications that are not supported by the manufacturer or proprietary component supplier. Never run generators on the boat, or on the bank near to the boat’s doors, vents, windows or hatches. Never refuel a generator anywhere aboard the boat; take it to the bank and ensure you are a safe distance from other boats and potential sources of ignition.
Further advice on staying safe using generators is available on boatsafetyscheme.org/generators