Car­bon monox­ide alarms to be re­quired by BSS

Canal Boat - - Canal Boat News -

The Boat Safety Scheme is to be mod­i­fied next year to re­quire all craft with ‘ac­com­mo­da­tion spa­ces’ to be fit­ted with car­bon monox­ide (CO) alarms – sub­ject to a con­sul­ta­tion on boat­safe­ which ends on 9 Novem­ber.

The ‘silent killer’ CO, which can be pro­duced in en­gines, generators, stoves and other ap­pli­ances by in­com­plete com­bus­tion of petrol, diesel, gas or solid fuel, has been re­spon­si­ble for a num­ber of deaths of boaters – in­clud­ing in 2017, two peo­ple on board Broads cruiser Ly­dia. The in­ves­ti­ga­tion into that par­tic­u­lar case in­cluded a rec­om­men­da­tion that “the BSS make the in­stal­la­tion of car­bon monox­ide alarms a re­quire­ment for recre­ational craft par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Boat Safety Scheme”.

The new checks, to be in­tro­duced as part of the reg­u­lar BSS ex­am­i­na­tion from 1 April 2019, will ap­ply to all craft with ac­com­mo­da­tion - ir­re­spec­tive of whether they have en­gines or ap­pli­ances ca­pa­ble of pro­duc­ing CO. This is in line with the scheme’s re­mit “to have in place mea­sures that pro­tect boat owners from the ac­tiv­ity of oth­ers”. The BSS says that its in­ves­ti­ga­tions have shown that boaters are at “medium risk” of poi­son­ing from sources of CO gen­er­ated out­side of the boat by oth­ers, such as en­gines and ap­pli­ances on ad­ja­cent boats. Alarms will need to be suit­able, in good con­di­tion, and in a suit­able lo­ca­tion. Some craft will need more than one, if they have more than one ac­com­mo­da­tion space, more than one solid fuel stove, or a space di­vided by cabin doors. The BSS is con­sid­er­ing a sim­i­lar re­quire­ment for smoke alarms in the fu­ture.

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