When the weather is fine many people enjoy spending time on our beautiful rivers, lakes or on the coast. However if you own a vessel, have you taken measures to secure it when it’s not in use?
Here are a few ways in which you can make your boat and equipment more secure and safe:
To help stamp out boat crime Suffolk and Norfolk Police have also joined forces with local boatyards, chandlers, clubs and groups and launched BoatShield. If you are a boat owner, look out for BoatShield information point within boatyards, chandlers, as well as at boating clubs and groups across the Waveney Area.
If you are unlucky enough to have a boat or equipment stolen, you can register the theft with StolenBoats.org.uk. Contact your local Police or Insurers and ask that they add the item on your behalf. StolenBoats is an online database, all the information is provided by the marine Insurance industry and the Police and is cross-checked with the Police National Computer.
Every year during Boat Fire Safety Week (May/June), safety on boats and fire safety in particular, is highlighted all week. Whilst a fire is unlikely on a boat that is well maintained, boaters can be caught unawares or put in a difficult situation, if a fire does occur.
Download this leaflet for tips and advice on how to protect your boat and crew from fire, and what to do should a fire break out.
Each year boaters die or are made seriously ill from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning – Boats are built to keep water out, but this also makes them good containers for gases and fumes. Here is some advice on how to protect everyone on your boat against this ‘silent killer’.
Breathing in a space filled with toxic fumes and smoke is like drowning out of the water. Two breaths and you could be unconscious. Fit smoke alarms if you stay aboard your boat.
Below are more tips to help keep you, your boat and your property safe:
Wearing life jackets, the RYA has recommendations.
Respect the water, is the RNLI’s national drowning prevention campaign. It highlights the risks, helps you avoid them and gives advice to keep you and those around you safe
Keep your boat keys separate from your engine keys
Don’t leave your keys in the ignition – always take them with you
Always keep your boat locked when no-one is on board
Never leave anything valuable on display
Don’t leave anything loose in the cockpit or on deck
Use strong padlocks or rim locks on all your hatches, entry points and cockpit lockers
Keep a list of all the serial numbers on valuables and property mark them with your home postcode and register them on Immobilise.
Register all electrical appliances and regularly check with Suffolk Trading Standards for all product recalls. A recent boat fire shows what can happen if you don’t know that a product you have on board has been recalled.
Remember to review and improve the security on your boat regularly. Locks will need replacing as well as property marking your valuables
Remove outboards during winter months
The RNLI and the Boat Safety Scheme also have lots of helpful and useful safety and sailing advice and information.
And remember, always wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid at all times
whilst on the boat or near the water’s edge
Remember that when you get in with all that extra Christmas present shopping, not to put it on top of your cooker hob or hotplate. Not even for a short time because you might just forget it’s there and as we all try to multi task, if you are also trying to prepare a meal whilst putting shopping away, you may turn the hob on and set fire to your all your Christmas shopping and lose your kitchen too!
A crowded house can bring its own distractions. It’s even more important to stay alert while cooking and entertaining over the festive period.
Take extra care when cooking:
don’t get distracted
remember to turn off or turn down the heat if you have to leave the cooking unattended
avoid cooking when under the influence of alcohol.
always turn off kitchen appliances when you have finished cooking.
There is far more potential for a fire during the Christmas period. This is because of the extra candles being lit and the decorative lights being used to light our houses and Christmas trees. Never store Christmas presents near to decorative or tree lights and never close to lit candles.
Christmas is a busy time, but people still need to take a few precautions around the home in order to ensure they have a safe and happy festive period.
Real Christmas trees can become tinder dry over the Xmas period and easily overheat if the lights are left on, particularly if left on while you’re out or overnight. So, only have the lights on while you’re there, ensure decorations don’t rest on the lights and don’t cover the plug & socket with presents as this could lead to overheating.
Candles are a typical sight in many homes, scenting our rooms and giving an atmospheric glow to cold winter nights, particularly at Christmas. But it is important to remember that a candle is not just a decorative feature. Left unattended, an open flame scenting your home could leave a trail of devastation. Place your lit candles with extra care, away from curtains, pets and children and always remember to put them out when you leave the room, even for a moment.
Candle fires result in around 350 casualties each year, Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service are asking people to take extra care with candles this winter – nearly 40% of all fires started by candles result in a death or injury.