As you are getting the boat ready for the water this spring, make sure your fire extinguisher/s meets the new US Coast Guard regulations that become effective April 20, 2022. The changes involve a 12-year expiration for disposable fire extinguishers and different carriage requirements depending on the size and model year of your boat.
For boats less than 26 feet and model year 2017 and older: You may continue to carry older dated or undated “B-I” or B-II” extinguishers, provided they are still serviceable and have not reached 12 years since manufacture. When it is time, they must be replaced with the newer class “5-B” or greater extinguishers.
For boats less than 26 feet and model year 2018 or newer You must now carry a “5-B”, “10-B” or “20-B” extinguisher.
For boats greater than 26 feet: Having one “10-B” aboard does not equal 2 “5-B’s”.
See table below for vessel length and extinguisher types (effective April 20,2022)
Where to find the manufacture date on the extinguisher:
It is generally stamped into the bottom of the extinguisher or near the UL label. It may be 2 or 4 digits. (EX: 07 = 2007).
How to know if the extinguisher is still serviceable:
If the extinguisher has a pressure gauge indicator it must be in the operable range or position.
The locking pin must be firmly in place
The discharge nozzle is clean and free from obstructions
The extinguisher does not have visible signs of corrosion or damage
This is a result of phasing out the older “B-I” and “B-2” labels for the newer “5-B”, “10-B” and “20-B” extinguisher classifications. (The number in the new classifications refers to the size in square feet of the fire that the device is suitable to extinguish, not the weight of the chemical inside the extinguisher).
There are no changes to the regulations for rechargeable or “fixed-mount” (EX: engine room) extinguishers.
As always, make sure to keep fire extinguishers in an easily accessible area and you are familiar with how to use them.
Additional information on this new requirement can be found at www.uscgboating.org.