Burning wood, coal , gas or diesel keeps the boat dry warm and cosy in the cool winter months. But a fire can be unhealthy or downright dangerous. All these carbon fuels produce carbon monoxide if there is not enough air or oxygen getting to the fire. Even cooking can be hazardous.
Sadly there have been several deaths already this year caused by carbon monoxide poisoning. Caused variously by unventilated boats with windows shut or fire doors actually open. In one case a burning pan was left on the cooker. One victim was found to have alcohol above the legal limit and was incapable of escaping. It is not the fire or flames that kill, it is the un seen gas carbon monoxide that is the killer. The boats were not fitted with smoke detectors and fire investigators are urging all boaters to fit one. We do have one that can even warn us when the toast is over done!
While at Norton Junction we asked the boat yard to check over our diesel fire now approaching our 4th winter. Mick came and took the unit apart expertly and gave it a thorough de coke. Checked the oil filter and flow control system finding them clean and in good order. When the fire was lit we were reassurance that it was ok.