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Max Simmons 06-09-2011 03:37 PM

Fire Extinguisher Inspection
I was just at the new Washington State Boater's Safety Class in order to get my new mandatory Boater Safety card.* The class was run by a couple Coast Guard Auxillary guys that were nice enough.* The discussion turned to fire extinguishers.* One said that make sure and check that they are charged and get charged as needed.* I asked about the yearly inspection tag.* He told me that they are'nt required to be inspected annually???**Is he misinformed?


Keith 06-09-2011 03:44 PM

Fire Extinguisher Inspection
He's correct. You can self-inspect and doesn't need tags.

That being said, I do have mine inspected by a service annually.

-- Edited by Keith on Thursday 9th of June 2011 04:44:37 PM

2bucks 06-09-2011 05:10 PM

RE: Fire Extinguisher Inspection
I inspect mine monthly, including turning over and over to insure that the powder is loose and ready to use. Tap lightly on the gauge face to insure that the gauge isn't stuck in place. Check the nozzle and hose (if there is a hose) that there is no debris or sign of leaking powder. Check that the mounting bracket is secure and straps holding the extinguisher in place are servicable. If in doubt, throw it out or relegate it to the closet and get a new one. Rusting, dents, etc are all reasons for replacement.

Check the labels, but I've found Costco extinguishers to be CG approved and affordable.


DCBD 06-09-2011 05:31 PM

RE: Fire Extinguisher Inspection
In Canada the fire extinguishers can be self inspected yearly, but every five years they must be professionally serviced and every 10 years the bottles must be hydro tested. This applies to the minimum FE requirement by safe boating Canada only. On my boat I'm required to have a single 5 lb BC FE. I carry 2 x 5 lb FE, 2 x 2 lb FE, 1 in the galley and 1 in the pilothouse, also 2 x halon type, 1 in the engine room and 1 in the machinery room. The 2 smaller ones are not worth the money it costs to service them so I just shake them every so often and check the pressure. For the halon ones, I keep a record of my pressure checks and recently function tested the automatic discharge system.

yachtbrokerguy 06-10-2011 09:44 AM

Fire Extinguisher Inspection
Check your insurance policy. Some policies will require that they are professionally inspected others do not, but it would be terrible to have a claim denied because of a lack of inspections. Plus a fire at sea can ruin your whole day.

-- Edited by yachtbrokerguy on Friday 10th of June 2011 10:52:10 AM

skipperdude 06-10-2011 11:19 AM

RE: Fire Extinguisher Inspection

DCBD wrote:
In Canada the fire extinguishers can be self inspected yearly, but every five years they must be professionally serviced and every 10 years the bottles must be hydro tested.
*While at the Seattle boat show there was Canadian boat there and I was told all boats in Canada must have a Fire ax and bucket of sand aboard.


Tom.B 06-10-2011 12:18 PM

RE: Fire Extinguisher Inspection
When we bought Skinny Dippin', the extinguishers were WAY out of date. We bought two new ones from a local specialty shop store and they send me an annual reminder. It's like $15 for all both. The Fire Boy in the bilge is OEM from 1986, but the company swears that as long as the weight is correct, it will still work. It was crazy money to replace, so it's on the back burner (so to speak :-D )

DCBD 06-10-2011 05:52 PM

RE: Fire Extinguisher Inspection
Willy, do you have any links or documentation to support that. I've done some research but wasn't able to find it. Also, I understand that as long as the minimum requirement is met, meaning in my case I'm required to have a single 5 lb BC FE, and as long as I keep this inspected and up to date, I have met my obligation and the other FE's are redundant.

So far Ive not found any documentation that says I cannot self inspect my FEs, or that they need to be tagged, but I recognize that tagging them is in your best interests. Ive been to several recharge shops and a fire hall and I get the same story from each of them, 5 years-professionally inspected and 10 years- hydro tested, but Ive not contacted the CCG, so marine use could very well have its own regulation.

For sure the best advice here so far is to read your insurance policy.

weebobby 06-10-2011 08:21 PM

RE: Fire Extinguisher Inspection
I was always under the impression that fire extinguishers on Canadian vessels had to be inspected and tagged anually but cannot now find that anywhere in the regulations.*I do note that new regulations came into affect in 2010 so maybe that requirement was dropped at that time.

Certainly at one time a bucket of sand was required but that is also missing from the new regulations.

Another new item noted in the 2010 regulations requires the use of Radar reflectors on certain boats.


koliver 06-11-2011 08:05 AM

RE: Fire Extinguisher Inspection
Max, Dave, SD

Here is the real deal in Canada: I am a CCGA-P member. I have been doing CEs (Courtesy Examinations) for about 15 yrs. Until last year, we would inspect the fire extinguishers, but ignore the tag. However, if you got boarded by the RCMP, they enforce the Provincial Fire Code, as well, where the rule has always been to require current tags. Then CCG moved to Transport Canada and the rules now require CEs to include a tag check on all fire extinguishers. You have to be current, or no sticker. This is ok at our YC's Safety day, as the Fire guys are there and well organized, so hundreds of FEs get tagged in one day at no charge. For anyone who misses Safety Day, its a trip to a fire tagger and a small fee for every one. In addition are the 5 and 10 yr requirements that Dave mentions.
The absence of a CCGA CE tag is not a condemnation of your boat or its maintenance, but the presence of a sticker means to the CCG or the RCMP, if coming close to your Stb side, thta this is a boat that meets all current safety standards, so you will get fewer hassles.
Dave, there is no such thing as a redundant fire extinguisher. I think you mean "backup".
For boats over 12m (40ft) a fire axe is required.
The rest need at least a pair of buckets capable of carrying 10l of water, not sand.
The bucket of sand is only for boats that carry a ship's cat.

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