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It's the Law

Backfire Flame Arrestors


Backfire flame arrestor
Backfire flame arrestor

Backfire flame arrestors are designed to prevent the ignition of gasoline vapors in case the engine backfires.

On Iowa state waters, all powerboats (except outboards) that are fueled with a volatile liquid (such as gasoline) must have an approved backfire flame arrestor, backfire trap, or similar device on each carburetor.

Backfire flame arrestors must be:

  • In good and serviceable condition and…
  • U.S. Coast Guard–approved (must comply with SAE J-1928 or UL 1111 standards).

Periodically clean the flame arrestor(s) and check for damage.

WARNING: Gasoline vapors can explode. Before starting engine, operate blower for four minutes and check (using your nose) engine compartment for gasoline vapors.

Boat Fire
Vessels built after July 31, 1980, which contain power exhaust blowers in gasoline engine compartments, must have the above warning sticker placed near the instrument panel.