Firefighting equipment

All Queensland regulated ships and boats over 5m in length must carry firefighting equipment that can extinguish a fire quickly and effectively. 

You should buy all firefighting equipment, like fire blankets and extinguishers, from an authorised dealer who can work out the best type for your needs. Fire extinguishers must be serviced by the manufacturer or an authorised agent before the expiry dates. 

If any firefighting equipment is unusable, you must replace it.

A portable fire extinguisher (PFE) which has a manufacture stamp of more than 5 years prior, under Australian Standards must be hydrostatic pressure tested by an approved tester. Due to the cost and time associated with this process most commonly the PFE would be simply replaced.

Portable fire extinguisher

There are 6 fire extinguisher types found aboard boats that are suitable for different types of fire:

Portable fire extinguisher guide Water Wet chemical(previously beige) Foam (previously blue) Dry chemical powder
AB (E)
B (E)
Carbon dioxide
Vaporising liquid
Image of a water fire extinguisher Image of a wet chemical fire extinguisher Image of a foam fire extinguisher Image of a dry chemical powder fire extinguisher Image of a carbon dioxide fire extinguisher Image of a vaporising liquid fire extinguisher
Ordinary combustibles most suitable (wood, paper, plastics and so on)
Yes Yes Yes Yes – AB(E)
No – B(E)
Limited Yes
Flammable and combustible liquids
No No Yes Yes Limited Limited
Flammable gases
No No No Yes Limited Limited
Fire involving energised electrical equipment
No No No Yes Yes Yes
Fire involving cooking oils and fats
No Yes Limited No – AB(E)
Limited – B(E)
Limited effectiveness No

Portable extinguishers are used for quickly responding to fires before they spread too far. You must take precautions to minimise personal risks from heat radiation and smoke inhalation. 

You should use portable extinguishers in the upright position and follow the PASS method:

P—Pull the pin.
A—Aim low at the base of the fire.
S—Squeeze the handle.
S—Sweep side to side.

Image showing how to pull the pin of a fire extinguisherImage showing how to aim a fire extinguisher at the base of a fireImage showing how to squeeze the handle of a fire extingquisherImage showing how to sweep a fire extinguisher at a fire

Depending on the type and class of boat, other firefighting equipment like alarms, communication systems, fire pumps, hydrants and hoses may also be required.

Check the safety equipment for boats registered in Queensland for more information. 

Last updated
23 January 2023