Services Guide Boat Safety

Boat Safety

KEY SAFETY MESSAGES — issued by the Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service

Escape Plans


  • Means of escape should be adequate and sufficient.
  • Means of escape should be clear and free from obstruction.
  • Means of escape should be free from trip/slip hazards.
  • Have an alternative route in case the normal route gets blocked.
  • All doors or windows for means of escape should open easily in the event of a fire; keep keys to door and window locks handy.
  • If a window needs to be broken, use a heavy object to break the glass in the bottom corner and cover jagged edges of glass with a towel to avoid injury.
  • Plan ahead together - prepare and agree an escape plan with those on board, including visitors.
  • In the event of a fire everyone should stay calm and get off the boat as quickly as possible.
  • Everyone should keep low where the air is clearer.
  • If clothing catches fire, stop, drop and roll.  Use a fire blanket to smother the flames.
  • Always try to remember the location of the boat; it will be essential information in the event of an emergency.
  • Do not go back onto the boat - GET OUT, STAY OUT and dial 999!


  • How to make ‘999’ call including:
  • Name of caller.
  • Location i.e. Canal / River, Bridge Marker Posts, Landmarks etc.
  • Nature of emergency.
  • Which Service i.e. Police, Ambulance, Fire or Coastguard etc.
  • If anyone is trapped and where they are.
  • Speaking slowly and clearly.
  • Using mobile telephones, poor signal strengths etc.

Night-Time Routines

  • Smokers - ensure all cigarette ends are extinguished in ashtrays.
  • Dispose of ashtray contents in suitable flameproof container.
  • Isolate the gas supply to cooking appliances.
  • Switch off and unplug electrical appliances unless designed to be left on.
  • Make sure that all candles are correctly extinguished.
  • Close solid fuel / oil room heater doors to prevent fumes / sparks entering the accommodation space, put up fireguards.
  • A torch will prove invaluable in the event of an emergency.  Check it to ensure it is in working order and make sure that it is within easy reach.
  • Keys should be kept in a prominent position for use in an emergency.

Smoke Alarms

  • A smoke alarm is a vital warning device that detects smoke at the earliest stages of a fire giving the occupier extra time to escape.
  • Smoke alarms should be installed and tested to manufacturers’ recommendations.
  • Smoke alarms with 10 year batteries should be installed.
  • Smoke alarms should be tested weekly to ensure their operation.
  • Batteries should not, under any circumstances, be removed.
  • Periodic ‘beeping’ of the smoke alarms means that the battery needs replacing.  Replace the whole unit if it is a 10 year battery!


For more information visit our website