Boaters with solid fuel stoves on their boats have a new source of advice to help avoid the two deadly threats of fire and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, and at the same time, save money on fuel, with the launch of a stove safety portal on the Boat Safety Scheme (BSS) stay-safe website, www.boatsafetyscheme.com/solidfuelstoves.
Last year there were 14 incidents involving solid fuel stoves being used on boats and in the last decade at least two dozen boaters have been hurt and five have died in incidents linked to stove use.
Using what it has learnt from these incidents, the BSS points to four key risks that must be avoided or managed if boats and crews are to keep safe with solid fuel stoves,-
- ‘over-firing’, where the stove runs out of control and burns super-hot;
- ‘proximity and pyrolysis’ – wood, textiles, paper, fuels, etc. being too close and getting too hot for too long.
- CO poisoning due to the escape of stove flue gases into the cabin;
- Poor maintenance and misuse of the stove.
The BSS will also be promoting on its website, the new Code of Practice published by British Standards for installing stoves implemented this year, and the BSS believes it will be a great help for anyone buying a stove, renewing a chimney or just revamping the hearth or stove surrounds. There will be an overview with some headline pointers as well as links to more details.
Graham Watts, BSS Manager said
‘Our advice draws on the code and the lessons from fire and CO incident reports over the years. We’ve also used both boat building and stove experts to analyse the guidance as well as carry out practical tests.
‘We hope to follow up the new web pages with more materials in the coming months. It’s been a huge project and we’re not finished yet, we want UK boaters to have the best possible information and support.’
‘However, simply having good equipment, properly installed is still not the complete story, the way that stoves are used and maintained are just as critical.
‘There can be hidden dangers associated with normal use and our web pages will help boaters avoid the risks’
The BSS is also promoting the additional benefits of the new installation practices, as they can help some boaters to save money by using less fuel.
Stoves with insulated chimneys are also more controllable and so have the potential for drastic fuel reduction – some early tests indicate that the savings could be as high as 50 per cent.
The BSS has been checking with manufacturers and suppliers and most of the major names in the market now have products and instructions that align with the new Code.
BSS: communications manager, Rob McLean, d/l: 01923 201353 mbl: 07710 175478