In 1982 the Department of Transportation - United States Coast Guard declared itself out of the fire extinguisher testing and approval business. Quite simply it stated that Underwriters Laboratories, in their listing and rating process, had been subjecting extinguishers to testing sufficient to qualify them for “Marine” approval. Since that time others have been recognized by the Coast Guard as “independent laboratories” for testing and listing portable fire extinguishers. No matter which laboratory is involved, identification is simplified because all “marine type” extinguishers must have the Coast Guard classification system marking and approval number on the nameplate (label) [i.e. “Marine Type USCG Type ----, Size----, Approval No. 162.028/----”]. Minimums of a 5 B:C U/L rating and 2lbs. of dry chemical, 2 1/2 lbs. of Halon or 5 lbs. of CO2 are necessary to meet the requirements for a Coast Guard B classification. All extinguishers must be “restrained” in mounting brackets of the marine or motor vehicle type which have been subjected to the same rigid salt spray and vibration tests as the extinguishers (wall type brackets are not acceptable.) U/L requires that the model or part number of the bracket in which the extinguisher was tested for its marine listing be noted on the extinguisher nameplate (label). In addition to the nameplate notation, Amerex cross references extinguishers with marine brackets in our “Hand Portable” extingusher catalog and on our single page extinguisher specification sheet. Coast Guard regulations do not allow the use of hand portable stainless steel fire extinguishers, therefore Stored Pressure Water, AFFF and FFFP Foam are not approved. Halon 1211 fire extinguishers exceeding 20 lb. capacity are not approved.


The following chart relates Coast Guard classifications to types and sizes of extinguishers:

Coast Guard Classification Dry Chemical (Pounds) Carbon Dioxide (Pounds) Halon* 1211 or 1301 (Pounds)
Type Size      
A II 5 - -
B:C I 2 5 2 1/2
B:C II 10 15 10
B:C III 20 35 -
B:C IV 30 50 -
B:C V 50 100 -

* 20 lb. Halon 1211 extinguishers are acceptable for fulfilling the requirements for Type B:C, Size II classifications, provided that you comply with the confined space limitations stated on the extinguisher label

EXTINGUISHER REQUIREMENTS AND DISTRIBUTION: All “Motor Boats” (vessels less than 65 ft. in length propelled by machinery) shall carry the quantity of Type B:C, Size I extinguishers noted in the table below. Note that the quantity changes when there is a fixed fire extinguishing system installed in the machinery (engine) space. Note: One B-II extinguisher may be substituted for two B-I extinguishers. Type A, Size II extinguishers will be specified on “Motor Vessels” (Any vessel more than 65 ft. in length not propelled by steam). They are required only for accomodation and service areas on inspected vessels carrying fare paying passengers. Type B:C, Size III and Type B:C, Size V extinguishers will be specified for certain areas of “Motor Vessels”. These areas include oil fired boilers, internal combustion or gas turbine propelling machinery and fuel storage spaces (high Class B & C hazards). .