Boat Fire Suppression Systems

Fire Suppression Systems How-Tos

Fire Extinguisher Safety Tips (Video)

Learn safety tips when using a fire extinguisher presented by Boating Magazine.

Video Transcription

Hi I'm Kevin Falvey the editor-in-chief of Boating Magazine here today to talk about fire extinguisher maintenance. As you can see, this fire extinguisher's gauge is in the red. That means it's probably not ready for use. If there was an emergency, this boater would be ill-prepared. Stay with us, we're going to tell you some tips about how to take care of your fire extinguisher and ensure that it's ready to fight fires should you ever need it.

So now, where do you start to inspect your fire extinguisher?

A basic fire extinguisher: simply depress the green pin. The pin should pop right back out after you press it. If not, the fire extinguisher needs to be replaced or recharged.

And on this other fire extinguisher, we can see that the gauge is in the green, it's ready to go. But if you have the type of fire extinguisher that does not have a gauge, you can always weigh to see if it's fully charged. Fine the charged weight on the label and then simply place it on the scale. If it meets the weight on the label, it's ready for action.

You also want to make sure that your pin is in good condition; doesn't look like it's been tampered with. Sometimes guests or children will pull these, tamper with them. You want to make sure that it's ready for action. Also check the nozzle; look and make sure that it's not cracked, make sure it's not blocked. All of these things would be essential if there was a fire and you needed to put it out.

Finally, monthly you should take your fire extinguisher from its bracket, invert it, and tap the bottom several times. That prevents the firefighting agent from caking up inside the fire extinguisher. Again, the whole point is having this thing ready if and when you need it. For a boating magazine, I'm Kevin Falvey.

Fire Extinguishers: Best Practices

This video will explain the considerations when equiping your boat, and standards when it comes to furnishing your boat with a fire extinguisher.

Video Transcript

Diana Jacobson: Boaters need to know where their fire extinguisher is located, how to unsecure it in case they need to use it, and most importantly, they need to know how to use it.

Jay Riley: I encourage boaters to install their fire extinguisher in some fixed location where they get accustomed to seeing it so that when they know if there is some type of emergency they know right where to go to get it.

Diana: When I stopped a boat during a boating inspection I realized a lot of people don't even know where their fire extinguisher is located or if they even have one at all.

Jay: A common mistake I see as far as fire extinguishers with boaters is that they do not check them regularly. These are chemical devices and they will expire without ever being discharged. So I encourage boaters to check their fire extinguishers regularly, probably one of the most critical times is in the Spring when you're getting your boat out of winter storage to make sure that the fire extinguisher is in the green and it'll work for you if you have to depend on it.

Diana: If you don't know where your fire extinguisher is located it's just as bad as not having one at all.