Table of Contents

Download the PDF Version

It's the Law

Fire Extinguishers

Most vessels are required to have a Type B fire extinguisher on board, in serviceable condition, and readily available.

Type B fires are of flammable liquids like gasoline or oil.

The only exceptions to the requirement are:

  • Any non-motorized boat
  • Class A or Class 1 boats whose construction will not permit the entrapment of flammable gases or vapors

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.

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

Fire Extinguisher Requirements

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' one B-I none
26' to less than 40' two B-I or one B-II one B-I
40' to less than 65' 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