The U.S. Coast Guard has sent out a marine safety alert. Officials are warning boaters that counterfeit fire extinguishers have made their way on the open market. According to a press release, the fake extinguishers pose a "significant safety hazard."
Their ability to extinguish a fire is not proven, and they may be charged with a powdery substance that is not a fire extinguishing agent.
The counterfeit units look very similar to the coast guard approved Amerex and Buckeye Fire Equipment models. But there are some ways you can tell the fake extinguishers from the real deal.
Fake models may have duplicate serial numbers. The real extinguishers have a unique serial number for each unit produced. The bottoms of the counterfeits have rounded curved in lips. The labels on the fake models may be simply printed. The labels on real models include a security imprint or texture behind the UL listed logo.
Counterfeit extinguishers have been reported to have black or red plastic handles, whereas genuine equipment is generally silver-colored aluminum.
The coast guard strongly recommends that vessel owners or operators inspect their equipment to make sure it is legit. Anyone who suspects he or she has a fake model, is urged to take photographs of the extinguisher and send it to the coast guard: email@example.com with a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find the fire extinguisher safety alert flyer here.
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