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Safety Alert- Counterfeit Fire Extinguishers - Monday, April 22, 2013
Counterfeit Portable Fire Extinguishers
USCG Marine Safety Alert- March 21, 2013
The Coast Guard has recently become aware of counterfeits of U.S. Coast Guard approved portable fire extinguishers manufactured by Amerex Corporation and Buckeye Fire Equipment.  Both companies are major producers of genuine approved fire extinguishing equipment and serve a worldwide market. These counterfeit extinguishers present a significant safety hazard. Their capability to extinguish a fire is unproven; they may be charged with a powdery substance that is not a fire extinguishing agent, the pressure cylinder is not DOT approved, and the pressure gauge may not function or it may give false readings.
The dry-chemical counterfeit extinguishers are size B-II and may be identified by several distinguishing features:
  • Counterfeit units may have duplicate serial numbers. Genuine approved extinguishers will have a unique serial number for each extinguisher. For counterfeit Amerex extinguishers, the serial  V-654690 has been reported. There may be other serial numbers used on the counterfeits. For counterfeit Buckeye extinguishers, the serial K-094927 with a red handle and serial  YMU76222 with a black handle have been reported.
  •  The labels on counterfeit extinguishers may be simply printed. Labels on genuine approved extinguishers will include a security imprint / texture behind the UL LISTED logo, classification, testing and approval data. Genuine Amerex Corporation extinguishers will have a pattern of scored "circles, and genuine Buckeye Fire Equipment extinguishers will have the letter "S scored into the label.
  • The bottoms of the counterfeits have a rounded curved-in lip as shown on the right side of the image below.  The bottom of a genuine Amerex extinguisher is shown on the left side of the image.  Genuine Buckeye extinguishers will have a date stamped on the bottom.

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