What Is A Requirement For Fire Extinguishers On A Boat

Fire extinguishers are regulated by the federal law, so it is of no surprise that the coast guard themselves have set the standards in terms of the requirement on a boat. It is of paramount importance to carry them and we’ll address a variety of questions surrounding them.

How Many Fire Extinguishers Do I Need On A Boat?

This will totally depend on the length and type of your boat. Based on the dimensions you’ll need at least 1 B1 if your boat length is up to 26 feet. 2 B1 or 1 B2 for boats with a length between 26 to 40 feet & 3 B1 or 1 B1 & 1 B2 for boats with a length between 40 to 65 feet.

You can make some trade offs between B1 & B2 as seen in table below as B2 is larger in comparison to B1.

On Boats UptoNo. Of Extinguisher (With Type)
26 Ft.1 B1
26 Ft. to 40 Ft.2 B1 or 1 B2
40 Ft. to 65 Ft.3 B1 or 1 B1 & 1 B2

Why Class B?

Always go for Class B as they are effective in putting out ‘B’ Fires. B Fires are fires produced through flammable liquids like gasoline diesel, etc. 

There are others like ABC class which are adept at handling any sort of fire but normally a B class will get you home.

Here’s one coast guard approved device if you’re looking for one –

These are marine certified through the UL plus it meets the coastguard standards. B2 in comparison to B1 are bigger and you can have them and the trade-off with B1’s as stated in the table above.

Placement Tip

Although trading off is an option by using a single B2 than several B1’s we recommend sticking with several B1’s. 

Why? Accessibility of the device is extremely important when a fire breaks out and having a lot of small ones scattered around the boat is a far better option than having a single “big one” on a part of the boat where fire may have already reached. 

This practice will make sure you have adequate places within your reach to put out the fire. 

Also, in terms of the placement having an extinguisher in the cabin, cockpit, and saloon should be adequate to cover all the bases. 

When placing them, remember that scattering them is key to your boat’s safety. The more places they are the more options it opens for you to save your boat.

Something To Remember Before Buying

When buying these devices, make sure you’re looking for the marine ones. Yes, there are marine type extinguishers and the key differences than the regular one is the difference in its bracket. 

As boat rock due to wind & tides, normal brackets are unable to hold the device for long before releasing it. This is when the marine ones come in to play, their brackets are specially designed to hold them tight when the boat is in motion. 

To pass the coast guard inspection it is mandatory that you be using the marine ones rather than the regular ones. This is one key thing to remember so that you can pass their inspection.`