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Updated Fire Extinguisher Requirements

The Coast Guard has amended the portable fire extinguishing equipment requirements for recreational vessels that are propelled or controlled by propulsion machinery. This rule does not alter standards for commercial vessels including vessels carrying passengers for hire, or have any effect on recreational vessels that do not use propulsion machinery.

This rule also moves fire extinguishing equipment rules for recreational vessels from subpart 25.30 (Fire Extinguishing Equipment) of subchapter C (Uninspected Vessels) of title 46 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) to part 175 of subchapter S (Boating Safety) of title 33, where other recreational vessel rules already exist.

Fire extinguishers must:

       1. Be on board and readily accessible;

       2. Be of an approved type;

       3. Not be expired or appear to have been previously used; and

       4. Be maintained in good and serviceable working condition, meaning:

    • If the extinguisher has a pressure gauge reading or indicator it must be in the operable range or position;
    • The lock pin is firmly in place;
    • The discharge nozzle is clean and free of obstruction; and
    • The extinguisher does not show visible signs of significant corrosion or damage.

The rule takes effect on April 20, 2022.

Boaters are encouraged to check the U.S. Coast Guard website for additional information on this new use requirement and other safety regulations and recommendations: