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It's the Law

Fire Extinguishers


Every vessel that has an engine other than an electric motor must have a fire extinguisher on board. See the table below for the exact requirements. Foam, carbon dioxide, dry chemical, and halon extinguishers may be used to fight Type B fires.

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 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 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.