Firm illegally certifies fire extinguishers, DOT says

Thursday, December 30, 2004

December 30, 2004

WEST BUXTON, Me. - A southern Maine fire equipment company is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Transportation after it was discovered that the firm had illegally certified high-pressure carbon dioxide fire extinguishers.
Statewide Fire Equipment, located here, had stamped Retester Identification Numbers issued to at least four companies located locally and elsewhere in the country. The investigation was launched last summer, when a licensed, unspecified by the DOT RIN facility questioned the authenticity of a number of fire detectors bearing its license number.
The unnamed company checked its records and confirmed it did certify the detectors. It then notified the DOT’s research and special programs administration.
“I looked into it and found exactly what (the company) told me,” according to Anthony Lima, senior hazardous materials enforcement specialist, eastern region, at the federal agency.
Statewide Fire Equipment could not be reached for comment.
Lima said there are approximately 3,000 active retesters in the United States, and this type of problem is not uncommon. In fact, his office, which covers the territory between Virginia and Maine, often receives similar complaints.
“Unfortunately, it happens at least a couple times a year,” Lima said.
For more on this story, see the February issue of Security Systems News.