Illegal Fire Extinguishers Taken Off Shelves in L.A.

Issue 11 and Volume 132.

Illegal Fire Extinguishers Taken Off Shelves in L.A. Investigation of a complaint of the sale of illegal portable fire extinguishers by a Los Angeles hardware store found that not only was the complaint correct, but the extinguisher contained a toxic material and was strikingly similar to a pressurized can of hand cleaner marketed by the same manufacturer. Fire Inspector Thomas Laski of the Los Angeles City Fire Department re ported that the extinguisher was in violation of the California Administrative code, title 19, section 13162B, which requires extinguishers to be approved by Underwriters’ Laboratories. The store’s entire supply of 15 ounce aerosol Kool-it extinguishers was quickly impounded by the fire department. Subsequent laboratory analysis determined the main extinguishing agent to be 1-1-1 trichloroethane with carbon dioxide as the pressurizing agent. Further research uncovered the fact that another use for the colorless liquid was a pesticide. A caution label on the…

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