Emergency? Call 999

For general enquiries

Contact Us

Latest Incidents

29th February, 2024 - 8.45pm: Two crews from Swanage and one from Wareham were called to High Street...Read more

28th February, 2024 - 5.12pm: At 5.12pm we received a call to alarms operating in a residential prop...Read more

28th February, 2024 - 4.59pm: At 4.59pm we received a call to alarms operating in a residential prop...Read more

28th February, 2024 - 4.39pm: At 4.39pm we received a call to alarms operating in a residential prop...Read more

28th February, 2024 - 4.06pm: At 4.06pm we received a call to water coming into an electrical socket...Read more

28th February, 2024 - 2.35pm: At 2.35pm we received a call to a fire in a domestic property in South...Read more

28th February, 2024 - 2.11pm: At 2.11pm we received a call to alarms operating in a domestic propert...Read more

28th February, 2024 - 12.58pm: At 12.58pm we received a call to alarms operating in a residential pro...Read more

28th February, 2024 - 12.56pm: At 12.56pm we received a call to alarms in a property in Stockton, nea...Read more

28th February, 2024 - 11.45am: We have been receiving calls to a fire seen in the area of Turbary Com...Read more

Fire risk on boats

Many fires and carbon monoxide incidents happen as a result of human error, poor installation of equipment/appliances and – on occasion – dangerous practices by boaters.

Many people do not appreciate the risks associated with boats and their domestic equipment and installations. Even a moderate sized boat can carry hundreds of litres of diesel, tens of kilograms of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and 20-50 litres of petrol. These fuels are combined with readily combustible materials such as wood and fibre/glass-reinforced-plastic and they are all placed in close proximity to sources of heat and ignition such as engines or appliances, 12 or 24V DC and 240V AC electrics and solid fuel stoves.

Due to the fuels, boat construction and the nature of moorings, fire can easily spread to, and damage, neighbouring crafts, adjacent jetties and nearby properties.

Electrical issues

This is a wide subject but, according to Boat Safety Scheme (BSS) records, electrical problems have been in the top three causes of boat fires in the past five years.

Flawed installations, poor maintenance, inappropriate appliances or incorrect use are the root of many incidents – especially in an environment with vibrations, flexing, humidity, high and low temperatures, cramped spaces, water and, in many cases, salt exposure – electrical systems and installations face a lot of stress compared with the same sort of electrical needs in buildings. Boat owners need to keep their eyes, ears and noses alert and deal with any problems immediately.

The key potential electrical hazard points include loose connections; worn, chaffed or cracked insulation on wires; exposed battery terminals; low levels of fluid in batteries, combined with inappropriate battery charging; unsuitable or badly maintained appliances; poor fusing and defective breakers; inverters/generators; and damaged shore line cables, plugs and sockets.


The BSS urges owners to keep their boats well maintained and to keep alert to possible leaks, poor running engines and the strong smell of petrol. They advise that escaping vapour will sink to the lowest level of its surroundings; it builds-up at low level in places such as cabin floors, lockers, bilges and other ‘still-air’ spaces.

Even if the concentration of vapour is too rich to ignite immediately, it will dilute, creating the potential for a serious fire and/or an explosion, even though, given enough ventilation, it may dissipate to a safe level eventually.

These are ten petrol safety essentials that will help keep you and your crew safe:

For more detail go to www.boatsafetyscheme.org/petrolsafety

Solid fuel stoves

Solid fuel stoves continue to be a significant cause of fire on inland waterway boats. These heaters are very popular on narrowboats, coastal barges and on some classic and vintage yachts or ex-fishing boats.

There were at least two dozen boaters hurt and five killed in using solid fuel stoves in the first decade of the 21st century. There have many other incidents where no one was hurt but the boat and belongings aboard suffered a lot of damage.

From the incident data, the BSS have highlighted six risks that must be avoided or managed, if boaters and crews are to keep safe with solid fuel stoves:

Good information explaining how to avoid these risks is available at www.boatsafetyscheme.org/stay-safe/solid-fuel-stoves

Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)

Fixed gas systems must be installed to accepted boat installation standards and in accordance with the appliance manufacturer’s instructions. Gas appliances and flues should be routinely serviced and maintained.

The BSS encourages owners to always use a competent person to carry out work on LPG systems. Ask a local boatyard or contact the Gas Safe Register for details. In addition:

Portable ‘camping style’ equipment

Owners of boats without proper galley facilities are recommended to consider using a flask for hot drinks when aboard as portable camping equipment is not suitable.

Following explosions, fires and CO incidents in boats, caravans and other enclosed spaces, boaters should heed any instructions for portable gas equipment that states it should only be used outdoors.

Unless any portable gas equipment is specifically designed for boat use, then it should only be used ashore. And whatever else happens, fuel canisters should always be changed away from the boat and away from ignition sources. Equipment and canisters should be stowed in a self-draining gas locker, or on open deck where any escaping gas can flow overboard.

results found.

Post Holders: