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1994 General Fire Extinguisher Red Alert
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Concerning Certain General Fire Extinguisher Corporation Fire Extinguishers

A NAFED Red Letter Alert from November 1, 1994

It has been brought to NAFED's attention that some older General Fire Extinguisher Corporation's carbon dioxide fire extinguishers were improperly stamped when the cylinders were manufactured. The units in question were all manufactured prior to 1967 and were stamped with the ICC (Interstate Commerce Commission) markings. The cylinders' original stamping was in the side wall of the cylinder and not in the shoulder area.

According to current DOT (Department of Transportation) Regulations a cylinder can only be stamped on the shoulder, footring, or in some cases, a separate metal plate that is secured to the cylinder. Stamping is not allowed in the sidewall of the cylinder. 49CFR 173.34(c)(1) states, "No indentation may be made in the sidewall of the cylinder unless specifically permitted in the applicable specification."

Based on the fact that these cylinders were manufactured 25 - 30 years ago, NAFED contacted the DOT to verify if these particular cylinders were allowed to be stamped on the sidewall. According to Mr. Ron Abis, Hazardous Materials Enforcement Specialist, with the DOT Research and Special Programs Administration, the practice of stamping the sidewall of 3A or 3AA cylinders was never allowed. He further stated that these cylinders must not be retested or refilled. They must be removed from service and condemned.

NOTE: If you remove one of these cylinders from service you must record the cylinder in the hydrotest test log sheet as having failed the visual examination as stated in CGA Pamphlet C-6, STANDARDS FOR VISUAL INSPECTION OF STEEL COMPRESSED GAS CYLINDERS.
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