7 Best Fire Extinguishers for Boats (2020) – USCG Approved

Reviewed by an Emergency Services Professional: This article was reviewed by James*, a trained firefighter with extensive experience in the industry. We cannot guarantee the currency or accuracy of this article. It does not constitute professional advice for your circumstances. See our terms of use for more details and the current USCG regulations for up to date information. As an Amazon associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

The United States Coastguard (USCG) has strict regulations regarding the type of fire extinguisher you should have on you boat.

In August 2016, the Coastguard adopted the UL certification standard which has made it a lot easier to be in compliance with regulation.

These were the USCG’s fire extinguisher requirements instituted in 2016:

best fire extinguishers for boats

A UL 5-B fire extinguisher (or greater) is an extinguisher that is capable of putting out 5 square feet of Class B (liquid) fires. Most extinguishers that fit this UL rating are 2.5 or 5 pound dry chemical ABC fire extinguishers. Your extinguisher also needs a clearly visible pressure gauge and approved mounting bracket to be compliant. (Formerly USCG B-I extinguishers).

A UL 20-B fire extinguisher (or greater) is an extinguisher that is capable of putting out 20 square feet of Class B (liquid) fires. Most extinguishers that fit this UL rating are minimum 10 pound dry chemical ABC fire extinguishers. Your extinguisher also needs a clearly visible pressure gauge and approved mounting bracket to be compliant. (Formerly USCG B-II extinguishers).

Whether you fall into the USCG regulations or not, in general it’s a good idea to have a marine rated fire extinguisher on your vessel. As James says:

James Says: “Of course, fires can occur on a boat of any size, so it’s always a good idea to carry an extinguisher even if not specifically required.”

Personally, we would choose to stick to an Amerex USCG marine rated extinguisher. This is the best fire extinguisher brand on the market today. Their quality and reputation is second to none. They haven’t had the same quality and recall issues as some of their major competitors in the past decade. And their extinguishers are very durable with high quality metal valves and gauges.

Furthermore, the Amerex extinguishers below still come with the UL sticker with the ‘Marine type …’ text on it, for added peace of mind.

With that said, these are the best fire extinguishers for boats that meet USCG requirements:

The best fire extinguishers for boats (USCG Compliant) are:

  • Amerex B417T 2.5 Lbs. ABC Dry Chemical – (5-B Compliant)
  • Amerex B402 5 Lbs. ABC Dry Chemical – (5-B Compliant)
  • Amerex B456 10 Lbs. ABC Dry Chemical – (20-B Compliant)
  • Ansul 436500 Sentry 10 lb ABC Fire Extinguisher – (20-B Compliant)
  • Shield Marine FX 13415M (5-B Non-Rechargeable)
  • Kidde Mariner 5 466179MTL M5G 5-B:C (5-B Non-Rechargeable)
  • First Alert 1039894 2.5 Lbs. ABC Dry Chemical – (5-B Compliant)

Best Fire Extinguishers for Boats (US Coastguard Compliant)

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Fire Extinguisher

Strength

Recharge Type

Quick Review

1. Amerex B417T 2.5 Lbs. ABC Dry Chemical5-BRechargeableThis is the best US Coastguard 5-B compliant fire extinguisher in the 2.5 pound category. Compact and portable for discrete storage on your boat. (Check Today’s Price on Amazon)
2. Amerex B402 5 Lbs. ABC Dry Chemical5-BRechargeableThis step up to the 5 pound size gives you more discharge for fighting larger fires, but still sits in the same US Coastguard 5-B category as the B417T above. (Check Today’s Price on Amazon)
3. Amerex B456 10 Lbs. ABC Dry Chemical20-BRechargeableThis is our pick for the best 20-B / B-II extinguisher for larger boats. Has the quality build we have come to expect from Amerex fire extinguishers. (Check Today’s Price on Amazon)
4. Ansul 436500 Sentry 10 lb ABC Fire Extinguisher20-BRechargeableA respectable 20-B / B-II certified extinguisher. Ships with the approved bracket for no-stress compliance with USCG regulations. (Check Today’s Price on Amazon)
5. Shield Marine FX 13415M5-BNon-RechargeableA USCG approved non-rechargeable option made by a respectable made-in-USA extinguisher brand. It’s currently only available in stores.
6. Kidde Mariner 5 466179MTL M5G 5-B:C5-BNon-RechargeableA USCG approved non-rechargeable option that’s compact for anyone operating a small vessel. (Check Today’s Price on Amazon)
7. First Alert 1039894 2.5 Lbs. ABC Dry Chemical5-BRechargeableAn affordable alternative, but we think the quality of the top 5 extinguishers outstrips the quality of this one. (Check Today’s Price on Amazon)

1. Amerex B417T 2.5 Lbs. ABC Dry Chemical (5-B / Old B-I Compliant)

Quick Review: This is the best US Coastguard 5-B compliant fire extinguisher in the 2.5 pound category. Compact and portable for discrete storage on your boat.


The risk you run when you search “Fire Extinguisher for Boat” on Amazon is that nearly all of the results show up plastic junk fire extinguishers – or worse yet, those aerosol ones that aren’t even USCG compliant. It’s a good idea to avoid the plastic junk and go with this beauty. It might cost you an extra 10 bucks, but you’re getting an actually decent quality USCG approved extinguisher.

The valve and pin are all metal and the gauge is clearly visible for coastguard inspection. The included bracket will be required to help secure the extinguisher to your boat to achieve USCG compliance. Just a note: don’t only use the hook, actually use the full mounting bracket that’s designed for cars, boats and caravans and campers so it’s secured properly.

I also like that it doesn’t come with a hose – just point and squeeze. It makes it easier to control the extinguisher and there’s less in your way when trying to store it discretely.

The dimensions are: 15.5″ H x 5″ W x 3″ D.

Why This Extinguisher:

  • USCG Approved: As with all extinguishers on this list, this one is USCG approved.
  • Very High Quality: Amerex is the premium brand – and rightly so. Several competitors have suffered recall issues in the past decade that Amerex has avoided. Their valve, pin and handle mechanisms are built of quality metals to prevent failure in your time of need.
  • Clear Gauge: US Coastguard inspectors will ping you if you don’t have a clearly visible pressure gauge. The gauge on this one’s really simple and easy to read at a glance.
  • Rechargeable: Another sign of a quality product, this one is rechargeable if you’ve discharged it out at sea. Just take it to a certified recharging agent (some fire stations offer this service for a fee).
  • Mount Included: A good quality mount comes in the pack. (Note that you need the ‘T’ version – as in B417T to get the mounting bracket).

Keep in Mind:

  • It’s Small: We personally prefer 5 Lbs extinguishers wherever possible, but they are a little more expensive. If you have the space on your boat and the budget to step up to the B402 5 pounder (below) I’d recommend doing so. The extra discharge time is really a godsend when you’re fighting a fire out to sea.

2. Amerex B402 5 Lbs. ABC Dry Chemical (5-B / Old B-I Compliant)

Quick Review: This step up to the 5 pound size gives you more discharge for fighting larger fires, but still sits in the same US Coastguard 5-B category as the B417T above.


There’s something about the B402 that we really like. It feels big and sturdy. The B402 has the required UL Label statement noting that it’s both 5-B and USCG B-I certified (exact wording: “Marine Type USCG Type A Size 2, Type B:C Size 1“).

We like how small and compact 2.5 pound extinguishers are and it’s great that they meet USCG requirements. But a 2.5 pound extinguisher doesn’t pack as much punch as this 5 pound extinguisher. The 5 pound version expels a lot more dry chemical and has about 50% more discharge time which may be a lifesaver if a fire breaks out in your motor. It’s also not really all that much bigger than the 2.5 pound version – it is the diameter that’s greater, not the height.

As always, Amerex comes through in terms of quality as well. It has all aluminum valve and handle components and a similar clear gauge as the B417T.

Why This Extinguisher:

  • USCG Approved: As with all extinguishers on this list, this one is USCG approved.
  • More Power: This one has more substance and discharge time than the 2.5 pound version meaning you’ll have more power when it comes to fighting the fire.
  • Still Small: While it’s bigger than 2.5 pound versions, it’s still quite compact and the extra size is in the diameter, not the height. (Size: 15.25″ H x 7.75″ W x 4.25″ D). Keep in mind the hose takes up space, too.
  • Mount Included: A good quality mount comes in the pack.
  • Clear Gauge: US Coastguard inspectors will ping you if you don’t have a clearly visible pressure gauge. The gauge on this one’s really simple and easy to read at a glance.
  • Rechargeable: You can recharge it instead of buying a new one. Just take it to a certified recharging agent (some fire stations offer this service for a fee).

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 weights 10 lbs. You need to hold this handle plus control the hose when pointing it at the fire. The 2.5 pound versions don’t have a hose, so you just point the unit at the fire and squeeze.
  • Hose takes up Space: The hose is really the thing that takes up all that extra space in your storage compared to the B417T which doesn’t come with a hose. It can be a bit annoying.

3. Amerex B456 10 Lbs. ABC Dry Chemical (20-B / Old B-II Compliant)

Quick Review: This is our pick for the best 20-B / B-II extinguisher for larger boats. Has the quality build we have come to expect from Amerex fire extinguishers.


This is a larger extinguisher for larger boats. It has the required 20-B / B-II compliance text on the UL Label on the side of the extinguisher. We own one a B456 extinguisher in our home (not our boat) and we can confirm mine does have the USCG approval label on the side.

This extra size also means it packs much more of a punch. It has a 22 second discharge time and a longer 15-21 foot range so you can stand back and attack larger fires that may occur on larger boats.

The Amerex B456 and Ansul 436500 Sentry (below) are both high quality 20-B compliant extinguishers for larger boats. We lean toward the Amerex because we intuituvely trust the Amerex brand the most. We also actually own one of these so we feel more comfortable suggesting it as a high quality extinguisher.

Why This Extinguisher:

  • 20-B / B-II Compliant: You need a 10 pound extinguisher for 20-B compliance. You’ll read on the UL Label on the side of this one the text ‘Marine Type USCG Type A Size 3, Type B:C Size 2‘ which signifies the old B-II compliance, too.
  • Long Discharge Time: We like how powerful this beauty is. 22 second discharge time and 15-21 foot range means you can tackle larger fires.
  • Mount Included: A good quality mount comes in the pack.
  • Clear Gauge: US Coastguard inspectors will ping you if you don’t have a clearly visible pressure gauge. The gauge on this one’s really simple and easy to read at a glance.
  • Rechargeable: You can recharge it instead of buying a new one. Just take it to a certified recharging agent (some fire stations offer this service for a fee).

Keep in Mind:

  • Only for Larger Boats: If your boat is less than 26 feet long, it’s not worth getting a 20-B compliant extinguisher. A 5-B will keep you out of trouble with the US coastguard.
  • Heavy and Hard to Carry: While the substance is 10 pounds, the overall weight is 16 pounds. According to the USCG a 20-B / B-II can be substituted for two 5-B / B-I extinguishers. So we see merit in getting two smaller more agile extinguishers that can be handled by two crew during a fire.
  • Takes up Space: The dimensions of this product are 20″ H x 7.75″ W x 5″ D.

4. Ansul 436500 Sentry 10 lb ABC Fire Extinguisher (20-B / Old B-II Compliant)

Quick Review: A respectable 20-B / B-II certified extinguisher. Ships with the approved bracket for no-stress compliance with USCG regulations.


Ansul is probably the next best brand after Amerex when it comes to high quality fire extinguishers. If you are shopping around for top dollar, we’d recommend checking the price on this one and the B456 and go with the more affordable one. (The prices are always changing so we suggest you compare the prices on Amazon).

We’re very impressed by this extinguisher. Its gauge is small but very clearly visible. The valve is all-metal and high quality. It also gives me confidence that Ansul explicitly states that the bracket that comes with the extinguisher is also USCG approved (it seems this is implied with the other extinguishers but not explicitly stated).

Its dimensions are slightly bigger than the B456, but not all that much (20.5″H x 8.25″W x 5.25″D).

Why This Extinguisher:

  • 20-B / B-II Compliant: You need a 10 pound extinguisher for 20-B / B-II compliance. Ansul clearly states on the extinguisher that this is USCG marine compliant to B:C ‘Size 2’ (aka old B-II compliance).
  • USCG Approved Mount Included: A good quality mount comes in the pack and it’s nice that Ansul explicitly states in their product catalog that the bracket is USCG approved.
  • Clear Gauge: US Coastguard inspectors will ping you if you don’t have a clearly visible pressure gauge. The gauge on this one’s really simple and easy to read at a glance.
  • Rechargeable: Like the Amerex products, this one is rechargeable after you have discharged the 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 a 20-B can be substituted for two 5-B extinguishers. So we see merit in getting two smaller more agile extinguishers that can be handled by two crew during a fire.
  • Size: Slightly larger than the B456 competitor.

5. Shield Marine FX 13415M (5-B / Old B-I Compliant)

Quick Review: A USCG approved non-rechargeable option made by a respectable made-in-USA extinguisher brand.

When James reviewed our original article on marine fire extinguishers, he highlighted that many recreational vessel owners prefer to use rechargeable extinguishers. He notes:

James Says: “As per NFPA-10, disposable/nonrechargeable extinguishers can continue to be inspected by the vessel owner and can simply be replaced after 12 years or earlier if they fail the owner’s periodic visual inspection. With this in mind, most recreational boats now have disposable extinguishers on board.”

(Please note that legislation is regularly changed and updated. We cannot guarantee the currency of this information, so you’ll need to check current requirements.)

So, James suggested that we present some single-use non-rechargeable options. One quality made in USA option is the Shield Marine FC 13415M. Made by Buckeye, this extinguisher is a sodium bicarbonate based extinguisher with a UL Listed 10B:C rating, therefore exceeding the 5-B requirement.

Unfortunately this model is not available online, but is available widely in stores across the United States. If you are interested in this model, you can look at its specifications in the Shield Product Catalog

Why This Extinguisher:

  • Single Use: Single use extinguishers have different inspection requirements that are often easier to meet. See the most up to date USCG requirements for your circumstances.
  • Made in USA: Shield extinguishers are some of the few extinguishers currently made in the USA. They are the retail brand of the highly regarded Buckeye Fire Equipment company.

Keep in Mind:

  • Non-Recharageable: You may not want a non-recharageable model, and if you operate a certain type of commercial vessel (see USCG requirements) it may not be the best option for you.

6. Kidde Mariner 5 466179MTL M5G 5-B:C

Quick Review: A USCG approved non-rechargeable option that’s compact for anyone operating a small vessel.


The Kidde Mariner 5 is another non-rechargeable USCG compliant fire extinguisher for those who would prefer the single-use option and the associated ease of maintenance. While Kidde is not always our first choice extinguisher, this one is USCG compliant and comes well recommended. If you get it, make sure you get a newer model that was released post-recall.

It’s a small compact option with 2 Lbs net agent weight and averaged gross weight of 2.85 Lbs. The diameter is only 3.25 inches and the height is less than 12 inches, making it a good compact option for someone operating a smaller vessel with less room.

The dry chemical agent is your typical B:C agent for Class B (liquid) and Class C (electrical) fires, and the stock plastic bracket (type: 322057) is USCG compliant. 

We’d also note that the gauge is very clear on this one with a clearly demarcated green strip to show whether it has maintained pressure at an acceptable level – perfect for that monthly eyeball of your extinguisher’s fit for use. 

Why This Extinguisher:

  • Single Use: Single use extinguishers have different inspection requirements that are often easier to meet. See the most up to date USCG requirements for your circumstances.
  • Fits in Small Space: Its dimensions are nice and compact for someone with a very small recreational vessel.

Keep in Mind:

  • Non-Recharagable: You may not want a non-recharageable model, and if you operate a certain type of commercial vessel (see USCG requirements) it may not be the best option for you.
  • Not a Lot of Chemical Agent: It’s not the most powerful extinguisher, with a mere 4 – 6 foot discharge range that should last 8 – 12 seconds.

7. First Alert 1039894 2.5 Lbs. ABC Dry Chemical (5-B / Old B-I Compliant)

Quick Review: When it comes to marine fire extinguishers we don’t recommend dipping into the cheaper categories, but we know many readers would want to be offered an affordable alternative that meets minimum requirements. Here it is.


I mentioned earlier that the search results that pop up on Amazon when you search for marine fire extinguishers are pretty junk. This one’s probably the best one that pops up on the front page. We wouldn’t say this is the best marine fire extinguisher, but it’s one that will get you past the coastguard inspection and won’t break the bank. It’s very much an affordable piece of equipment. But keep in mind that it’s non-rechargeable so once that pressure goes out of the green area on the pressure gauge you’re on the hook for buying another one.

Why This Extinguisher:

  • 5-B USCG Compliant: Will pass a US coastguard check so long as it’s been recently maintained, is in the provided mounting bracket, and the pressure gauge is in the ‘green’ zone.
  • Affordable: The most affordable USCG compliant extinguisher on the list.
  • Comes with Mounting Bracket: The seller states on the sales page that the mounting bracket is okay for USCG compliance.
  • Small: At just 14.2 inches tall, this is the smallest and most compact extinguisher on this list.
  • No Hose: We like that it doesn’t have a hose so it’s a lot easier to handle – just point it at the fire!

Keep in Mind:

  • Non-Rechargeable: Once you’ve discharged it you need to throw it out and buy a new one.
  • Brand Name: Amerex and Ansul are head and shoulders above First Alert when it comes to reputation in the fire extinguisher industry.

What are the USCG Requirements for Fire Extinguishers on Boats?

How many Fire Extinguishers do I need on my Boat?

The US coastguard recommends all vessels have fire extinguishers on boats. It is also mandatory to have extinguishers on most vessels.

The rules for fire extinguishing equipment for marine vessels are set out in the US Code of Federal Regulations, Title 46, Subchapter C, Part 25. The Shortcode for this section of the federal regulations is ’46 CFR 25.30-20′. The regulations are written in very difficult legal text, but you can click here to read the regulations in full.

These are the minimum requirements:

  • Less than 26 feet: You’ll need at least one 20-B equivalent extinguisher.
  • More than 26 feet but Less than 40 feet: At least two 5- or one 20-B equivalent extinguisher.
  • More than 40 feet but less than 65 feet: At least three 5-B equivalent extinguishers or one 5-B and one 20-B equivalent extinguishers.

Again, here’ the simplification of those rules in an image:

best marine fire extinguisher

Exemptions apply for non-commercial boats with exclusively outboard motors. But even an outboard motor vessel that has a closed compartment under thwarts or seats, spaces where portable fuel tanks can be stored, closed living spaces, or permanently installed fuel tanks, must contain a fire extinguisher. Vessels carrying paying passengers are very strictly monitored.

In other words, it’s highly likely you’ll need to comply with the fire extinguisher rules – and even if you don’t … you still probably should carry a fire extinguisher.

Vessels over 65 feet have additional requirements that we will not go into in this article.

Regardless, the USCG recommends fire extinguishers for all vessels no matter their purpose or size.

What Type of Fire Extinguishers do I Need (5-B or 20-B)?

You need to get either 5-B or 20-B (or above) certified extinguishers to be compliant with USCG regulations, depending on your vessel size (see chart above).

These ratings refer to the type of fire the extinguisher is designed to suppress and the square footage that the extinguisher is capable of suppressing.

So a 5-B extinguisher can suppress 5 square feet of Class B fire, while a 20-B extinguisher can suppress 20 square feet of Class B fire (when operated by a trained user).

In reality, most extinguishers don’t only suppress Class B fires. Your common dry chemical fire extinguisher will usually suppress Class A, B and C extinguishers. So on the UL Label it will read something like: “10-A 5-B:C”. That’s good enough for meeting the 5-B requirement.

If you have a 10-B:C extinguisher, that’s great. It will meet and exceed the 5-B requirement. But it won’t meet the 20-B requirement. You’ll need a 20-B:C, 40-B:C or 60-B:C extinguisher for that.

To cut through the jargon, what you’re looking for is:

  • To meet 5-B standard: Usually a 2.5 pound or 5 pound ABC fire extinguisher will do. Check the UL Label.
  • To meet 20-B standard: Usually a 10 pound ABC fire extinguisher is required. Check the UL Label.

What Other Fire Extinguisher Requirements are There?

Pressure Gauge: The extinguisher must also have an easily visible pressure gauge. The pressure gauge must show that the extinguisher is fully charged and ready to go. If the coastguard inspects the extinguisher and its charge has moved into the red zone, you’ll be hit with a fine. It’d be as if you didn’t have an extinguisher on the boat at all.

Mounting Bracket: The extinguisher must be mounted on an approved mounting bracket. The mounting bracket that’s approved is the one the’s used during UL texting and the approved bracket’s code is written on the UL Label. Good brands usually include the approved bracket in your purchase.

Ease of Access: Access to the extinguisher must not be obstructed.

Legible Instructions: If the instructions are faded, torn or unreadable, you’re asked to replace the extinguisher.

No Evidence of Tampering: Your extinguisher’s tamper indicators cannot be missing or broken.

See here for further information.

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. Inspections should cover the above requirements re: visibility of instructions, ease of access, full pressure. See NFPA 10 standards for full list.

Furthermore, rechargeable extinguishers need to get an annual inspection by a qualified fire extinguisher technician and this needs to be recorded 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.”

You’ll need to consult the USCG regulations for the most up-to-date information.

The USCG Changes in August 2016 (From B-I, B-II to 5-B, 20-B)

What are the Old USCG B-I and B-II Fire Extinguisher Standards?

Prior to August 2016, you were required to follow the USCG B-I and B-II fire extinguisher ratings to be coastguard compliant. The classifications of “B-I” and “B-II” were unique to the US Coastguard but have now been discontinued.

Since August 2016, UL ratings have been adopted as standard, meaning B-I and B-II ratings are no longer necessary. They changed to UL compliance because it’s a lot easier to streamline the process by sticking to the standardized UL certifications.

Nonetheless, at the moment UL is still keeping the old ratings listed on their labels just to make the transition easier. You will notice that your extinguisher may still have the old USCG approval text side. It will be in this format: “Marine Type USCG Type ____, Size ____, Approval No. 162.028/____.]”

To cut through all the jargon, here are the old minimum requirements:

  • For a B-I extinguisher: The minimum requirement was at least a 2-pound dry chemical Class B extinguisher (or equivalent). The new UL Label rating equivalence is 5-B.
  • For a B-II extinguisher: The minimum requirements was at least a 10-pound dry chemical Class B extinguisher (or equivalent). The new UL Label rating equivalence is 20-B.

Overall, this change has been good because it hugely simplifies the buying process.

What to Look for in a Quality Fire Extinguisher

a) Brand

Brands do matter when it comes to fire extinguishers. Without stating any names, several big brand extinguishers have had huge product recalls in the past 15 years. To be fair, it was respectable that they did the recalls out of abundance of caution so we don’t think we should drag their reputation through the mud for doing the right thing.

That said, we personally choose Amerex extinguishers due to their impeccable reputation. (We provide a full link to the full Amerex product catalog in the ‘sources’ list at the end of this article.) We also don’t mind Ansul or Buckeye extinguishers as premium quality brands in this space.

b) Metal Components

Some extinguishers come with plastic pins, valves and handles. Don’t get a plastic extinguisher! They’re well known for failing when you need them most. So, check to make sure the components are either aluminum or chrome (in very high quality extinguishers).

c) UL Certification at USCG Standard

Your extinguisher should be UL certified to the required US Coastguard required standard (minimum 5-B or 20-B. See infographic above).

Something that drives me crazy is that nearly every other review of “Best fire extinguishers for boats” etc. on the internet (actually, every one I’ve found) recommends cheap aerosol extinguishers that don’t even meat US Coastguard requirements! What the heck!?

Make sure you get one of the 5 extinguishers above that actually meets the US Coastguard requirements.

d) Type

Fire extinguishers are specially designed to fight different types of fires. Here’s just a quick run down of the different types of fires:

  • Class A: Regular combustibles (wood, paper, plastic, etc.)
  • Class B: Liquid and gas fires (e.g. gasoline, oil, etc.)
  • Class C: Electrical fires
  • Class D: Combustible metal fires
  • Class F: Kitchen fires

The US Coastguard requires that your extinguisher is certified for at least a Class B – 5 extinguisher.

e) Size

There are generally three sizes of extinguisher: 2.5 Lbs, 5 Lbs and 10 Lbs.

The 2.5 Lbs and 5 Lbs extinguishers are usually high enough to meet the USCG 5-B requirement but not big enough to meet the USCG 20-B requirement.

The 10 Lbs extinguishers usually meet the 20-B requirement.

f) Mounting Bracket

You need your extinguisher to be in a mounting bracket on your boat for it to be USCG compliant. Try to get an extinguisher that comes with a secure mounting bracket.

g) Nozzle vs. Hose

Nozzle extinguishers are easier to hold and fight fires in our personal opinion. There are just less parts to deal with which we like. If you have a hose-attached extinguisher, you’ve got to hold the handle, extinguisher and the hose which can just be a pain. Unfortunately you usually only get a nozzle-only extinguisher for 2.5 Lbs extinguishers, which are tiny. So there’s a trade-off here.

h) Rechargeable

Rechargeable extinguishers can literally get substance re-added to it after you’ve discharged it, so you can use it again and again. Disposable extinguishers need to be tossed out once used.

I always get rechargeable extinguishers. They just seem to be higher quality. Plus, if your extinguisher loses charge, you can just go get it topped up rather than being wasteful and throwing it away and buying a new one. Call your local fire brigade for information on a local spot where you can recharge your extinguisher.

i) Extinguishing Substance

All fire extinguishers on this list use a dry chemical monoammonium phosphate. This is the most common extinguishing material in fire extinguishers today and is the standard in ABC fire extinguishers.

The alternative is a halotron extinguisher.

Halotron extinguishers are much more expensive and a little less effective. But, many people like halotron extinguishers because their substance is non-corrosive. They’re popular for people with sports cars who don’t want to damage their car. They’re also commonplace in the aircraft industry.

For very expensive yachts you might want a halotron extinguisher to help protect your yacht from the corrosive collateral damage that may occur when discharging an extinguisher.

You could get a halotron extinguisher that also meets the 5-B requirement such as this Amerex B386T.

Personally, we just stick with the dry chemical.

Final Thoughts

The most important thing to remember is that you need to get an extinguisher that meets USCG standard. Use the infographic above for information on what extinguishers you require. The Amerex B417T is best for a 5-B standard extinguisher, and the Amerex B456 is best for a 20-B standard extinguisher.

Sources