Connecticut Attorney General's Office
Press Release

State Wins Injunction Against Sale Of Unauthorized Fire Safety Equipment, Issues Arrest Warrant On Company Office Manager

August 17, 2006

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) Commissioner Edwin R. Rodriguez today announced that the state has won a temporary injunction prohibiting Advanced Safety Solutions, LLC from selling unauthorized fire safety equipment.

The state is also pursuing a civil lawsuit against the company for the violation and other misrepresentations it made to consumers and trainees about electronic defense weapons and its management training program.

A criminal arrest warrant is pending against company office manager Michael Jenkins for selling the illegal fire extinguishers. State police are seeking to execute the warrant.

Advanced Safety Solutions, a New Jersey company with offices in Berlin, New Britain and formerly in Hamden, markets and sells fire safety products including fire extinguishers, fireproofing material, smoke detectors, electronic defense weapons and personal defense pepper and tear gas spray.

The company illegally sold or marketed fire extinguishers and a flame proofing and fire retardant product - "Flame Pruf" - that were never tested or approved by a nationally recognized laboratory, as required under state law. Advanced Safety Solutions also falsely claimed that Flame Pruf was approved by the California Fire Marshal.

"This company's false claims induced consumers to rely on illegal fire extinguishers to protect their homes and families," Blumenthal said. "We have stopped this company from illegally selling devices that could do more harm than good. Their lawbreaking extinguished public safety and public trust more than flames. Failing to secure proper testing and rating for its products, and then purposefully mislabeling them, unconscionably put innocent lives at risk. All consumers who purchased such fire safety equipment should immediately contact my office.

"The company operated - in effect - a pyramid scheme that also victimized trainees who were induced to rely on false promises of high profits.

"Connecticut law requires that fire extinguishers be tested, rated and listed by a nationally recognized laboratory approved by the state fire marshal. Consumers should look for labels that show clearly that the device meets these requirements, including ratings by an approved laboratory such as United Laboratories (UL), using standards from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The label should also indicate the particular type of fire that may occur such as electrical or grease."

Rodriguez said, "Advanced Safety Solutions appeared to also be operating a deceptive marketing and hiring scheme to lure participants as trainees with promises of high earnings and rapid advancement to management level positions. The trainees were required to sell this unsafe fire safety equipment to family, friends and neighbors in order for them to be able to meet their sales quotas and be eligible for a promotion. Their whole business model from 'soup to nuts' has the makings of an ideal sham."

The state's lawsuit also alleges that, even though it is a criminal offense to carry electronic defense weapons, Advanced Safety Solutions falsely told consumers that such weapons could be carried for personal protection, or that permits could be obtained to carry them.

The company also allegedly misled its trainees about several matters, including pay rate amounts, promotions and fees that it charged for background checks.