Boat Safety Scheme Issue Advice on Barbeques

Issue date: 17th July 2013

The Boat Safety Scheme has issued the following advice as the weather improves and barbeque usage increases.

As the barbeque summer finally arrives, BSS has a simple request, ‘If you see or hear of it happening, please advise your fellow boaters to never use a barbeque on board a boat - take it ashore, enjoy it safely and avoid the twin risks of fire and carbon monoxide.’

BSS is calling upon boaters to spread the safety messages by conversation on the mooring or through social media – enjoy the barbeque ashore.

Even on land be careful not to place a disposable barbeque where it could set alight wooden jetties, boardwalks, or dry grass and vegetation.  Barbeques need to be far enough away from the boat so that any hot embers blowing in the wind can’t reach boat furnishings, or any anything else that can burn, like newspapers or clothes.

The carbon monoxide risk is real and immediate. In the last 18 months, seven campers have died from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by bringing disposable barbeques into, or near small and confined spaces of tents and awnings.

The lessons from camping that boaters need to take on board is that hot or warm charcoal produces dangerous amounts of the highly toxic gas, and continues to do so for hours after the cooking is over.  This means it is never safe to have a lit or cooling barbeque in a cabin or covered cockpit area. The only safe charcoal is that which is absolutely cold.

Lastly, before you dispose of used charcoal double-check that it is completely cold to the touch, either let it burn out in a safe place protected from wind and go cold or pour water onto the fire. Used charcoal should be disposed of responsibly.

Carbon Monoxide Safety on Boats safety information can be downloaded from the BSS website.