New Carbon Monoxide Alarm Requirements For Marine Applications

The Boat Safety Scheme has released advice on outfitting Carbon Monoxide CO Detectors to your boat. The safety equipment became mandatory on April 1, 2019 under the scheme’s updated requirements. 

The rule now affects almost all private and non-private ships wanting to attain BSS certification. In order to comply, boats should have at least one carbon monoxide, CO detector  or as many as necessary so that everyone on board can hear the alarm when it sounds.

Additionally private ships with solid fuel stoves have to have a carbon monoxide alarm in exactly the same space to prevent the build-up of undetected flue gases.
All alarms must be in good working condition, with no signs of damage, easily observable, and regularly tested, BS EN 50291 quality certified and replaced before their expiration date.

Will you be ready, is your boat outfitted with detectors?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a gas that can kill quickly. It is called the “silent killer” because it is colorless, odorless, tasteless and non– irritating. If the early signs of CO poisoning are ignored, a person may lose consciousness and be unable to escape the danger. Carbon monoxide can build-up on ships can be caused by faulty, poorly maintained or misused appliances, engine or generator exhaust fumes, strong stove flue gases or blocked vents. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, dizziness, nausea, fatigue and stomach pain. The cause is not always obvious, meaning that CO poisoning may often be mistaken for a cold or flu-like illness.

The Boat Safety Scheme guidance states: “Boats Are Built To Keep Water Out, But This Also Makes Them Good Containers For Gases And Fumes.” and concludes: If you believe you’re suffering carbon monoxide poisoning, contact your doctor, or if the symptoms are severe get to A&E and inform them you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning.

To learn more about the requirements visit the Boat Safety Scheme website.

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