Fire fighting equipment


Portable Fire extinguishers

wpe1F.jpg (22579 bytes)To describe the types of portable fire extinguishers required by various sizes of vessels, the Small Vessel Regulations now use the same terminology you will find marked on extinguishers:    Class A, B, C.
Class A means the extinguisher is designed for fires of combustible, solid materials (wood, paper, etc.),
B for combustible liquids (gas, oil, etc.) and
C for electrical.    The number before the letter rates the extinguisher's relative firefighting effectiveness, so that a 3A device will put out a larger fire than a 2A device.    (Note that there are no numbers before the C on Class C extinguishers.)    Although the regulations specify only class BC, look for an extinguisher with an additional class A rating when purchasing.

The type of fire extinguishers you choose must be approved by the:

  • Board of Steamship Inspection (Transport Canada);
  • Underwriters Laboratories of Canada;
  • British Board of Trade for Marine Use; or
  • United States Coast Guard (for marine use).

A marine type fire extinguisher is highly recommended because of its resistance to corrosion. Obviously, dead fire extinguishers are useless. Check them frequently for proper pressure and be sure that everyone on board knows how to operate them.    With chemical type devices, take them out of their bracket and shake them vigorously in the upside down position (about once a month) to prevent the extinguishing agent from caking and hardening at the bottom.

With CO2 types, weigh them annually and have them recharged if they contain less than 90% of their rated capacity. CO2 extinguishers discharge a colourless, odourless gas that displaces oxygen. Exercise caution when storing or using them in accommodation spaces.

A fire extinguisher should be located in convenient and accessible location.

The number of fire extinguishers required onboard a pleasure craft depends on whether the vessel is power driven, if there are fuel burning appliances onboard, and the length of the vessel.

See the chart for the requirements for different boats.


Fire Bucket, Axe

fire axe (75w x 26h pixels)Vessels over 12 metres in length are required to carry an axe.
Vessels over 24 metres require two axes.

The spiked type of axe is preferred.   The axe should be kept in an easily accessible location and not exposed to the weather.

In an emergency situation the axe may be used to cut a rope or line in addition to it's regular fire fighting purpose.

fire bucket (63w x 66h pixels) Vessels over 12 metres in length are required to carry 2 fire buckets in easily accessible locations.
Vessels over 24 metres are required to carry 4 fire buckets.

The fire bucket must have a capacity of 10 L or more, be made of metal with a round convex bottom with a hole in the centre. The convex bottom allows the bucket to tip and fill, while the hole prevents the accumulation of water and rusting when the bucket is not in use. The bucket must be painted red, and be fitted with a lanyard of sufficient length to reach the water from the location in which it is stored.