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It's the Law

Fire Extinguishers


All vessels are required to have a Type B fire extinguisher on board if one or more of the following conditions exist:

  • Inboard engine
  • Closed compartments where portable fuel tanks may be stored
  • Double bottoms not sealed to the hull or which are not filled completely with flotation material
  • Closed living spaces
  • Closed storage compartments in which flammable or combustible materials may be stored
  • Permanently installed fuel tanks (any tank where the removal of the tank is hampered by the installation of tie-down straps or clamps)

Approved types of fire extinguishers are identified by the following marking on the label—“Marine Type USCG–Approved”—followed by the type and size symbols and the approval number.

Extinguishers should be placed in an accessible area—not near the engine or in a compartment, but where they can be reached immediately. Be sure you know how to operate them, and inspect extinguishers regularly to ensure they are in working condition and fully charged.

Fire Extinguisher Requirements

Use this chart to determine the size and quantity required for your vessel.

Classification Foam Carbon Dioxide Dry Chemical
type & size minimum gallons minimum pounds minimum pounds
B-I 4 2
B-II 15 10
Length of Vessel Without Fixed System With Fixed System*
Less than 26 ft. one B-I one B-I
26 ft. to less than 40 ft. two B-I or one B-II one B-I
40 ft. to less than 65 ft. three B-I or one B-II and one B-I two B-I or one B-II

* refers to a permanently installed fire extinguisher system

Fire Extinguisher Charge Indicators

Check the charge level of your fire extinguishers regularly. Replace them immediately if they are not fully charged.

Fire Extinguisher Indicator
To check this style of extinguisher, depress the green button. If it is fully charged, the green button should pop back out immediately.
Fire Extinguisher Indicator
On this style of fire extinguisher, the needle indicator should be in the "full" range.