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It's the Law

Fire Extinguishers


All vessels are required to have a Type B U.S. Coast Guard–approved fire extinguisher(s) on board if one or more of the following conditions exist.

  • Length of the vessel is 26 feet or more
  • Vessel has closed compartments
  • Vessel is powered by an inboard or stern drive engine
  • Vessel is carrying passengers for hire

Approved types of fire extinguishers are labeled—“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. Check all extinguishers regularly to make sure they are charged.

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
Vessel Length Without Fixed System With Fixed System*
Less than 26 ft. one B-I None
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 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.