Gas safety on your boat

Using gas appliances in any situation requires strict precautions and this is only heightened when on a boat. Our new video looks at the different types of gas we use on a boat and how to stay on the right side of safe when you do.

Gas Safety on your Boat - Video transcript

Hi My name is Edward and I am an advisor for Towergate.

In this video we’ll run through some safety tips to make sure your using gas on your boat in the right way.

Boats should be watertight (or most successful ones are!)

Whilst water may not be able to get in, this also means that any other fluids, whether liquid or gas, cannot get out.

This is particularly important when dealing with any kind of inflammable fluid. Petrol, Paraffin, Diesel, or heating oil cannot escape from within a boat’s hull. Gases such as Propane or Butane, are often denser than air, and if released accidentally will collect at the lowest point within the boat, and can sit there undisturbed for long periods. Unsurprisingly, these could pose a potentially lethal hazard.

We come across many incidents involving gas spillages, mostly with expensive consequences, but sometimes, tragically, with fatal ones.

There are several do’s and don’ts when dealing with inflammable gases.

  • Get your appliances serviced by a professional, and do it regularly. Gas piping has a finite life, and must be replaced when past it.
  • Make sure that any gas bottles on board are in a dedicated gas locker that can drain overboard, not into the boat, and keep the drains clear!
  • Do not transfer any flammable fluid from one container to another whilst onboard your boat if you can possibly avoid doing so. If you must do it, make very sure that ALL sources of ignition inside the boat are extinguished.
  • Keep your fire extinguishers in date, and of adequate capacity for your boat.
  • Buy a gas alarm (a simple domestic model is perfectly adequate in most cases)

Think hard before attempting alterations to gas fitting aboard your vessel- any accident is unlikely to be a minor one, and flouting good practice may mean any claim you make might not be paid.

A problem seems to exist in the UK in another area concerning gas on boats, and this time the gas is not inflammable. Carbon Monoxide, is the invisible killer. Odourless, tasteless and unseen, it has remained of slight concern to most boaters, but this is now changing. Many more boats, especially those used inland are fitted with solid fuel stoves. Many more boaters require greater battery capacity to power modern electronic devices. There is now some evidence that these two factors could contribute to serious accidents

Safety aboard your boat can be significantly improved by the installation of a detector..

To read more about boat safety click the links on this page or visit our website today.

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