(a) It shall be the duty of the owner, master, or person in charge to see that the vessel's firefighting equipment is at all times ready for use and that all such equipment required by the regulations in this subchapter is provided, maintained, and replaced as indicated.
(b) It shall be the duty of the owner, master, or person in charge to require and have performed at least once in every twelve months the tests and inspections of all hand portable fire extinguishers, semiportable fire extinguishing systems, and fixed fire extinguishing systems on board, as described in tables 71.25-20(a) (1) and 71.25-20(a) (2) in Sec. 71.25-20 of this subchapter. The owner, master, or person in charge shall keep records of such tests and inspections showing the dates when performed, the number and/or other identification of each unit tested and inspected, and the name(s) of the person(s) and/or company conducting the tests and inspections. Such records shall be made available to the inspector upon request and shall be kept for the period of validity of the vessel's current certificate of inspection. Where practicable these records should be kept in or with the vessel's log book. The conduct of these tests and inspections does not relieve the owner, master, or person in charge of his responsibility to maintain this firefighting equipment in proper condition at all times.