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Fire SAFETY / PORTABLE FIRE EXTINGUISHERS / FAQ

1.

What if my PFE company is currently recognized, what should I do?

2.

Which type of companies can I use to service my portable fire extinguishers?

3.

Which type of company should I buy portable fire extinguishers from?

4.

Where can I purchase new portable fire extinguishers?

5.

How can I get information on the appropriate type and quantity of portable fire extinguishers required for my occupancy and their location?

6.

What should I look for when purchasing new portable fire extinguishers?

7.

Are all portable fire extinguishers the same?

8.

I have many portable fire extinguishers in my building, can I inspect them myself?

9.

What is a quick check or monthly inspection?

10.

What does annual maintenance of portable fire extinguishers involve?

11.

How will I know the difference between a quick check/monthly inspection and an annual service and maintenance?

12.

How do I know if I have any obsolete Fire Extinguishers?

13

What are the “DANGER SIGNS” to look for when purchasing New PFE’s or having existing PFE’s Maintained?

14

What should I do when I encounter a problem with an unauthorized PFE company or unlicensed company?

15

What companies can I use to service my portable fire extinguishers?

16

How would I know if an individual person is authorized to service my portable fire extinguishers?

17

How can a PFE company apply for the new classification?



What if my PFE company is currently recognized, what should I do?

All approved companies and certified individuals may continue their current operations until July/August 2009.  The FDNY is notifying all affected parties by mail with full instructions.

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Which type of companies can I use to service my portable fire extinguishers?

Answer: Only certified FULL SERVICE COMPANY with a service shop   consisting of tools and parts can do service and maintenance on your PFE’s

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Which type of company should I buy portable fire extinguishers from?

Answer: Effective July 1, 2009, certified SALES or FULL SERVICE COMPANY can provide you with the correct fire extinguisher depending on the specific hazard.

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Where can I purchase new portable fire extinguishers?

Answer: Effective July 1, 2009, Sales or Full Service companies can legally perform this service. These companies will provide you with a PFE that will be matched to the specific hazard requirements of the areas you wish to protect. All present companies will be changed into two classifications. The website will be changed to reflect these revisions. In the meantime, you can call Full Service and No Facility companies until the complete revision takes place.

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How can I get information on the appropriate type and quantity of portable fire extinguishers required for my occupancy and their location?

Answer:
Speak with a certified Sales OR Full Service Company. They can provide you with the proper information based on your hazard. They can advise you what the required placement and distribution is.

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What should I look for when purchasing new portable fire extinguishers?

Answer: Look to see that the company is certified. Ask a lot of questions as to the type of extinguishers you might need and why. Lastly, make sure that each extinguisher is tagged appropriately with the company name, address, telephone number and certificate of fitness number and date of purchase.

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Are all portable fire extinguishers the same?

Answer: No, all fire extinguishers are not the same. PFE’s come in various sizes. They are charged with a number of different agents for use on different hazards. PFE’ s are designed for specific hazards and use; and have gone through a UL testing process to insure that they are appropriate for the hazard specified on the PFE label.
DO NOT PURCHASE FIRE EXTINGUISHERS THAT ARE NOT UL LISTED.

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I have many portable fire extinguishers in my building, can I inspect them myself?

Answer: Monthly inspections  can be preformed by a properly trained and qualified employee of the owner, and a Certificate of Fitness is not required. 

Annual maintenance and servicing must be done by a certified full service company with employees having a certificates of fitness.

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What is a quick check or monthly inspection?

Answer: It is an inspection conducted at least once a month by a properly trained and qualified employee (of the owner).  The owner may also hire a Certified Full Service Company to perform this service.  The extinguisher shall be checked for damage, dents, rust and that they are properly mounted on the wall.

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What does annual maintenance of portable fire extinguishers involve?

Answer: An annual maintenance varies from extinguisher to extinguisher but commonly includes a complete external examination which includes the removal and inspection of the hose, an examination of the gauge, and the handle including the pin, a close inspection of the cylinder looking for damage and rust and hanging brackets. In some cases it may require a tear down (dismantling) of the extinguisher and recharge as well as hydrostatic testing at the appropriate interval. The correct placement of the PFE is also reviewed.

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How will I know the difference between a quick check/monthly inspection and an annual service and maintenance?

Answer: A quick check/monthly inspection is performed by the owner or his employee who checks for any visible defects or damage including rust, dents or broken hoses or pin. Annual maintenance and service is done by a certified full service company having the tools and facilities in addition to having an employee holding a city-wide certificate of fitness. If you have any questions, ask the full service company technician to demonstrate how a PFE is maintained on a yearly basis.

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How do I know if I have any obsolete Fire Extinguishers?

Answer: During your annual inspection your certified full service fire extinguisher company will tell you that your extinguisher is obsolete and cannot be maintained. This fire extinguisher must be replaced by a UL Listed PFE appropriate for the hazard for the protected location.

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What are the “DANGER SIGNS” to look for when purchasing New PFE’s or having existing PFE’s Maintained?

Answer:

  1. A representative of an Portable Fire Extinguisher Company shows up with out an appointment claiming to be your new PFE company.
  2. High pressure sales tactics are used in person or by phone to solicit sales and service.
  3. The PFE company representative is wearing a cap, T shirt, or other article of clothing that has a FDNY logo on it.
  4. The PFE Company is not certified by the FDNY.
  5. PFE companies that do not include their name, address, certificate of fitness number, business phone number on any or all of their business documents such as contracts, receipts, and tags.
  6. P.O. Boxes addresses are not acceptable, neither is cell phone numbers as a means on contact.
  7. A PFE company tells you that any extinguisher would be good no matter what the hazard.

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What should I do when I encounter a problem with an unauthorized PFE company or unlicensed company?

  1. Call the Fire Department’s complaint number at 718-999-2533.
  2. Retain the name of the company and the representative’s name.
  3. Observe the Vehicle and the Vehicle’s plate number that the PFE Company Representative arrives in.
  4. File a complaint by calling 718-999-2533 or go to FDNY website @ http://www.nyc.gov/html/fdny/html/safety/extinguisher/complaints.shtml and get a complaint form.

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What companies can I use to service my portable fire extinguishers?

Answer: You should only use companies that have been issued a certificate by the New York City Fire Department (FDNY). This certificate is called a “portable fire extinguisher servicing company” certificate. (Note: All companies servicing fire extinguishers in NYC must be certified by the FDNY). You may wish to shop around by calling different companies. You can view the list of certified companies.

Click here for the list:
Fire Extinguisher Company Approval Report By Type
Fire Extinguisher Approval Report

 

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How would I know if an individual person is authorized to service my portable fire extinguishers?

Answer: To be authorized, the individual must be certified by the FDNY – he/she will have been issued a Certificate of Fitness for portable fire extinguisher servicing. Upon your request, the individual should be able to show you the plastic photo ID card that the FDNY issued him/her as proof of being certified.

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How can a PFE company apply for the new classification?

The revised application will become available at the FDNY website at http://www.nyc.gov/html/fdny/pdf/fire_prevention/instruct_fire_ext.pdf on June 8, 2009. 

 

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