The Coast Guard, with good reason, dictates that every boat must have at least one fire extinguisher readily available at all times. In fact, here’s an excellent article that dictates exactly what safety equipment a boat must have: A Boater’s Guide to the Federal Requirement For Recreational Boats.
I’d insist upon a mariner fire extinguisher even if the Coast Guard didn’t set the requirement as it just makes sense to me. Yes, you’re surrounded by water when on a boat, and, yes, water is used to put out fires but, ah, not all fires. Also, how are you planning on getting that water out of the Bay and into your fire? See my point.
Now, I was a bit confused about the numbering system used by the Coast Guard regarding marine-type fire extinguishers. Here’s what I gleaned:
- There are 3 different classifications of fire extinguishers – Type A, B, or C.
Type A fires are those of combustible types – like wood or paper
Type B fires are for flammable liquids like gasoline
Type C fires are electrical fires
Type D fires are for combustible metals like magnesium.
- There are also different sizes of marine fire extinguishers – Size I or II or III (the larger the number, the more foam and chemicals to fight larger fires)
Size I fire extinguishers contain 1.75 gallons of foam along with dry chemicals
Size II fire extinguishers contain 2.5 gallons of foam along with similar dry chemicals
To further confuse the issue, there are additional ratings which say how large a fire the particular extinguisher will put out. The rating is 0.1 meters per unit. Therefore, if a boat fire extinguisher is rated 30-B, that means that it will put out a fire that is 3 meters square.
Take my word for it, just buy a big one!
Most recreational boats require at least one fire extinguisher. In fact, as the boat increases in size, the number of marine extinguishers also increases. Less than 26′, your boat would need just one class BI fire extinguisher. I prefer to have extras but that’s just m
So, I went looking and found some very good quality mariner fire extinguishers that are right there below. Remember, in this case, more is better:
Kidde Mariner5 Fire Extinguisher for Class B and C boating firesKidde 420119 PRO 340 Fire Extinguisher Metal Bracket, Heavy Duty, Compatible with Kidde 5-Pound Fire ExtinguishersKidde 466204 Pro 10 MP Fire Extinguisher, UL Rated 4-A, 60-B:C, RedKidde 21006287 Auto Fire Extinguisher, 5BC, SilverShield Fire Protection 13315D Auto and Marine DISP 110vb Fire Extinguisher