U.S. Coast Guard Fire Extinguishers Requirements for the Recreational Boater FAQs

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Office of Auxiliary and Recreational Boating Safety is in the process of issuing new fire extinguisher requirements for recreational boaters. The USCG has developed questions and answers (Q&A) intended to help recreational boat owners and extinguisher servicing companies comply with the new USCG regulations that are under development. The draft regulations for fire protection for recreational vessels were recently published and can be viewed and downloaded at:


These regulations will be incorporated into 33 CFR 175, Sub-Chapter S in the near future. The regulations cover both rechargeable and nonrechargeable fire extinguishers. The final rule became effective April 20, 2022.

The following information is provided in the USCG Q&A document regarding rechargeable and nonrechargeable (disposable) fire extinguishers:

  • A non-rechargeable fire extinguisher, also referred to as a disposable fire extinguisher, is intended for one-time use only.
  • A rechargeable fire extinguisher is recharged once used. A rechargeable portable fire extinguisher requires regular maintenance and servicing; a disposable does not. A disposable must be removed from service after 12 years from date of manufacturing stamped on the bottle.
  • Disposable (non-rechargeable) dry chemical fire extinguishers, must be removed 12 years after their date of manufacture. These extinguishers generally have their year of manufacturing stamped on the bottom or have its year marked next to its UL label.

This information is in alignment with the requirements in NFPA 10, Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers.

US Coast Guard Fire Extinguishers Requirements for the Recreational Boater FAQs

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