CO alarms save lives!

“If you have any fuel burning appliances aboard, an engine or generator, fit a suitable audible carbon monoxide alarm for an added re-assurance.” – Boat Safety Scheme

Boaters are being urged to install a carbon monoxide alarm as the save lives, to read the full article or to find out more about carbon monoxide alarms, please click on theis link : CO alarms save lives!

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‘Be aware of CO alarms not working’, warns the Boat Safety Scheme

Choosing the right CO alarm could be the best purchase you ever make but be aware of false claims!

Following media reports this June about non-working imported carbon monoxide (CO) alarms sold on internet shopping sites, the Boat Safety Scheme (BSS) is cautioning boaters, that choosing the right CO alarm is an especially critical decision as boats can fill in minutes, sometimes seconds, with lethal levels of the highly toxic gas.
The BSS has teamed up with the CoGDEM (Council of Gas Detection & Environment Monitoring) to urge boaters to choose one from the list of CO alarms suitable for boats as recommended by the makers of independently certified products – the list can be found on the home page of the BSS website.
Incident reports collected by the BSS show that properly certified CO alarms have repeatedly protected skippers and crews from the hidden dangers of CO and ought to be regarded as part of the boat’s essential safety equipment.
The advice is to buy alarms that have been independently tested and certified by British Standards Institution (BSI), look for the Kitemark on the alarm or packaging or the Loss Prevention Certification Board, look for the LPCB Certification Mark.
CO alarms certified to BS EN 50291-2 are the best choice for boats, but if you have a CO alarm, BSI or LPCB certified to BS EN 50291, or 50291-1, CoGDEM’s advice is to keep it, test it routinely and when it needs replacing, choose a unit certified to BS EN 50291-2.
BSS Manager, Graham Watts said: Reports of new alarms, not working out of the box is very concerning, so our advice to anyone worried that they have bought a non-functioning alarm for their boat, is to reassure themselves by looking for the Kitemark or LPCB Certification Mark. Leigh Greenham, Director and Administrator at CoGDEM added: We cannot stress enough that CO alarms are vital pieces of life saving equipment, but only independently tested and certified alarms should be trusted to do this most important of jobs. There’s no substitute for the good installation, regular maintenance and correct use of fuel burning appliances and engine systems, but if despite these steps, CO still occurs, boaters can have confidence in independently certified alarms protecting them and their fellow crew members.

CO is produced when carbon-based, appliance and engine fuels, such as gas, LPG, coal, wood, paraffin, oil, petrol and diesel don’t burn completely.
It cannot be seen, smelt, tasted, or felt, that’s why it’s known as the silent killer!
When you breathe in CO, it replaces the oxygen in your bloodstream, preventing essential supplies to your body tissues, heart, brain and other vital organs.
Survivors of severe CO poisoning may be left with severe long-term neurological problems, with disturbances in memory, language, cognition, mood and behaviour, as can some people exposed to lower, non-lethal concentrations of the toxic gas.
Alarms not only warn people about immediately dangerous amounts of CO, they can alert people to the presence of the lower, but still health affecting, levels.

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Data Storage

Data storage:

I have emailed every member who I had an email address for seeking consent to store their information. Many, many have not responded, or their email address has changed.

Would everyone please spread the word and if you have not already done so please let me have your consent. Without consent consent I am forced to delete the members details from our records.

Thank you.

rcrogers722@gmail.com

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Carbon Monoxide Risk Warning

As the 2018 boating season gets underway, following the deaths of four people and emergency treatment for two more, the BSS has a blunt warning for boaters using petrol engines, especially large petrol engines, which Marine Accident Investigation Branch investigations have shown can fill a boat’s interior with carbon monoxide in seconds.

April 2018                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Put bluntly, if you can smell petrol-engine exhaust fumes in the boat, kill the engine(s) and get out fast before you inhale any further toxic fumes!

A major carbon monoxide (CO) risk comes from either big inboard petrol-engines producing lethal volumes of the highly poisonous gas in seconds, or from outboards and other portable engines steadily increasing CO in the cabin; but whatever the source, boaters cannot afford to drop their guard says the Boat Safety Scheme (BSS).

Over the previous two boating seasons four people died and another two had emergency medical treatment when the cabins of their cruisers, with large inboard petrol engines, filled with a toxic cloud of CO as engine-exhaust gases were drawn inside through the open flaps of cockpit covers.

Graham Watts the BSS manager said:

“The warning is targeted at owners of boats with large petrol engines and focuses on the risk when boat engines are run whilst the craft is moored.

‘Investigations by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) have demonstrated how exhaust gases from petrol engines can flow back inside through slightly open flaps on cockpit covers.

‘The gaps in the covers can act like a funnel to channel exhaust fumes into the covered cockpit area, and then fill the boat interior with a massive volume of CO in seconds.

‘CO measured in hundreds of parts per million in air can kill in minutes or hours, the MAIB tests recorded CO in thousands of parts per million in less than half a minute.

‘Do not think that it is OK to have petrol engine exhaust fumes in your covered cockpit area or cabin – act immediately!

‘No amount of CO should be thought of as safe, even low concentrations over longer periods can cause long-term health problems.’

‘Good skippers will understand and control all risks to protect their crews. This includes knowing about CO and being able to recognise the symptoms of CO poisoning.’

Over the past 20 years, 19 boaters have died and a further 21 were sent to hospital when CO in exhaust fumes from inboard, outboard and generator engines entered the boat.

CO is a colourless and odourless gas, but when it is mixed with the other petrol engine exhaust gases that you can smell, you can be confident there is a risk you need to deal with immediately.

The symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to flu or food poisoning as the toxin begins to take effect, these include headaches, nausea and dizziness.

As time passes and, or the amount of CO builds, symptoms can worsen with chest pains and breathlessness and go on to seizure, unconscious. So the early recognition of the symptoms is critical, but if nothing is done, death can follow on quickly.

Because of circumstances where you may not smell the exhaust fumes, or you are asleep, it is critical to have a working certified CO alarm as the next line of defence.

Even if your batteries are desperate for a charge, don’t run an engine on a moored boat if the exhaust fumes are being drawn inside. Wait until the wind changes or move to a different mooring.

Be a good neighbour and don’t run petrol engines where exhaust fumes could enter a nearby boat cabin.

These are the critical points

  • If you are smelling and breathing in petrol-engine exhaust fumes, stop the engine and get off the boat.
  • Know the symptoms of CO poisoning, if anyone is indicating they are suffering, get them medical help. If the symptoms are severe – call the emergency services.
  • As a belt & braces defence, have one or more certified CO alarms (BS EN 50291-2). They need testing routinely and never remove the batteries.

Barry Sheerman, MP for Huddersfield and Co-chair of All-Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group (APPCOG) is supporting the need for boaters to understand more about CO and promotes the BSS information.

‘As Co-chair of the All-Party parliamentary CO group I am delighted to support the initiative of the Boat Safety Scheme to protect people from carbon monoxide poisoning. We have identified the growing number of CO related boating incidents as a worrying and emerging trend. The Boat Safety Scheme and the APPCOG are determined prevent any further incidents of this kind’.

More information about staying safe from CO on boats is available at www.boatsafetyscheme.org/co

 

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The BSS next business plan to 2022 includes certification price rise

The Boat Safety Scheme (BSS) Management Committee has agreed a new four-year business plan to resource its work to 2022 and invest in improvements that will have an even longer-term benefit. The plan also includes the first price rise in certification charges for eight years.
BSS Examiners will pay a new price of £36 (excluding VAT) for each certification they issue to a boat, which is a £7 (ex VAT) rise that they will likely choose to pass onto customers.
The new price will apply from 1 April 2018 and the Scheme intends holding it for at least the whole of the four-year business plan period, which is designed to coincide with the four-year lifespan of BSS Certification.
Graham Watts, the BSS Manager said, ‘The Scheme’s track record on keeping to a business plan and controlling costs has been good with the resultant freeze in the BSS Certifications price for the last eight years, but having considered all options, a price change now cannot be avoided. ‘Predicted inflationary pressures rising over the next four years means the BSS needs to invest in its information technology and training in order to maintain the efficiency gains we have already achieved. ‘Above all, it’s critical to invest to help avoid the possibility of excessive inflation busting price rises in the business planning period beyond the next four years.’

The new BSS business plan includes additional support to BSS Examiners, projects to improve the quality of examinations and enhancements to customer service. The Scheme acknowledges that times are tough and boaters face other price increases associated with their boating activity, so we will remain committed to continued effectiveness and efficiency to hold down costs while delivering more results. Throughout the four-year business plan period boaters will see further investment in influencing boat owners’ behaviours, which is the key to keeping people safe from serious harm.
The BSS will also continue to support research into the risks such as carbon monoxide, as it has tangible benefits for boaters, not least the sharing of the best quality safety advice in the most effective ways.
Certification income represents almost 90% of the Scheme’s revenue all of which is invested into the work underpinning the BSS Examination service, risk research and review and the promotion of boat safety advice.

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