ABE fire extinguishers are a common choice for boat owners looking to protect themselves and their property – here’s why. 

People sometimes think boats must somehow be protected against fires because they reside on the water. This is certainly not the case – in fact, the truth is quite the opposite. Fires on boats are a common occurrence, and contrary to how things may seem, it can even be more dangerous and difficult to extinguish a fire on a boat than on land. After all, boats can be quite small and hard to evacuate safely from, creating added obstacles and dangers. This makes it important for you to choose the correct fire extinguisher for your boat, in respect to its size, requirements and fire risks.

What makes ABE Fire Extinguishers ideal for boats?
Generally speaking, an ABE fire extinguisher, also known as a dry powder or dry chemical fire extinguisher, is a good choice for many boats. That’s because these are multipurpose, and suitable for use in a range of situations, even electrical fires. Still, it’s important to remember that ABE fire extinguishers are not a one-size fits all piece of equipment and you’ll need to to consider your boat and its unique risks before making a decision. 

How do they work?
Fire extinguishers, in general, work by starving a fire of one of its three life sources: oxygen, heat or fuel. Dry powder extinguishers are filled with monoammonium phosphate, an extinguishing agent that spreads easily and melts over flames. When the powder covers a fire, it blocks heat and oxygen, causing the flames to die out. Dry chemical fire extinguishers also act as a great heat shield on boats, and if a large quantity of powder is released, they can also shield and protect surrounding objects from ignition before a fire strikes.

How can I identify one?
Dry Powder Fire Extinguishers are red and come with a white coloured band around the top of the cylinder, that’s what tells them apart from other fire extinguisher types. In Australia, they look like this: 

What kinds of fires are they suitable for?
ABE Dry Powder Fire Extinguishers offer protection against the following kinds of fire risks and fire hazards that occur commonly on boats:

  • Class A – Normal combustible materials such as wood, paper, cloth, plastic or rubber products
  • Class B – Fires involving combustible flammable liquids such as petrol, oil paint and solvents
  • Class E – Fires where the ignition source contains Electrically Energised Equipment like motors, switchboards and electrical appliances.

What kinds of fires are they NOT suitable for?
A Dry Powder extinguisher should never be used on the below fire classes: 

  • Class C – Fires involving combustible gases, such as LPG, Natural gas and acetylene
  • Class D – Fires involving combustible metals such as aluminum shaving or magnesium

Chat to us if you have any of these risks, so we can help find a solution that’s ideal for your boat and your needs. 

What sized extinguisher should I purchase for my boat?
Our selection of ABE Fire Extinguishers ranges at Fire Equipment Online ranges between: 1 kg, 1.5 kg , 2 kg , 2.5 kg , 4.5 kg , 9 kg , 25 kg and 50 kg, but if you have a regular-sized boat, you would be unlikely to need an extinguisher that’s bigger than a just a few kilos. Larger extinguishers are more powerful and provide protection in particularly high-risk areas, but smaller extinguishers are easier to use and they’re also more affordable. Chat to us and we can help you select the right size for your boat. 

How do I use one on my boat?
Dry Chemical Extinguishers work like any fire extinguisher. For the best results, you should do some training to ensure you’ve got a solid understanding of how it should be used. The PASS technique is a good way to remember your training in how to use an extinguisher. Simple Pull the Pin. Aim it at the fire. Squeeze the handle. Sweep from side to side. 

Other fire extinguisher resources:

Want to learn more about what fire extinguisher is right for you? Fire Equipment Online is here to help. Our highly-qualified experts will help find the most affordable and most well-suited fire extinguisher solution for you, no matter how unique your requirements may be. Contact us today for more information.