April 09, 2007
Not To Be Overlooked: Fire Extinguishers
Coast Guard approved fire extinguishers are required on boats where a fire hazard could be expected from the engines or fuel system. Extinguishers are classified by a letter and number symbol. The LETTER indicates the TYPE FIRE the unit is designed to extinguish (Type B extinguishers are designed to extinguish flammable liquids such as gasoline, oil and grease fires). The NUMBER indicates the relative SIZE of the extinguisher (the higher the number, the larger the extinguisher).
Approved extinguishers required for boats are hand portable, either B-I or B-II classification and have a marine specific mounting bracket. Extinguishers should be mounted in an easily accessible position, away from areas where a fire could likely start. Though that sounds simple enough, the actual markings found on the units can be confusing because they can be approved for several different types of hazards. For instance, an extinguisher marked “Type A, Size II, Type B:C, Size I” is a B-1 extinguisher. The easiest thing to do is to look for the label that says “Marine Type USCG”.
How Many Do I Need?
Good question if I say so myself. Well, the number of extinguishers required on a recreational boat is based on the overall length.
Less than 26’ = One (1) B-I extinguisher required
26’ to less than 40’ = Two (2) B-I or One (1) B- II
If the boat has an internal fire suppression system installed below deck for the fuel or engine compartment, the required number of extinguishers may be reduced to the following.
Less than 26’ = None (0) Only if fix suppression system installed on vessel
26’ to less than 40’ = One (1) B-I Only if fix suppression system installed on vessel
It’s always important to check the most current USCG regulations. To do so, please visit the USCG Safe Boating website.
Posted by ribcraftusa at April 9, 2007 11:27 AMBack To Index