Boating Safety

"Fire alarm" poster targets women

Men are four times more likely to drown than women. And while boating-related fatalities have trended downward over the past 10 years, still 80% of victims in boating deaths are not wearing lifejackets. These facts led the Lifesaving Society in partnership with the Canadian Safe Boating Council to research if talking to women would effectively influence their husbands to wear their lifejackets.

The research identified the high potential to reach women and ultimately their husbands and partners by linking the wearing of inflatable lifejackets as a way to save on the water. The result is the "fire alarm" poster shown here.

The research showed that the poster had strong communication ability, a strong emotional resonance, capturing and holding the attention of the study participants, and revealed high potential to get women to talk to their husbands and partners about the importance of wearing a lifejacket.

Since May 2012, the poster has been displayed at malls in Barrie, Kitchener, London, Niagara area, Ottawa, St. Catharines, Sarnia, Toronto and Windsor. The mall poster is also up in Alberta, Manitoba, Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Smaller posters have been distributed to marinas and community centres. The poster was a centerfold feature of the Society's summer 2012 Lifeliner distributed to all instructors and lifeguards in Ontario.

Contact us if you'd like additional copies

The campaign is supported by the Lifesaving Society and Pattison Advertising. The site now includes a "Smart Boater Women" section in which boating safety information for women and their families can be found.


2012 Fire Alarm Poster

Get certified, or row your boat

Anyone operating a motorized boat in Canada - regardless of age - must hold a Pleasure Craft Operator (PCO) card.

Pleasure Craft Operator Card

Be ready to show your Lifesaving Society PCO card when asked, or be prepared to pay a minimum $250 fine. Still need to take the test? You can purchase a Lifesaving Society BOAT Study Guide and review the questions to prepare to write the test; alternatively, you and your family can register for a Lifesaving Society BOAT course. Contact your local participating recreation centre, YMCA, swim school, camp, college, university or fire hall for additional information on times and availability.

BOAT training

Information about the Society's Boat Operator Accredited Training (B.O.A.T.) and related information is available in the Boating section of this website.