New Zealand Law Society - ‘Stop now’ letter issued to fire extinguisher service company

‘Stop now’ letter issued to fire extinguisher service company

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The Commerce Commission has issued a ‘stop now’ letter to Aero Fire (NZ) Sales & Service Ltd (Aero Fire), over business practices which the Commission considers may be harmful to consumers.

Aero Fire operates mainly in Auckland and Hamilton, and charges customers to service, test, refill and recharge fire extinguishers.

The Commission’s investigation shows that Aero Fire charged customers for refilling, pressure testing or recharging more than 300 fire extinguishers, when the company has admitted that it performs none of those services.

“From information obtained, it appears that only two of those extinguishers were pressure tested and recharged by a third party for Aero Fire. In our view the conduct may breach the Fair Trading Act," said Commissioner Anna Rawlings.

Aero Fire has been asked to immediately cease making false or misleading representations relating to the servicing of fire extinguishers, including that it operates in accordance with the relevant New Zealand Standard, when it does not.

The letter also requests that Aero Fire cease misleading conduct, including the punching of maintenance tags to indicate pressure testing has been done, when it has not.

“By issuing a ‘stop now’ letter the Commission requires Aero Fire to stop any non-compliant conduct in order to prevent further harm to consumers or to competitors who are complying with the law. The Commission’s investigation is ongoing, and this letter does not prevent the Commission taking enforcement action in future,” said Ms Rawlings.

Aero Fire has confirmed that it will comply with the Commission’s requests.