Marine fire extinguishers

Marine Fire Extinguishers are an Absolute Necessity

Few safety items are as cost effective and as necesssary as having a marine fire extinguishers on your boat.

Marine fire extinguishers are regulated by federal law, and the Coast Guard has standards for what you are supposed to carry on board your boat.

U .S. Coast Guard-approved, marine-type 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 of fire the unit is designed to extinguish .Type B, for example, is designed to extinguish flaming liquids, such as gasoline, oil, and grease .The number indicates the amount of the extinguishing agent contained in the extinguisher; the higher the number, the greater the amount of agent in the extinguisher.

 

U .S. Coast Guard-approved extinguishers required for boats are hand-portable, have either B-I or B-II classification, and must be provided with a mounting bracket .While not required, it is recommended that the extinguishers be mounted in a readily accessible location .You should consider locations where the extinguisher can be reached easily. For example, at or near the steering stationor in the galley or engine room, but away from locations where a fire be likely to start.

Extinguisher markings can be confusing because one extinguisher can be approved for several different types of fires (A, B,or C) .For example, an extinguisher marked “Type A, Size II; Type B; C, Size I” is acceptable as a Type B-I extinguisher .

Look for the section of the label that states “Marine Type USCG, Type A, Size II; Type B; C Size I .” (It will also contain a USCG approval number .) Make sure Type B is indicated .Hand-portable extinguishers will be either a Size I or II .

Size III and larger are too big for use on most recreational boats.

 


Marine fire extinguishers are required on boats when any of the following conditions exist:

• There are closed compartments and compartments under seats where portable fuel tanks may be stored .
• There are double bottoms not sealed to the hull or that are not completely filled with flotation materials .
• There are closed living spaces .
• There are closed stowage compartments, in which combustible or flammable materials are stored .
• There are permanently installed fuel tanks .(Fuel tanks secured so they cannot be moved in case of a fire or other emergency are considered permanentlyinstalled .Also, if the weight of a fuel tank is such that persons on board cannot move it, the U .S .Coast Guard may consider it permanently installed.)

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