December 7, 2007
Jefferson City, Mo. — The owner of a fire extinguisher sales and maintenance business in Farmington who misrepresented to consumers that the extinguishers he sold and the work he performed on them met national safety standards will comply with the law and pay $3,696 in consumer restitution under an agreement with Attorney General Jay Nixon. Nixon filed the agreement with J.R. Wright, who does business as The Fire Extinguisher Guy, in Cole County Circuit Court today.
According to Nixon, Wright has been advertising and selling fire extinguishers and fire extinguisher servicing and maintenance services since at least 2001. During that time, Nixon alleged that Wright misrepresented to consumers with whom he did business that the devices he sold or the maintenance work he performed were in compliance with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards, codes and regulations. Wright also ran his business, Nixon said, without having received adequate training in the use and service of portable fire extinguishers.
“It’s obviously of extreme importance that someone is able to rely on their fire extinguisher when the need arises,”Nixon said. “Failure to tell the truth in this case not only violated consumer protection laws, it also put the safety of those individuals who did business with Mr. Wright at considerable risk.”
As part of the agreement, Wright will comply with all state consumer protection laws as they relate to the sale and maintenance of fire extinguishers, including only selling devices and providing maintenance or service work that meets all NFPA standards. Wright is also barred from advertising or selling fire extinguishers or service and maintenance on them until he successfully completes a training program in portable fire extinguishers. He must also notify in writing all consumers to whom he sold fire extinguishers or performed extinguisher maintenance work between Dec. 1, 2001 and Dec. 1, 2007 that the devices or work performed in some cases did not meet NFPA standards and that the consumer should consider having the extinguishers inspected by a third party.
Additionally, Wright is ordered to pay $3,696 in restitution to 46 small businesses, located mostly in St. Francois, Jefferson, Iron and Dent counties, which paid him from $15 to $300 for new extinguishers or service on used devices.