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Boat & Marine Fire Extinguishers

Need help? Need help? What are the best extinguishers for use at sea? Easy Maintenance UK Boat and Marine Fire Extinguishers

According to the Home Office, 30 boaters have been killed in fire-related incidents in the last 20 years. It may seem surprising that fires on boats are so dangerous as they are surrounded by water; however, the unfortunate reality is that these fires can spread quickly, be extremely dangerous, and cause extensive damage, both to marine equipment and the boat itself.

Ensuring that your boat – however large or small – is adequately prepared for a fire can mean the difference between a minor incident and a major disaster. Boat and marine fire extinguishers, fire alarms and fire safety equipment are essentials when it comes to maintaining fire safety while on board.

What type of extinguisher do you need?

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Choosing The Right Boat Fire Extinguishers

There are a number of different types of fire extinguishers, and it can be difficult to distinguish between them to know what kind your boat needs, and how many fire extinguishers your boat is required to have by law.

Types of fire extinguishers for boats

Different types of fires have varying characteristics and, as a result, require specialist types of extinguishers to be effectively put out. We have a full range of different types of fire extinguishers so that, no matter how varied the safety needs of your boat, you will be able to find the right combination of extinguishers.

Some of the most popular types of fire extinguishers include:

  • 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.

To learn more about the various kinds of fire extinguishers and the types of fires they are designed to combat, you can refer to our Fire Extinguisher Guide.

Fire extinguisher placement

When deciding where to place your fire extinguishers, it is important to perform a comprehensive risk assessment and identify the areas that carry a more inherent fire risk, such as kitchens or engine rooms. After identifying the areas of high risk, you can determine what kinds of fire extinguishers would best suit the area.

Once you have chosen the right places and types of fire extinguishers, you should install the fire extinguishers in highly visible, easily accessible areas. As movement and steadiness are key considerations in marine environments, you might also want to consider how best to install the extinguishers, for example, with our heavy-duty bracket and harness. See our full range of Fire Extinguisher Accessories and Equipment for all of your extinguisher display and storage needs.

Fire extinguisher portability

Boats pose unique challenges as they can constantly be in motion. However, we have a variety of fire extinguishers, with varying installation and mobility options, so you can find the solution that works best for the unique needs of your ship.

Some of these mobility and installation options include:


What does the law say?

Different types and sizes of boats have varying fire risks and, as a result, different fire codes to adhere to. Laws managing safety for large ships are in the Merchant Shipping (Fire Protection: Large Ships) Regulations 1998 and laws regarding safety on small ships are in the Merchant Shipping (Fire Protection: Small Ships) Regulations 1998. Since 1998, there have been a number of key amendments to the regulations, which are included in the Merchant Shipping (Fire Protection) Regulations 2003. It is essential to be aware of any changes in legislation and boat fire extinguisher rules.

Alongside regulations concerning boat fire safety, the HSE details how employers also have legal responsibilities to their employees and are responsible for their employees’ health, safety and wellbeing. Marine workplaces can be dangerous places, and it is important for employers to be aware of their responsibilities and potential liabilities.

The Home Office also provides resources regarding Fire Safety on Boats, including how to protect the inside and outside of your boat from fires, the best alarm systems to use, and how to cook safely on board.

Where should marine fire extinguishers be kept?

Fire extinguishers should be kept in places where they are easily accessible in the event of an emergency. It is important that all staff and visitors to the boat know where the fire extinguishers are located and how to access them.

We have a range of equipment for holding fire extinguishers such as Fire Extinguisher Stands, along with signs indicating where the extinguishers are and how to use them. In a marine environment, sturdy Fire Extinguisher Wall Brackets are a great way to ensure that your fire extinguisher is firmly secured.

How many boat fire extinguishers do I need?

The number of boat fire extinguishers needed will vary according to the boat’s size and the activities that are taking place on board. It is important to refer to the Home Office guidelines regarding the number of fire extinguishers required, and to make this a key consideration when completing a comprehensive risk assessment of the ship.