Boat Safety On A Narrowboat
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Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 12:24pm

The purpose of a Boat Safety Certificate (BSC)  is to minimise the risk of accidents happening on a narrowboat.  The scheme is initiated by The Canal and River Trust (formerely British Waterways) and the Environment Agency.

Every boat on the Inland Waterways must be complaint with Boat Safety and have a current BSC, which is the equivalent of a boat MOT.  Each certificate has a unique serial number which is required to licence and insure the boat.  The BSC runs for four years and must to be renewed every four years.  The examination is carried out by an independant Boat Safety Examiner.  The examiner will check your boat to make sure that it complies with the legal obligations for boast safety.  He will test the boats appliances to make sure that they are safe, checking any LPG gas cylinders to make sure that they are working properly and are in good condition.  He will check that ventillation on the boat is sufficient and that the vents are not blocked.  He will also check that the fuel tanks and power sources, such as shorelines are safe and comply with safety regulations.  He will check that the fire extinguishers meet Boat Safety Standards. 

The Boat Safety Scheme changed on March 31st 2013 and boat owners are no longer required to send off the blue copy of their BSS certificate.  There is now a central database with direct input from the Boat Safety Examiners.  The new look certificate may also include notifications and advisory information.  All existing BSCs remain valid until the expiry date.

Stay safe on your narrowboat by fitting smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors on board your boat, and test your smoke alarms regularly to make sure that they are working. 

For more information about boat Safety see the Boat Safety Scheme website.