EA urges boaters to fit smoke alarms

Call comes after report into death of woman in boat fire earlier this year

The Environment Agency (EA) has called on boaters to fit and regularly test smoke alarms on boats following the publication of a report into the death of a woman on a narrowboat earlier this year.

The woman, a 22-year-old teaching assistant, was killed when a fire that started from a solid fuel-burning stove swept through the narrowboat in Adlington, Lancashire, in January. Her partner, the owner of the boat, escaped with serious burns.

The EA’s navigation adviser Julian Kennard said: “Around 82% of homes in the UK have smoke alarms installed but, shockingly, a recent survey shows less than half of all boats have them fitted.

“Fires afloat are a real danger because of the fuel and gas on board. But the real killers are smoke and toxic fumes, so if you’re asleep your survival depends on a smoke alarm waking you.

“Smoke alarms are not expensive, they are easy to fit – and they save lives. So don’t take a chance that it will never happen to you.”

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For a new Boat Safety Scheme guide to smoke alarms, head here .