Fire extinguishers are an important part of a boat’s safety equipment. While it may seem unimportant, and the chances of needing it may seem slim, a working fire extinguisher could literally save your life and the lives of your boating passengers. There’s a reason why DNR and Coast Guard officials check for fire extinguishers on your boat!
We know we need a fire extinguisher on the vessel, but are you aware of what type you need and how many are required for proper safety?
What Type of Fire Extinguisher is Required on a Boat?
The Coast Guard, for example, requires boats to have at least one B-I marine fire extinguisher aboard a boat at all times when the vessel is on the water. But there may be additional requirements.
Much depends on the size of your boat. Boats with less than 26 feet in overall length must have at least a single B-I fire-extinguisher, but boats that are larger will have additional requirements. Boats between 26 and 40 feet must have at least two fire extinguishers on the craft.
However, there are ways around the Coast Guard requirements for fire extinguishers. If the boat is equipped with an approved fire-suppression system for the engine compartment, then the required number could be reduced. In this case, your boat that is between 26 and 40 feet in length may only need one extinguisher.
For boating, a tri-class dry-chemical extinguisher will meet the needs for most vessels.
What Scout Boats Need Two Extinguishers?
Below 26 Feet: One B-I Extinguisher Only
If your boat is below 26 feet and does not have a fire-suppression system, you need one B-I extinguisher. However, if the boat does have a suppression system, you can get by without an extinguisher. This includes Scout models such as 240 XSF and the 231 XS.
26 to 40 Feet
In this range, a boat needs either two B-I extinguishers, one B-II extinguishers, or a fixed suppression system and one B-I extinguisher. This range include models like the 350 LXZ and the 380 LFX.
Above 40 Feet
Larger boats need more fire extinguishers. In this case, you need either three B-I units, or one B-II units and one B-I. However, if you have a fixed system you’ll only need two B-I extinguishers or one B-II extinguishers. This range includes models like the 425 LFX and the 530 LFX.
Important: Know How to Use the Fire Extinguisher
Fire extinguishers are fairly simply tools. Just pull the pin, maintain a safe distance, point the hose towards the fire, and squeeze the handle trigger. But if a fire breaks out, it can create panic; it’s hard to accurately use a fire extinguisher in moments of danger, but practice can help.
Take time to use a fire extinguisher so you understand how they operate and how they can be used effectively. With a bit of practice, you’ll be well prepared for any emergency.
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