Sat, Apr 09, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Commission highlights low-quality fire extinguishers

A TIME TO THINK:There is no law covering punishments of faulty or inadequate fire extinguishers. Manufacturers and transport companies could thus escape being fined

By Shelley Huang  /  Staff Reporter

Consumer Protection Commission staff use a fire extinguisher to put out a flame yesterday. The commission said that almost one-fifth of fire extinguishers on public transportation vehicles did not have proper pressure, while some did not contain enough fire-extinguishing agent.

Photo: Lu Chun-wei, Taipei Times

Close to one-fifth of extinguishers on public transportation vehicles do not have the proper pressure, while some do not contain enough fire-extinguishing agent, the Consumer Protection Commission (CPC) said yesterday.

Announcing the results of its survey of 100 fire extinguishers on public vehicles, such as regular and high-speed rail trains, as well as long-distance buses, the commission said that three of the fire extinguishers installed on buses could hardly function, while 15 fire extinguishers did not have the proper pressure to release at least 90 percent of the extinguishing agent to meet standards.

Commission section chief Wu Cheng-hsueh (吳政學) said that one fire extinguisher on a Taiwan Railway Administration train had not been replaced for 13 years. Inspectors discovered that the ammonium dihydrogen phosphate content in the extinguishing agent stood at 62 percent, which was 8 less than the minimum threshold, the commission said.

The fire extinguishers that were not up to code had problems such as that the model was not intended for use inside a vehicle, pressure levels not falling within the standard range, being past the expiration date and worn, damaged or detached parts on the device.

However, the commission said there is no legislation covering punishments, so manufacturers and transportation companies could escape fines. Despite efforts of coordination between the commission and fire extinguisher manufacturer associations, companies have been dragging their feet on making improvements, the commission said.

The commission has demanded that commercial motor transportation companies immediately make improvements to ensure the safety of passengers.

In addition, the commission urged the Ministry of Transportation and Communications to establish regulations that would penalize transportation companies if their on-board fire extinguishers were not up to code, since there are currently no such regulations on which appropriate punishments could be based.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top