Canal & River Trust, and the Environment Agency jointly sponsor the Boat Safety Scheme. It's designed to minimise the risks of fires or explosions on boats cruising the UK's inland waterways network, by specifying a set of requirements that most boats must meet before they can be granted a navigation licence. The Scheme also recommends a number of 'safety best practice' measures which enhance the personal health and safety of those on board privately owned boats.
As licensing bodies, British Waterways and the Environment Agency have a statutory duty to insist that all boats on the waterways they care for are as safe as possible. This helps to minimise the risks of fires and explosion, which can kill or seriously injure visitors to the waterways network. It's in everyone's interests to help ensure the waterways are as safe as possible.
The BSS Standards are a set of essential safety requirements and best safety practice advice. The Standards include safety criteria for boat systems such as electrical installations, inboard/outboard engines, appliances, ventilation and fuels.
Each Standard is broken down into individual check list items that are applied to the boat, its installations and its appliances during an examination.
The points listed in each section are not intended to be a comprehensive guide, but to give some technical background, as well as provide details of the standards themselves.
It is important to understand that that the BSS Examination covers only Basic Essentials and focuses mainly on defects causing fires and explosions. There are many areas of "Boat Safety" outside the remit of the BSS Examination. e.g. Stability, and Hull integrity. The owner is at all times responsible for the vessel being in a safe condition.
Boat Safety Examiner