Fire Extinquishers
January 19, 2013 1:32 PM   Subscribe

How do I go about getting fire extinguishers inspected by a reputable company?

We have 5 fire extinguishers here at the company I work for. Every year these extremely shady dudes come around and "inspect" them. I did a little research, and apparently this is a known scam, which is the feeling I always got from these guys. I have emailed the local fire department and the manufacturer and received no response. How do I go about getting these things inspected without feeling ripped off? This is in Irvine, CA.
posted by Brocktoon to Work & Money (7 answers total)
Try calling the fire department instead of emailing - they should have an answer.
posted by firei at 1:37 PM on January 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

Don't email. Call. Emailing public entities is, metaphorically speaking, almost exactly as productive as pissing to windward.
posted by valkyryn at 1:46 PM on January 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

Try calling your insurance company as well. Presumably the reason you're getting them inspected is that you're required to do so - because otherwise you can just inspect them yourself. They should be able to recommend someone reputable.
posted by judith at 2:23 PM on January 19, 2013

I need to have the fire extinguishers in my office certified every year. I take them to a local store that sells fire equipment to local fire deparments and fireman. They put a certified sealed tag on each one and charge about 2 bucks a piece.
posted by PaulBGoode at 2:31 PM on January 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

At my last lab, there were official certified peeps who were contracted to do regular inspections and replacements. During the fire safety course, the professional firepeeps (albeit, Canada) told us that we could bring any fire extinguisher in to get it checked out. Not refilled, mind.
posted by porpoise at 7:18 PM on January 19, 2013

From what I can determine, this is the list of licensed/certified "fire extinguisher concerns" in the state of California: PDF, and here are the individual certifications: PDF. [via] At least you can find out if those guys are shady or not.
posted by dhartung at 10:43 PM on January 19, 2013

I know someone whose last job was as a licensed Fire Safety Technician, inspecting fire extinguishers and installing fire suppression systems. The company he worked for was a reputable one, with contracts in three states at a variety of businesses, from universities to fast food restaurants to factories of all stripes, and he was definitely also aware that some of his company's competitors were sketchy and didn't do good work checking and replenishing the extinguishers and so on.

His recommendation is to call the Fire Department and get their suggestions, but beyond that, maybe get in touch with a local business that really can't afford to skimp on fire safety, such as a metals recovery facility or a plastics manufacturing plant or some place similar and ask them who they use. Chances are good with heat and fire being such a presence in their workplace, they wouldn't hire cheap, shady technicians.
posted by Queen of Spreadable Fats at 9:06 PM on January 20, 2013

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