News article created on 12 September 2017

Boaters - Stay Gas Safe

We’re asking all boaters to stay gas safe by getting on-board gas appliances checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer, to protect from the danger of fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Boat on the canal Boat on the canal

Cooking, heating, hot water

The most common fuel used for cooking on boats is Liquid Propane Gas (LPG). LPG is also often used to heat water, either for washing or central heating. Bottle gas that is used on boats is not the same as a fixed pipeline system used in houses and buildings. Bottle gas leaking into a boat can't escape as easily as gas in houses, so the risk of explosion from a leak in a boat is significantly greater.

With 21 deaths and over 800 gas-related injuries over the last three years across the whole of the UK (not just boats), Gas Safety Week is about encouraging all gas consumers to ensure their appliances are checked annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

Trust the triangle

Not all Gas Safe registered engineers are qualified to work with LPG, and not LPG engineers are qualified to work on boats. You should 'Trust the triangle' and check that anyone doing gas work on your boat is Gas Safe registered. Anyone working on gas appliances whilst not being registered is working illegally.

Have you got a leak?

If you’ve got an LPG leak on your boat, you could be able to detect it with your nose as the stenching agent in LPG is distinctive and very smelly, but don't rely on being able to smell a leak, depending on the location you may not be able to smell it at all. A carbon monoxide alarm won’t pick up on a gas leak, only the silent killer from an unsafe gas appliance in use.

If you do smell a leak, immediately turn off the supply, evacuate, ventilate and then have it investigated by a competent engineer. When a leak goes wrong on a boat it can go badly wrong very quickly as one unfortunate boater discovered just a few weeks ago.

Stay safe

  • ensure any gas storage or gas appliance installation such as a cooker or boiler on your boat complies with the Boat Safety Scheme
  • never use portable camping gas stoves or portable gas heaters inside your boat cabin
  • be aware of the signs that an unsafe gas appliance may cause such as a lazy yellow flame instead of a crisp blue flame; soot or staining on or around the appliance; excess condensation in the room
  • never block up your boat’s vents, they are there to help your gas appliances breathe and to prevent poisoning by carbon monoxide

To find a Gas Safe registered engineer call 0800 408 5500 or visit

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The boating team

Find out what the Canal & River Trust's boating team have been up to.

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