New fire extinguisher rules for recreational boaters go into effect April 20, 2022

Submitted by the Coast Guard Office of Auxiliary & Boating Safety (CG-BSX)

Recreational boaters should be aware that on April 20, 2022 updated Coast Guard requirements take effect for the type of portable disposable fire extinguishers that need to be onboard recreational boats propelled or controlled by propulsion machinery. 

In October 2021 The Coast Guard announced these amended fire extinguishing equipment regulations in the Federal Register

These rules do not change how many extinguishers are required, but they do require the removal of certain extinguishers from service. If your boat was required to have one or more fire extinguishers prior to these updated regulations, it will still need to have the same number of extinguishers with this update.

For boats manufactured in model year 2018 and after, the fire extinguisher must be replaced if it is over 12-years old from the date of manufacturing. 

Boats of model year 2017 and older should replace older, undated, fire extinguishers but can continue to carry these undated extinguishers if they are maintained in good and serviceable condition.

Disposable fire extinguisher bottles manufactured during the past 20 years contain a manufacture date stamp on the bottom of the cylinder. 

For more information about the final rule, view the Federal Register or search docket number USCG-2018-0099 on

Fire extinguishers must:

  1. Be on board and readily accessible
  2. Be of an approved type;
  3. Not be expired or appear to have been previously used; and
  4. Be maintained in good and serviceable working condition, meaning:

     (i) If the extinguisher has a pressure gauge reading or indicator, it must be in the 
          operable range or position;
(ii) The lock pin is firmly in place;
(iii) The discharge nozzle is clean and free of obstruction; and
(iv) The extinguisher does not show visible signs of significant corrosion or damage.

As we roll into another boating season, we encourage you to inspect safety equipment, take a boating safety course, wear a life jacket and refrain from alcohol when operating your boat. Be Responsible, Be Safe!

For more information on recreational boating safety, visit

To schedule a free vessel safety check contact your local the USCG Auxiliary or U.S. Power Squadron

This blog is not a replacement or substitute for the formal posting of regulations and updates or existing processes for receiving formal feedback of the same. Links provided on this blog will direct the reader to official publications, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These publications remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.

2 replies »

    • Thank you for the comment. I have passed this on two the boating safety staff for consideration.

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