Boat fire safety awareness event in Falmouth
Falmouth firefighters are hosting a special awareness event this weekend in a bid to combat a recent spate of fires on “liveaboard” boats.
The event, on Saturday (September 1) from 10am until 2pm, will take place at Islington Wharf in Penryn with crewmembers from Falmouth Fire Station's White Watch.
It is aimed at those who choose to live onboard a boat in a boatyard, with little or no intention of returning to the water.
Dave Coombes, who is leading the initiative, said: “We want boat owners to come along and discuss their concerns with us.
“Hopefully following our visit they will be safer this winter by fitting smoke and gas detectors and following simple checks which can prevent a fire on board.”
Dave had the idea for the event following a fire on a boat in a local yard and he approached watch manager Martyn Addinall with his concerns.
“As fire-fighters we are always keen to seek out potential risks before they happen,” Martyn said, “this is exactly what Dave did.” “In and around Falmouth more people are choosing to find alternative means of accommodation and a boat on dry land in the months leading up to the winter looks very attractive, but when you add the necessities of cooking and heating then the potential for a fire or explosion is ever more apparent.”
Dave added: “On boats there is only one escape route out through the cabin and down a ladder. Considering the space and how quickly it can be filled with smoke, carbon monoxide or explosive gases, living aboard a boat actually requires a greater level of fire safety than living in a standard house.”
Fitting a gas monitor and smoke detector, as well as keeping all gas cylinders outside in a self-draining fire resistant locker, were essential for liveaboard occupants, Dave said.
For further advice, contact Falmouth Community Fire Station on 0300 1234232, or attend the fire safety event on Saturday.