LAKE OF THE OZARKS, Mo. — If you’re a boater, you need to have a fire extinguisher on board, but are you believing any of the common myths about your fire extinguisher? Here are four from BoatUS—and the reality to set the record straight:
Myth #1: Tapping or striking the extinguisher keeps the contents “fresh”.
Myth #2: All extinguishers must be mounted with a bracket.
Reality: Mounting a fire extinguisher on a bracket keeps the unit in a handy place and may protect it from being banged around the boat, but it is not a legal requirement. You do, however, need to ensure the extinguisher is readily accessible, so leaving it at the bottom of locker or compartment is a big no-no.
Myth #3: Fire extinguishers get old and go “bad” every year.
Reality: Unlike flares, fire extinguishers have no expiration date. To meet US Coast Guard carriage requirements however, the extinguisher must be Coast Guard approved and in “good and serviceable” condition. The charge indicator needs to be in the green zone, the nozzle free of obstruction and the cylinder not rusted.
Myth #4: The law says you only need to carry one extinguisher.
Reality: Missouri law requires every Class 2 vessel operating upon the waters of the state to carry two B1 type fire extinguishers, one B2 fire extinguisher, or a fixed fire extinguishing system and one B1 type fire extinguisher. US Coast Guard minimum equipment requirements dictate that larger vessels require more than one fire extinguisher.
Source: Boat US