Toms Tips About Fire Extinguishers
By Tom Neale, 3/4/2014
1. Fire extinguishers should be rated for marine use and USCG approved.
2. They should be within immediate reach, even in a fire, and mounted with approved brackets.
3. For example a fire extinguisher mounted over a galley stove may be easy to reach if a fire is in the engine space, but impossible to reach if the fire is on the stove.
4. Have enough aboard so that you can have them well distributed for instant easy access. The minimum required by law may be nowhere near enough.
5. Sometimes you may need to place a fire extinguisher where it is somewhat exposed to the elements, as on a fly bridge or at the side of a steering console. If this is needed to have easy quick access, do it, but check them frequently and replace as needed.
6. If there is any issue as to a fire extinguisher being readily visible, make signs so even someone new to your boat knows where they are.
7. Know how to use them and know that others aboard do.
8. Check all of them regularly.
9. If appropriate to your boat, also have automatic fire extinguisher(s) installed by professionals.