person checking fire extinguisher tank

Yachts & Boats – New Fire Extinguisher Regulations 4-20-2022

Fire extinguishers in boats can save lives and protect your property. Did you know there are new regulations for them effective in April this year? The U.S. Coast Guard announced these new regulations for fire extinguishers on boats. The changes relate to the expiration dates of fire extinguishers and the minimum classification of fire extinguishers to be carried aboard vessels.

Here’s what you need to know:

The new regulations go into effect on April 20, 2022.

All disposable – (non-rechargeable) – fire extinguishers are subject to a 12-year expiration (which aligns the U.S. Coast Guard regulations with those set by the National Fire Protection Association). You can check for the date a fire extinguisher was manufactured on either the bottom of the container or next to the URL label; it must be replaced if it is 12 years past the date it was manufactured.

Did you know the length of your vessel matters? Owners must ensure that their boat or yacht has a minimum number of fire extinguishers on board. The required number varies based on how long the vessel is. You can review the minimum number required by the new U.S. Coast Guard regulation. Pro tip: Many safety-conscious boaters will have more than the minimum number of fire extinguishers on board. 

If your boat was built in 2018 or later, you must:

Carry 5-B, 10-B, and 20-B classified extinguishers – though if the vessel is 26-65 feet, there are varied requirements, so check the link above.

If your boat was built in 2017 or earlier, you must:

Replace any old B-I or B-II disposable fire extinguishers with the newer class fire extinguishers once they reach the 12-year expiration date. Refer to the link above.

If your boat was built before 1952, there are special rules for the types of fire extinguishers you must have on board. Refer to the link above.

The regulations for any rechargeable and fixed-mount fire extinguishers remain the same. Remember to have them regularly serviced by a qualified technician. 

Remember that all fire extinguishers onboard your boat should be in good serviceable condition. The fire extinguisher’s pressure gauge indicator must be operable. The lock pin needs to be in place. The discharge nozzle must be clean and ready to operate (no obstructions), and there shouldn’t be any visible signs of damage or corrosion.

If you are unsure about any of these new regulations or have questions about whether your fire extinguishers are adequate, contact your local U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and United States Power Squadrons to arrange for a vessel safety check. 

Are you getting ready for the 2022 boating season? Make sure you and your boat are covered. Contact the marine experts at Global Marine Insurance for comprehensive coverage from the top carriers in the industry. 

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