Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation And Natural Resources
Agency 15. Department of Wildlife Resources
Chapter 430. Watercraft: Safety Equipment Requirements

4VAC15-430-170. Hand-portable fire extinguishers and semiportable fire extinguishing systems.

A. Hand-portable fire extinguishers and semiportable fire extinguishing systems are classified by a combination letter and number symbol, the letter indicating the type of fire that the unit could be expected to extinguish, and the number indicating the relative size of the unit.

B. For the purpose of this section, all required hand-portable fire extinguishers and semiportable fire extinguishing systems are of the "B" type; i.e., suitable for extinguishing fires involving flammable liquids, greases, etc.

C. The number designations for size will start with "I" for the smallest to "V" for the largest. For the purpose of this section, only sizes I through III will be considered. Sizes I and II are considered hand-portable fire extinguishers and sizes III, IV, and V are considered semiportable fire extinguishing systems that shall be fitted with suitable hose and nozzle or other practicable means so that all portions of the space concerned may be covered. Examples of size graduations for some of the typical hand-portable fire extinguishers and semiportable fire extinguishing systems are set forth in the following table:


Foam (gallons)

Carbon Dioxide (pounds)

Dry Chemical (pounds)


















D. All hand-portable fire extinguishers and semiportable fire extinguishing systems shall have permanently attached thereto a metallic name plate giving the name of the item, the rated capacity in gallons, quarts, or pounds, the name and address of the person or firm for whom approved, and the identifying mark of the actual manufacturer.

E. Vaporizing-liquid type fire extinguishers containing carbon tetrachloride or chlorobromomethane or other toxic vaporizing liquids are not acceptable as equipment required by this section.

F. Hand-portable or semiportable extinguishers that are required on their name plates to be protected from freezing shall not be located where freezing temperatures may be expected.

G. The use of dry chemical, stored pressure, fire extinguishers not fitted with pressure gauges or indicating devices, manufactured prior to January 1, 1965, may be permitted on motorboats and other vessels so long as such extinguishers are maintained in good and serviceable condition. The following maintenance and inspections are required for such extinguishers:

1. When the date on the inspection record tag on the extinguishers shows that six months have elapsed since last weight check ashore, then such extinguisher is no longer accepted as meeting required maintenance conditions until reweighed ashore and found to be in a serviceable condition and within required weight conditions.

2. If the weight of the container is one-fourth ounce less than that stamped on container, it shall be serviced.

3. If the outer seal or seals (which indicate tampering or use when broken) are not intact, the boarding officer or marine inspector will inspect such extinguisher to see that the frangible disc in neck of the container is intact; and if such disc is not intact, the container shall be serviced.

4. If there is evidence of damage, use, or leakage, such as dry chemical powder observed in the nozzle or elsewhere on the extinguisher, the container shall be replaced with a new one and the extinguisher properly serviced or the extinguisher replaced with another approved extinguisher.

H. The dry chemical, stored pressure, fire extinguishers without pressure gauges or indicating devices manufactured after January 1, 1965, shall not be carried on board motorboats or other vessels as required equipment.

Statutory Authority

§§ 29.1-501, 29.1-502, 29.1-701, and 29.1-735 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 5, eff. January 1, 2003.

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