Change in Fire Extinguisher Requirements for the Recreational Boater

Author: NCWRC blogger/Monday, May 16, 2022/Categories: Blog, Boating, Fishing, Law Enforcement, Regulations

Change in Fire Extinguisher Requirements for the Recreational Boater

NCWRC Staff Blog Post by Ben Meyer, Major of Administration, Law Enforcement Division

Effective April 20, 2022, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) implemented a change in the fire extinguisher requirements for recreational vessels. If your vessel is currently required to carry a fire extinguisher, and the disposable (non-rechargeable) fire extinguisher has a date of manufacture stamped on the bottle, it is considered expired and must be removed from service if it is older than 12 years. The date of manufacture stamp will be similar to the example pictured below.

All recreational vessels of model year 2018 and newer meeting the current requirement to carry fire extinguishers must carry 5-B or 20-B rated fire extinguishers that are date stamped. Vessels older than model year 2018 may carry either 5-B or 20-B rated fire extinguishers that are less than 12-years-old or B-I or B-II rated fire extinguishers that are in good and serviceable condition.  Once they are no longer in good and serviceable condition, they must be replaced with a 5-B or 20-B date stamped fire extinguisher.

Good and serviceable conditions means all the following are true:

  • Pressure gauge reading or indicator is in the operable range or position.
  • Lock pin is firmly in place.
  • Discharge nozzle is clean and free of obstruction.
  • Extinguisher does not show visible signs of significant corrosion or damage.

The fire extinguisher type may be found on the label on the bottle that will state “Marine Type – USCG Approved”, as pictured below.

If your boat is currently required to carry a fire extinguisher, it is still required to do so under the new regulation.  There is no change to the quantity of fire extinguishers required.

For more information visit the USCG website.

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