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Extinguishers are classified by a letter and number symbol. The number indicates the relative size of the extinguisher, and the letter indicates the type of fire it will extinguish.

  • Type A fires are of combustible solids like wood.
  • Type B fires are of flammable liquids like gasoline or oil.
  • Type C fires are electrical fires.
Type B Fire Extinguisher

All vessels, including PWCs, 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:

  • Closed compartments
  • Permanently installed fuel tanks
  • Double-bottoms that are not sealed to the hull or that are not completely filled with flotation material
  • Closed living spaces
Fire Extinguisher Requirements Chart

Use this chart to determine the type and quantity of fire extinguishers required for your vessel.

Length of Vessel Without Fixed System With Fixed System *
* refers to a permanently installed fire extinguisher system
Less than 26 feet one B-I None
26 feet to less than 40 feet two B-I or one B-II one B-I
40 feet to less than 65 feet three B-I or one B-II and one B-I two B-I or one B-II

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.