What Type Of Fire Extinguisher Do I Need
Before we get to the kinds of fire extinguishers required for different disasters, we need to understand the various types of fire.
The type of fire extinguisher you need depends on the type of fire you need to put out:
- Class A Fires fires caused by combustibles like wood, metal, cloth, paper, rubber, and plastics.
- Class B Fires fires caused by flammable liquids like gasoline and grease.
- Class C Fires energized electrical fires.
- Class D Fires fires caused by electric appliances
- Class K Fires fires caused by cooking oil, animal oils, vegetable oils
All of these classes require different kinds of fire extinguishers to put them out.
How Much Protection Do I Need
If a fire breaks out in the galley, will your extinguisher last long enough to get the job done? Unfortunately, the standard issue, foot-long extinguishers that you find on almost any boat lasts about 12 seconds, if that. In many cases, the blaze will continue given the speed and scope of boat fires. Combine the flammable gasoline with the wooden planks, fabric sails and other materials that feed a fire and you have a scary situation on your hands, as seasoned sailors will attest. I recommend having twice the number of fire extinguishers required by the Coast Guard. For the minimal cost involved, youll have peace of mind that you can handle a fire emergency on the water.
Requirement To Carry Fire Extinguishers
Pleasure craft may be required by the Small Vessel Regulations to carry a 5B:C or a 10B:C fire extinguisher, depending upon the type and length of the boat, and the equipment on board.
- PWCs must have one 5B:C fire extinguisher on board unless everyone on board is wearing a lifejacket or PFD.
- Sailboats and powerboats 6 metres or less in length must carry one 5B:C fire extinguisher if they are equipped with an inboard engine a fixed fuel tank or a fuel-burning oven, heater, or refrigerator.
- Sailboats and powerboats over 6 metres and up to 9 metres in length must carry:
- One 5B:C if equipped with a motor and
- One 5B:C if equipped with a fuel-burning oven, heater, or refrigerator.
- Sailboats and powerboats over 9 metres and up to 12 metres in length must carry:
- One 10B:C if equipped with a motor and
- One 10B:C if equipped with a fuel-burning oven, heater, or refrigerator.
- Pleasure craft that are more than 12 metres in length up to 24 metres in length must carry one 10B:C at each entrance to:
- Any area where a fuel-burning oven, heater, or refrigerator is located and
- Any sleeping area and
- The machinery space.
To be approved, a fire extinguisher must be certified and labelled by one of the following:
- U.S. Coast Guard or
- Underwriters Laboratories of Canada or
- Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. .
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What Type And Size Of Fire Extinguishers Are Required On Boats
The type of fire extinguisher required hasnt changed. If your boat must have fire extinguishers on board, you need Type B fire extinguishers designed to put out combustible liquid fires.
To find an extinguisher that meets this requirement, its easiest to get a general-purpose ABC fire extinguisher designed for ordinary combustibles, flammable liquids, and electrical hazards.
Read more about the different kinds of fire extinguishers in our previous blog.
In the 2016 rule change, the Coast Guards old nomenclature for fire extinguisher size was replaced with the widely accepted UL nomenclature. If an extinguisher is UL-listed for Type B fires, it is Coast Guard approved. But, of course, it also must meet the other rules governing the size and number of fire extinguishers.
The UL method is based on the size of fire that can be put out, which is simpler than the old USCG scheme based on the amount of extinguishant. Besides, most fire extinguishers are UL-listed anyways, so this rule change saves customers and vendors the trouble of balancing unique maritime and UL categories.
When you shop for maritime fire extinguishers these days, look for 5-B or 20-B extinguishers. On an ABC extinguisher label, you’ll typically see this printed as 1A:5B:C or something similar. 5-B is the default size allowed under the current CFR rules. One 20-B fire extinguisher can substitute for two 5-B extinguishers. If a fire extinguisher is bigger than the minimum requirement, that is acceptable.
Ansul 436500 Sentry 10 Lb Abc Fire Extinguisher
Quick Review: A suitable 20-B / B-II certified extinguisher. Ships with the approved bracket for no-stress compliance with USCG regulations.
Ansul has a reputation for being the next best brand after Amerex regarding high-quality fire extinguishers. When shopping around for a value purchase, we check the equivalent Amerex and Ansul models as they are comparable in quality. Hence, price becomes an important differentiating factor. .
Were very impressed by this extinguisher, with a small but visible gauge and a high-quality all-metal valve. It also gives us confidence that Ansul explicitly states that the bracket that comes with the extinguisher is also USCG-approved. On other brands, this statement is implied but not expressly stated.
Its dimensions are slightly more significant than the B456, but not all that much .
Why This Extinguisher:
Keep in Mind:
- Heavy and Hard to Carry: While the substance is 10 pounds, the overall weight is 16 pounds. According to the USCG, you can replace a 20-B with two 5-B extinguishers. So we see merit in getting two smaller, more agile extinguishers that a two-person crew can handle during a fire.
- Size: This model is slightly larger than the B456 competitor.
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Where Should Fire Extinguishers Be Stored On A Boat & How
When you are out on your boat, whether for a pleasure cruise with friends or by yourself to enjoy the water, you should always think about safety first and that includes keeping a fire extinguisher on board. The question is, where should fire extinguishers be stored on a boat? Lets talk and discuss in details.
Amerex B402 5 Lbs Abc Dry Chemical
Quick Review: This step up to the 5-pound size gives more discharge for fighting larger fires but still sits in the same US Coastguard 5-B category as the B417T above.
Theres something about the B402 that we like. It feels big and sturdy. In addition, the B402 has the required UL Label statement noting that its both 5-B and USCG B-I certified .
We like how small and compact 2.5 pound extinguishers are, and its great that they meet USCG requirements. But a 2.5-pound extinguisher doesnt pack as much punch as this 5-pound extinguisher. The 5-pound version expels more dry chemicals and has about 50% more discharge time which may be a lifesaver if a fire breaks out in your motor. Its also not all that much bigger than the 2.5-pound version it is the greater diameter, not the height.
As always, we feel Amerex comes through in terms of quality as well. It has an all-aluminum valve and handles components and a similar precise gauge as the B417T.
Why This Extinguisher:
Keep in Mind:
- Dexterity Required: The hose adds a little bit of an extra complication here. While the substance weighs 5 lbs., overall, the unit weighs 10 lbs. Operation requires users to hold this handle plus control the hose when pointing it at the fire. The 2.5-pound versions dont have a hose.
- Hose takes up Space: The hose is the thing that takes up all that extra space in storage compared to the B417T, which doesnt come with a hose.
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Exceptionswhen You Arent Required To Have Them
Two exceptions exist to the fire extinguisher rule. The first is for boats with low fire hazards. A boat does not need to carry extinguishers if all of the following are true :
- The boat is less than 26 feet in length
- It is propelled by outboard motors
- It is not used to carry passengers for hire
- The boats construction does not permit the entrapment of explosive or flammable gases or vapors
Note that the second exception is for boats with permanent fire suppression systems. When a boat less than 26 feet long has a fixed fire suppression system in the machinery area, it does not need portable fire extinguishers.
As well discuss in the next sections, fixed fire extinguishing systems are valuable and life-saving equipment that can also reduce the number of portable fire extinguishers requiredwhich is very useful on larger vessels.
What Is The Requirement Of Fire Extinguisher On A Boat
Anything using electricity runs the risk of catching fire. Boats are no different. In fact, they sometimes carry gases and flammable liquids. These can easily cause a boat fire.
Obviously, preventive steps can be taken to reduce the chances of a fire. However, they cant be completely eliminated. So, what do we do then? That is when the fire extinguishers come into action.
Fire extinguishers are used in boats just like they are used in the buildings to put out small fires. But messing with the fire isnt a cup of tea. It requires some certain tactics to follow. So today, we will talk about what is the requirement of fire extinguisher on a boat precisely. Lets get started!
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What Type Of Fire Extinguisher Puts Out A Natural Gas Gire
Natural gases are highly flammable these involve propane, butane, acetylene. These fires are classified as Class C. Natural gas fires require these types of fire extinguishers to put out:
- Dry Chemical Extinguisher
- Alcohol Resistant Foam Extinguisher
You should use these existing fire extinguishers after cutting the gas supply. Try not to use a liquid-based extinguisher, as they might cause the fire to spread further.
What Are The Uscg Maintenance Requirements For Fire Extinguishers
The USCG follows NFPA 10 standards for fire extinguisher maintenance. The main requirement is that crew inspect the fire extinguisher monthly and keep an inspection record on the boat. A crew member needs to initial that they have completed the inspection and write in the date. Reviews should cover the above requirements re: visibility of instructions, ease of access, full pressure. See NFPA 10 standards for the complete list.
Furthermore, rechargeable extinguishers need to get an annual inspection by a qualified fire extinguisher technician. The inspector will record the visit and status in the fire extinguisher inspection sheet. James elaborates:
James Says: As required by NFPA-10, rechargeable extinguishers aboard boats are now required to be annually serviced by a qualified technician, not merely inspected by the vessel owner or crew. They will also require the periodic maintenance specified by NFPA-10 depending on the extinguisher type.
Youll need to consult the USCG regulations for the most up-to-date information.
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Contents Of The Extinguisher:
Dry Chemical Extinguisher
Pleasure boats commonly house dry chemical extinguishers because of their modest cost and easy use. These dry materials are employed to smother the fire by depriving it of oxygen. To do so effectively, however, requires a concentrated focus on the base of the fire. When the aim is elsewhere, eradication of the fire is often incomplete, calling for an additional extinguisher to finish the job. Dry ingredients can also leave a grimy residue and corrode electrical systems.
Halotron Replacement Extinguisher
Halotron is a fire-inhibiting gas that serves as a more environmentally benign replacement to halon. Displacing the oxygen necessary for fire to rage, halotron is safe and shows no evidence of harming the electrical or mechanical systems on board. They are optimal for engine compartments but are higher in price and more unwieldy to handle.
Type Of Portable Fire Extinguisher Used In A Ship:
When it comes to choosing a ship fire extinguisher, we need to keep in mind different types of combustible material and fluids which are located in different parts of the ship along with the fire extinguisher reaction with the source of a fire. Based on the above-mentioned classification, portable fire extinguishers are classified and used according to the classes of fire as per IMO.
The portable type onboard fire extinguisher used in the marine or maritime setup is also known as plunger type fire extinguishers because of the plunger mechanism used to release the extinguishing agent. There are five main types of fire extinguishers used on ships:
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What Type Of Fire Extinguisher Is Best For Lithium Batteries
A Class D fire extinguisher is your best bet when dealing with Lithium-ion battery fires. Class D fire extinguishers are required for combustible metals such as lithium, magnesium and potassium, which need a non-reactive medium to extinguish them.
Lithium batteries have a failure rate of less than one million and are generally very safe to use but of course, accidents can and do happen.
Water is ineffective when it comes to large Lithium fires like that of an electric vehicle fire. Lithium is highly reactive with water, and adding water can make the fire worse. Water mixed with a copper metal is a good option, but its costly and hard to access.
Stick to Class D fire extinguishers when it comes to Lithium fires.
Note: Do not use Class D fire extinguishers to put out other fires, and make sure regular extinguishers are always available.
What Type Of Marine Fire Extinguisher Should I Buy
Coast Guard-approved extinguishers for boats should be
- have either B-I or B-II classification,
- and must be provided with a mounting bracket.
Purchase only marine fire extinguishers with Coast Guard approval that has been certified by an independent testing agency, such as Underwriters Laboratories. Next, look for the section of the label that states Marine Type USCG, Type A, Size II Type B C Size I. Make sure Type B is indicated on the label.
However, extinguisher markings can be confusing. For example, one extinguisher can be approved for several different types of fires . In that case, its important to know that an extinguisher marked Type A, Size II Type B C, Size I counts as a required Type B-I extinguisher.
Hand-portable extinguishers come in two different sizes. Moreover, this size indicates the amount of chemical an extinguisher contains:
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Types Of Fire Extinguishers For Boats
- CO2 fire extinguisher these extinguishers utilise compressed carbon dioxide gas to choke fires. They can be used for Class B and E fires, but they should not be used in small, enclosed spaces as use in such areas could impede breathing.
- Dry powder extinguisher such as the ABC Powder Fire Extinguisher. These are designed to combat Class A, B and C fires, along with electrical fires. However, it is important to note that these fire extinguishers are not designed for kitchens or small, enclosed spaces.
- Foam fire extinguisher these mobile fire extinguishers can be used on both Class A and B fires. They can also be used on electrical fires, but the foam will likely cause permanent damage to the electrical equipment.
Types Of Fire Extinguishers
Extinguishers are classified by letters and numbers. The numbers indicate the size of fire the extinguisher will put out compared to other extinguishers. For example, a 10B:C extinguisher contains more chemicals and will put out a larger fire than a 5B:C extinguisher. The letters indicate the types of fires the extinguisher will put out.
- Class A fires are of combustible solids like wood.
- Class B fires are of flammable liquids like gasoline or oil.
- Class C fires are electrical fires.
- Unit 2 of 6
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What Boats Are Not Required To Carry Daytime Visual Distress
Visual distress signals allow paddlers to signal for emergency help. Vessels on federally controlled waters must carry USCGapproved visual distress signals. All vessels must carry night signals when operating at night. Manually propelled canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards are not required to carry day signals.
What About The Different Kinds Of Extinguishers
One easy way to remember what kind of fire extinguishers get rid of a certain type of fire is to think about ABC.
Class A fires are ones that would cause ash. This includes anything solid like paper, wood, cloth, and a lot of different plastics that are flammable.
Class B fires are ones that boil. This includes any kind of flammable liquid like grease, gasoline, oil, and countless others.
Class C fires are ones that involve a charge. This is when you are dealing with any kind of energized electrical equipment. These are dangerous fires that could shock you if you try to fight it with a water-based extinguisher.
When fighting a Class C fire, you need to cut the electricity as soon as possible. If a Class C fire is not charged, it should revert to an A or a B fire.
There are ratings that you can find on an extinguisher that should help you determine what kind of fire it is appropriate to be used for.
When you see numbers, you should think that the higher the number, the better that extinguisher is at fighting that kind of fire. If you do not see a letter, then that extinguisher would not be appropriate to use for that kind of fire.
For example, if you saw an extinguisher that said A-B-C, it would be appropriate for all 3 types of fires. If it only says B-C, it would not be helpful during a fire where a bunch of wood and cloth has caught on fire.
You may also see B-I and B-II classifications, which simply refer to the weight of the extinguishing agent.
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