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Home » Product & Planning Guide » Safety & Security » Canal Boat & Narrowboat Escape Plan


An escape plan is a vital, but often overlooked, aspect to boating life.

Whether permanently living aboard or enjoying a waterways based holiday, formulating a plan is an essential safety process

According to the Boat Safety Scheme there is over one accidental boat fire per week.

Regardless of installed fire safety devices, it is should be the bare minimum to make an emergency plan for yourself and everyone else on board. Everyone should be made familiar with the plan and go through it regularly.

Be mindful that being woken from a deep sleep in the early hours by a sounding alarm can be disorientating and, well, alarming, so all planned actions should be second nature.

Think about your plan relative to the moorings you are on for the night and maybe have a grab-bag handy with important items such as passports, credit cards & car keys inside.

Here are a few tips from the BSS
  • Know your location so you can tell the emergency services where you are if needed  (this is good advice regardless of the escape plan). 
  • Fire extinguishers should be easy to grab & on your escape routes. 
  • Know how to use any and all type of fire extinguishers on the boat. 
  • Know your escape route & check it is clear before going to bed.
  • When aboard, all locks, catches, or bolts for doors and hatches should be operable from inside the boat.
  • Have all keys to hand.
  • Keep a working torch easily available to help you escape at night.
To this we would add keep your mobile phone handy and charged and let's hope you never have to put your plan into action.
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