National Fire Authority (NFA) is concerned with some complaints received from customers of the unfair and unethical trade practices by some scrupulous fire agents who are selling, installing and servicing fire extinguishers.
NFA CEO John O’Connor (PICTURED) highlighted his concern after receiving reports and complains from customers in relation to the fire agents who sold them defective fire extinguishers which did not work when they wanted to use it.
“Complains and reports highlighted that some fire agents had installed defective fire extinguishers in the customers property which did not work when they wanted to use the fire extinguisher. Further complaints highlighted that such defective extinguishers were sold to customers at very high prices.
In some cases, customers have complained that scrupulous fire agents removed their fire extinguishers for servicing and never returned the fire extinguishers and when customers followed up, they are unable to get in touch with the fire agent .
The NFA CEO highlighted that in one reported complaint, a fire agent had sold a fire extinguisher which contained a different substance instead of the right chemical substance which is required to be filled in that fire extinguisher.
“This is a serious issue and our advice to those fire agents who are engaged in such unfair trade practice to refrain from doing this,” Mr O’Connor said.
Mr O’Connor highlighted that when a fire happens in a property, such malpractice trading will compromise many lives and can lead to a major catastrophe if the fire extinguisher which the customers had purchased is not in working condition and does not contain the proper materials that it is suppose to contain.
NFA had met with all the fire agents and highlighted its concerns on these complaints received from the customers. Furthermore, NFA has commenced visiting all the fire agents to inspect their business workshops and their operations to ensure that the fire agents are complying with the relevant standards of operation and to determine that the agents are selling fire extinguishers that comply with the standards.
Fire extinguishers can help put out the fire and may stop it from burning, but there are different types and sizes of fire extinguishers and NFA is urging home owners to invest in a fire extinguisher to protect their family against a fire.
“It is also very important that fire extinguishers are checked at regular intervals to ensure that a fire extinguisher is in working condition all the time,” Mr O’Connor said.
With the increasing number of home fire incidents, NFA is advising members of the community to consider investing in such safety equipments which can be easily be used during a fire incident.
People are advised to contact their respective fire station in their area if they intend to purchase fire extinguishers for their homes. Firefighters will also be available to show community members how to use a fire extinguisher.
A simple acronym to remember when using a fire extinguisher is the word PASS which denotes the following:
● PULL the Pin at the top of the extinguisher. The pin releases a locking mechanism and will allow you to discharge the extinguisher.
● AIM at the base of the fire, not the flames.
● SQUEEZE the lever slowly. This will release the extinguishing agent in the extinguisher. If the handle is released, the discharge will stop.
● SWEEP from side to side. Using a sweeping motion, move the fire extinguisher back and forth until the fire is completely out.