Fire prevention is always the best protection from a fire on-board your narrowboat. However a smoke detector / alarm can be your life saver if the unthinkable happens on your narrow boat.

Narrow boats have plenty of heating options, from multi-fuel stoves to diesel central heating
A smoke detector / alarm can be a life saver on a narrowboat
A roaring fire on a narrow boat

Fire & Smoke Alarms… What Do You Need To Know?

The fitting of smoke detectors or alarms on a narrowboat is a no-brainer, if you’ll excuse the term!

Fire can be broadly classified into two types:

  • Flaming fires
  • Slow burning smouldering fires

Just to confuse matters,there are three basic types of detector:

  • Ionisation: Lowest cost. Sentivive to small particles produced by flaming fires (chip pans etc). Marginally less sensitive to slow burning, smokey fires.
  • Optical: Effective at detecting large particles produced by slow burning fires. (PVC wiring, uphostery etc). They are marginally less sensitive for flaming fires. More expensive.
  • Combined: Most expensive. Does what it says on the tin.

All types of alarms are available as battery operated units. Batteries should be tested regularly and replaced every 12 months. Advance units are available with test buttons and flashing strobe lights to alert the hard of hearing.

Placement on narrow boat is important because of the nature of the design of the cabin sides. Where possible the best position is about 10cm down from the cabin roof on a side wall. The unit should be placed a suitable distance, but close enough, from the galley to avoid false alarms. Halfway between saloon and bedroom is appropriate.

Every few months, open the case and remove dust from the fire and smoke alarm, including any cobwebs and spider poo from the sensors!

Fire & Smoke Detectors

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