Union Acts to Enforce Extinguisher Safety Recall at Transit Properties

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 10 -- Local 100 identified an extremely serious safety hazard, prompting the MTA to replace 2,000 defective fire extinguishers on buses. One day after a national recall was issued for certain Kidde model extinguishers, elected union officers and staff conducted emergency bus inspections at the Flatbush Depot in Brooklyn. Those Nov. 3 inspections discovered the defective equipment on more than dozen buses, prompting management to order a complete canvass of the fleet. NYC Transit then deployed workers to replace 2,000 of the Kidde models subject to the national recall.
According to Consumer Reports, Kidde recalled more than 40 million extinguishers because they can clog and fail to work when needed. The company has received one report of a related death in 2014, when a fire extinguisher failed to work during a car fire. There have been 16 injuries, 91 reports of property damage, and 391 reports of the extinguishers either not working at all or not working properly, according to Consumer Reports.
“A dangerous and potential tragic situation may very well have been averted because this hazard was identified,” Secretary-Treasurer Earl Phillips said. “This was great work by Local 100 TA Surface Vice President J.P. Patafio, Division Chairs Willie Rivera and Danny Ascona and their teams, and Safety Rep. Tommy McNally."
“Once the union realized there was a recall we took immediate action to remedy the problem,” Patafio said. “When the union is running on all cylinders we can get things done. The members feel confident in their officers, and everyone goes home safe and sound.” Defective extinguishers also were found in work vehicles on the subway side and were being replaced, Phillips said.
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