Boat Fire Extinguisher Requirements, Classes and Maintenance

February 19, 2021 2:32 am Published by Leave your thoughts

If you have a boat, you probably need a fire extinguisher on board—in fact, if your boat meets certain conditions, it might even be required by law. Boat fires can spread fast. They double in size every seven seconds, which means that if you don’t have easy access to a fire extinguisher, you could destroy your vessel and suffer serious harm. Read on to learn more about boat fire extinguisher requirements, classes and maintenance in Longview, TX.

What kind of boats need fire extinguishers?

It’s not a bad idea to keep a fire extinguisher on any boat with an engine. However, it’s required by law in certain vessels.

If your boat has any of these components, you need to have a fire extinguisher on board.

  • Closed compartments where fuel is stored
  • Closed living spaces
  • Double bottom not sealed to the hull
  • Permanently installed fuel tanks
  • Inboard engines

When you install your fire extinguisher, make sure it’s in an easy-to-access location. Depending on your boat size, it needs to be within arm’s reach of you or your passengers whenever possible. Boat fires spread fast, so every second counts.

The number of fire extinguishers required also depends on boat size. For boats less then 26 feet long, you need one B1 extinguisher on board. Boats between 26 and 40 feet long require either two B1 extinguishers or one B2 extinguisher. Finally, boats between 40 and 65 feet long require either three B1 extinguishers or two B2 extinguishers.

If your boat is longer than 65 feet, you should refer to federal regulations for more information.

What type of extinguisher do you need?

Fire extinguishers have different classes, depending on what kind of fires they can put out. Class A is for combustible solids, which can also be extinguished with water. Class B fires involve flammable liquids, like gasoline. Water can’t extinguish these fires. Finally, Class C fires are electrical fires, and also cannot be extinguished by water.

Class B fires are the most likely to happen on a boat, which is why the law requires that you keep Class B extinguishers on board.

How to maintain your fire extinguisher

It’s not enough to simply install a fire extinguisher on board your boat. You also need to maintain it on a monthly basis. Every 30 days, check your extinguisher gauges to make sure they’re properly charged. Make sure the seals have not been broken, and look for cracks or other problems with the hose. If it looks damaged, replace it right away. Finally, if you have a dry chemical extinguisher, weigh it to make sure it’s in the range specified on the label.

All these tips will help you be prepared in case of an emergency. Fires on the open water can be devastating, but having a reliable and appropriate extinguisher will help save your boat—and your lives.

For help outfitting your boats with the appropriate fire extinguishers in Longview, TX, call Anchor Safety Inc. We can help you understand which classes to buy and how to maintain them, too.

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