Chapter 2: Boating Safety

Fire Extinguisher Requirements

The first rule to remember is that one is legally required to carry an extinguisher, on board, if their boat has an engine and any of the following also apply:

  • The boat has an inboard engine.
  • The boat has installed fuel tanks.
  • The boat has partitioned living spaces.
  • The boat has a compartment where fuel could be stored.
  • The boat has a double bottom that is not fully filled with flotation devices and is unsealed to the hull.

If the boat does not have an engine or none of these apply, you are not required to carry a fire extinguisher on board. However, it is still recommended to bring an extinguisher on board, just in case.

Finally, like Personal Flotation Devices, Fire Extinguishers need to be readily accessible. Fires can start and spread quickly, so one needs to be able to act with immediacy.  Always place the fire extinguisher in a place that is easily accessible in an emergency. Consider investing in a fire extinguisher mount. Placing the extinguisher within reach of the steering console is ideal.

Marine Fire Extinguisher Classification:

Classifcations Foam (gal.) CO2 (lb.) Dry Chem (lb.)
B-I 1.25 4 5
B-II 2.5 15 10

Refer to the following chart to figure out the specific requirements for your boat based on its size, but always check federal and regulations to be sure.

Fire Extinguisher Requirements:

Vessel Size Requirements
26 ft. to under 40 ft. One B-1 Extinguisher
40 ft. to under 65 ft. Two B-1 Extinguishers OR One B-II Extinguisher
Over 65 ft. Three B-I Extinguishers OR Two B-II Extinguishers
Greater than 65 ft. Please refer to federal regulations

Note: If the inboard engine comes with a built-in extinguishing system, it counts as one B-1 extinguisher toward the requirement.