Chapter 2: Boating Safety

The Backfire Flame Arrestor

Since vessels, equipped with inboard and stern drive engines, are more susceptible to fires, especially those resulting from engine backfiring, they come with an additional safety tool, a "Backfire Flame Arrestor," also known as a "Backfire Flame Control" device.

These devices are used to suppress the flames which can erupt when an engine backfires. Without a backfire flame arrestor, these flames could potentially ignite fuel and cause a Class B fire.

Backfire flame arrestors are mandatory on motorboats fueled with gasoline (except those with outboard engines), and should be U.S. Coast Guard approved. The Society of American Engineers and/or United Laboratories must also approve a backfire flame arrestor. To ensure the functionality of a backfire flame arrestor, one should check for damages to the arrestor and make sure it is firmly attached to the carburetor.

While not mandatory on vessels with outboard engines, a backfire flame arrestor is a valuable safety tool. Include it in your monthly fire extinguisher maintenance to ensure that it is in top shape.

Backfire Flame Arrestor