More than 40 million Kidde fire extinguishers in homes, cars, and boats across the U.S. may be defective. That's the chilling news released by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, with Thanksgiving--a holiday when risk of cooking fires skyrockets--just around the corner in the United States.
According to the CPSC, a fire manufacturer called Kidde recalled 134 models of fire extinguishers with plastic handles sold as far back as 1973. The extinguishers have been found to clog, or require extreme physical effort to activate. With some equipment, the nozzle can become detached and harm surrounding people or property.
In the event of a fire, the plastic handle fire extinguishers' defects can have disastrous consequences. So far, there have been 16 injuries, including minor burns and smoke inhalation problems, 91 incidents of property damage, and 391 cases of malfunctioning fire extinguishers reported. There has been one known fatality in 2014, when the equipment malfunctioned during a car fire.
Is your fire extinguisher is part of the recall?
The massive recall effects 134 models under dozens of different brand names. The defective fire extinguishers may have been made as long ago as January 1973 and as recently as September 2017. Affected models feature a plastic handle or plastic push-button pindicators, and come in red, silver, and white. Fire extinguishers with metal handles and buttons are not included in the recall as the only affected models feature plastic.
The faulty fire extinguishers, even those push button pindicator models, were distributed around the country by popular online retailers and hardware stores, including Sears, The Home Depot, Walmart, and Amazon. Some units were installed in commercial trucks, recreational vehicles, and personal watercrafts.
You can find the complete list of recalled models here, including the pindicator fire extinguishers and serial numbers with the original recall notice. To determine if your fire extinguisher made the list, look for the model number printed on the extinguisher label.
My fire extinguisher is part of the recall, what should I do?
If you discover the model number on your fire extinguisher is included in the recall chart above, it's crucial to replace the potentially defective equipment of the plastic-handle model for a different kind as soon as possible.
Contact Kidde immediately for a free replacement. The company will send you a new, approved fire extinguisher, along with instructions for disposing of the recalled equipment.
Contact Kiddie toll-free at (855) 271 - 0773 from 8:30 to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday. You can also visit their website and click "Product Safety Recall".