City adds extinguisher guidelines to quell problem

At a recent meeting, City Council approved guidelines for certification of companies and their employees that service fire extinguishers — as an antidote to a pair of local firms that have been misleading businesses by providing stickers for extinguishers without checking that the extinguishers are working properly.

At least one of the firms that have been misleading businesses has been placing certification stickers on extinguishers, then writing on the payment receipts that the client needs to get those same extinguishers tested, Fire Chief Tim Hileman explained to council.

Businesses wouldn’t necessarily notice such a notation on a receipt, Hileman implied.

It’s like taking your car to be inspected, getting a sticker, then needing to go to another garage to actually get your car inspected, said Councilman Erik Cagle.

There was a police investigation on at least one of the individuals, but no charges have been filed, according to Hileman.

The individuals involved have agreed to desist, Hileman indicated.

The guidelines will require that companies and their employees providing maintenance on either portable or automatic extinguishers have a valid International Code Council certificate for the systems on which they’re working.

Those companies or individuals must demonstrate their credentials to the city fire department.

The city will list certified businesses on its website, Hileman said.

There will be a fee for the city’s vouching for companies that are properly certified.

Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 949-7038.