Using gas safely in your boat

Follow this simple checklist to see if your marine craft is safe and complies with the regulations.

  • The gas cylinder should be firmly secured and cylinder valves readily accessible for ease of operation.
  • Cylinder compartments must:
    • Provide adequate protection against the weather.
    • Be constructed of a material which is water and corrosion resistant.
    • Be drained and vented to the outside atmosphere to prevent any accumulation of leaking gas within an enclosed area of the marine craft.
  • Filling damaged or out-of-test-date cylinders are illegal and can be dangerous.
  • Out of date cylinders must not be filled until tested and re-stamped by a certified gas cylinder test station.
  • Ensure any installed gas refrigerator is sealed in a cupboard or enclosed compartment and is vented to the outside.
  • Ensure the craft has adequate fixed ventilation.
  • Regularly check the operation of all gas appliances and, if not functioning correctly, have them checked by an authorised gas fitter.
  • Manual shut-off valves must be fitted to the inlet connection of each appliance and be accessible for operation.
  • Use the cooking appliance or stove only for the purpose for which it was designed – cooking, eg not as a room heater.
  • High-pressure appliances must not be permanently installed in a boat unless approved by a designated gas inspector.

Combustible gas detection systems

  • Marine LPG gas appliances must not be installed in a marine craft below the level of the main deck unless an approved combustible gas detection system is installed.
  • A typical gas detection installation consists of a control panel, a solenoid valve and a minimum of two sensors.

Safety tips

  1. Close appliance operating knobs before opening cylinder valve.
  2. Periodically check connections for leaks at the appliance, regulator and cylinder with soapy water.
  3. Never use a match or flame when checking for leaks.
  4. Close cylinder valve when appliances are not in use or when the gas cylinder is being filled.
  5. Never leave an appliance with a continuously burning flame operating if any petrol was driven vessel if unattended for a period of 12 hours or more.
  6. Use the cooking appliance or stove only for the purpose for which it was designed – cooking, eg not as a room heater.
  7. In the event of a fire, immediately close cylinder valve.
  8. Check the flammable gas detector, to determine if flammable vapours are present and the vessel cleared of any flammable vapour before lighting any LP gas appliance or starting the motor.
  9. All spare gas cylinders, whether full or empty must be fitted with gas-tight sealing plugs and all cylinder valves closed.
  10. A licensed gas fitter must perform all additions or alterations to the LP gas system.  (Consult your LP gas supplier.)
  11. Appliances must not be altered without the authorisation of a gas inspector or the manufacturer and the work must be carried out by a licensed gas fitter.
  12. Familiarise yourself with the odour of unburnt LP gas, to assist in the early detection of leaks.
  13. All permanent ventilators, flues and vents should be checked regularly to ensure they are clear.
  14. In the event of an accidental gas leak, close the cylinder valve and ventilate the vessel until the air is clear.

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