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Boat Safety Scheme launch consultation on proposed CO alarms requirements

Boat Safety Scheme launch consultation on proposed CO alarms requirements

24th August 2018

On the 17th August, the Boat Safety Scheme (BSS) launched a public consultation on the proposal to introduce mandatory new BSS Requirements for carbon monoxide (CO) alarms on boats.

The public safety initiative -  who work to minimise the risk of boat fires, explosions, or pollution from boats harming visitors and workers to the inland waterways - have proposed changes to CO alarm requirements which will reduce the risk to those using the waterways and their surrounding areas from CO poisoning from boat engine or appliance emissions. 

This change follows the Marine Accident Incident Branch (MAIB) findings after the double fatality on the ‘Love for Lydia’ in Norfolk, June 2016, which starkly demonstrated the risk posed to other boat users by CO-rich engine emissions. CO is a silent, unseen killer, and emissions produced by engines and appliances on adjacent boats can prove fatal to neighbouring crafts. 

The proposed mandatory new BSS Requirements will see checks introduced for CO alarms in good condition and in suitable locations on all classes of boat with accommodation spaces. These suggested requirements for boats on inland waterways are designed to keep people on and around boats safe. 

As well as protection from neighbouring boats, the CO alarms are also expected to prevent death or injury to boat owners from their own boat engines or appliances. Alarms can also serve to alert craft occupants to moderate levels of CO which can be a long-term threat to health if left undetected.

The BSS would welcome comments on the proposals from APPCOG supporters, which can be made using the consultation form on the BSS website. The deadline for comments is 16.30 on Friday 9 November 2018. 

The BSS will publish a summary of the views expressed in the consultation and a BSS response by Friday 21 December 2018, which will be published on the BSS website. The mandatory new BSS Requirements are intended to come into effect from January 2019 and implemented as BSS Checks on 1 April 2019.