Even if fires are relatively uncommon on boats, their rapid spread makes them particularly dangerous.
Many factors can cause fires inside boats, specifically oil or gas leaks, short circuits or even grease catching fire on the top of stoves. To make sure you and your passengers are safe, the Canadian law states that most maritime vessels need to have a boat fire extinguisher on board at all times.
In this article, our National Boating Safety School experts explain the different fire extinguisher regulations and which types are required on pleasure crafts.
Fire extinguishers are an essential item on our required boating safety equipment list. There are three different classes of fire extinguishers, each designed to control a specific type of fire.
Class A: effective against fires connected to regular combustible products: paper, wood, fabrics, rubber and plastics.
Class B: effective against fires connected to flammable liquids: oils, paints, gas, grease, varnishes and petrol.
Class C: effective against fires connected to electrically powered equipment: engines, devices, electric tools.
The numbers on the fire extinguishers indicate their extinguishing performance (also known as their rating). The higher their rating, the more capable the fire extinguisher is at putting out a larger fire. For example, a 40BC extinguisher is supposed to control a larger fire than a 10BC extinguisher.
The criteria for determining the number of fire extinguishers on a pleasure craft in Canada is listed on the Justice Laws Website. The regulations may differ according to the type of boat and its length.
A class 5BC fire extinguisher must be present if the conditions below apply:
You should install a class 5BC fire extinguisher if:
A class 10BC fire extinguisher should be present on board if your boat:
A 10BC fire extinguisher should be present in the following places:
A class 10BC fire extinguisher must be present in the following areas:
In addition, a mechanical fire pump must be installed outside the engine room. This must be accompanied by a fire hose and a hose nozzle to direct water to different parts of the boat.
To ensure everyone’s safety, it is vital to inspect a boat’s fire extinguishers regularly to make sure that they work properly. It is also necessary to turn them over and shake them thoroughly once a month to prevent the chemical agent inside them from hardening.
It is important to be safe when driving a boat. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of all the relevant safety information.
To be more accustomed with the current boating safety regulations, and to learn more about navigation in general, the National Boating Safety School has everything you need to know.