U.S. Coast Guard approved fire extinguishers have undergone various changes. In 1982 the Department of Transportation—United States Coast Guard declared itself out of the fire extinguisher testing and approval business. Quite simply it stated that UL, in their listing and rating process, had been subjecting extinguishers to testing sufficient to qualify them for “Marine” approval.
Since that time others have been recognized by the Coast Guard as “independent laboratories” for testing and listing portable fire extinguishers. No matter which laboratory is involved, identification is simplified because all “marine type” extinguishers must have the Coast Guard classification system marking and approval number on the nameplate (label) [i.e. “Marine Type USCG Type ----, Size----, Approval No. 162.028/----”]. Minimums of a 5 B:C UL rating and 2 lbs. of dry chemical, 2 1/2 lbs. or 5 lbs of CO2 are necessary to meet the requirements for a Coast Guard B classification. All extinguishers must be “restrained” in mounting brackets of the marine or motor vehicle type which have been subjected to the same rigid salt spray and vibration tests as the extinguishers (wall type brackets are not acceptable). UL requires that the model or part number of the bracket in which the extinguisher was tested for its marine listing be noted on the extinguisher nameplate (label).
In addition to the nameplate notation, Amerex cross references extinguishers with marine brackets in our “Hand Portable” extinguisher catalog and on our single page extinguisher specification sheet. Coast Guard regulations do not allow the use of hand portable stainless steel fire extinguishers, therefore Stored Pressure Water extinguishers are not approved and only the Class K extinguishers labeled Coast Guard approved are approved.
New 2022 Regulations
In 2022 Coast Guard Approved Fire Extinguishers underwent another change. A new regulation was introduced on April 20, 2022 that fire extinguishers older than 12 years from the manufacture date must be replaced by a newer model. This includes both disposable and rechargeable fire extinguishers.
The following chart relates Coast Guard classifications to types and sizes of extinguishers:
EXTINGUISHER REQUIREMENTS AND DISTRIBUTION:
All “Motor Boats” (vessels less than 65 ft. in length propelled by machinery)
shall carry the quantity of Type B:C, Size I extinguishers noted in the
table below. Note that the quantity changes when there is a fixed fire
extinguishing system installed in the machinery (engine) space.
Note: One B-II extinguisher may be substituted for two B-I extinguishers.
Type A, Size II extinguishers will be specified on “Motor Vessels” (Any vessel more than 65 ft. in length not propelled by steam). They are
required only for accommodation and service areas on inspected vessels carrying fare paying passengers.
Type B:C, Size III and Type B:C, Size V extinguishers will be specified for certain areas of “Motor Vessels." These areas include oil fired boilers, internal combustion or gas turbine propelling machinery and fuel storage spaces (high Class B & C hazards).