Fire extinguishers

Find out about fire extinguisher requirements and maintenance.

Skippers are no longer required to carry a fire extinguisher. However, it is recommended that you continue to carry this piece of equipment and assess your individual circumstances in determining which fire extinguisher is appropriate for your vessel and operating circumstances.

You can choose any type of fire extinguisher made to Australian Standards, including from foam, dry chemical, carbon dioxide or vaporising liquid.

Maintaining your fire extinguisher

Fire extinguishers should be inspected at least every 6 months.

Check that charge indicator in the pressure gauge is in the green position. If the indicator is in the red, or the seal is broken the fire extinguisher needs to be replaced.

Check the nozzle of the fire extinguisher and clean nozzle if necessary.

A dry chemical fire extinguisher should be taken off its bracket and shaken to prevent the powder inside from compacting.

A carbon dioxide extinguisher needs to be checked by weight. The extinguisher needs to be recharged if the loss is more than 10% of the net weight of the contents.

Different types of extinguishers

Dry chemical extinguishers are the most common choice for vessels.

Using your bailer is also useful for extinguishing burning solids, such as wood, paper, plastic.

Chemical, carbon dioxide and foam fire extinguishers

Type of extinguisher Colouring Suitability Warnings
Dry chemical Red container with white band.

Most effective for:

  • wood, paper and plastic fires
  • flammable liquids, such as petrol
  • flammable gasses
The smaller sizes usually contain powder which is not very effective against solid fuel fires, 
Carbon Dioxide Red container with black band. Most effective for electrical fires. Carbon dioxide can be dangerous and cause suffocation in a confined space.
Foam Blue container, or red with blue band. Most effective for flammable and combustible liquids. The foam conducts electricity.

Find more information in the Portable Fire Extinguisher Guide below.

Page last updated: Thu Apr 18 2024 3:45:15 PM