More than 40 million Kidde fire extinguishers are being recalled, following more than 400 reports of the devices failing to work in a fire emergency, which may have resulted in at least 16 injuries and one fatality.
The Kidde fire extinguisher recall was announced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on November 2, due problems that may cause millions of units distributed nationwide to fail, limit activation or experience a nozzle detachment, each of which may pose a serious risk for consumers and property owners.
Among reports of the Kidde fire extinguisher problems are at least 91 incidents that resulted in property damage, and 16 injuries from smoke inhalation or burns that occurred when consumers could not activate the extinguishers. The agency is also aware of one death that occurred in 2014, following a car fire where the extinguisher failed to operate.
The recalled fire extinguishers are equipped with a plastic handle that can become clogged or require excessive force to discharge. This may cause the fire extinguisher to fail to activate during an emergency. The extinguishers’ nozzles may also detach with enough force to pose an impact hazard to users.
Included in the recall are both Kidde plastic handle fire extinguishers and Kidde push-button Pindicator fire extinguishers, which have been sold throughout the United States since January 1, 1973.
The recall of the Kidde fire extinguishers with plastic handles includes 134 models that were manufactured from January 1973 to August 15, 2017, and includes models that were previously recalled in March 2009 and February 2015.
The plastic handle fire extinguishers were sold in red, white, and silver and are either ABC- or BC-rated and have the model number printed on the fire extinguisher label. Units that were manufactured after 2007 have the date of manufacture in a 10-digit date code printed on the side of the cylinder, near the bottom. Digits five through nine represent the date and year of manufacture. Units manufactured prior to 2007 are not equipped with date codes.
The recalled push-button Pindicator extinguishers brands includes eight different models that were manufactured between August 11, 1995 and September 22, 2017. These models have no-gauge push-button activated extinguishers that were sold in red or white cylinders with a red or black nozzle. The Pindicator models were sold primarily for kitchen and personal watercraft applications.
For a full list of the recalled models, manufacturing dates and model numbers, please visit the official CPSC recall notice.
The products were sold at Menards, Montgomery Ward, Sears, The Home Depot, Walmart and various other department, home and hardware store nationwide as well as online through Amazon.com, ShopKidde.com and other online retailers for between $12 and $50, and for about $200 for the XL 5MR models. The extinguishers came as standard equipment with the purchase of some commercial trucks, recreational vehicles, personal watercrafts and boats.
The recalled extinguishers were manufactured in the United States and Mexico. They were imported and distributed for sale through Walter Kidde Portable Equipment Company Inc., of Mebane, North Carolina.
According to the CPSC, an estimated 37.8 million units were distributed for sale throughout the United States and another 2.7 million were sold in Canada.
The CPSC recommends that consumers with the recalled fire extinguishers immediately contact Kidde to request a free replacement and to receive instructions on how to return recalled units. Affected consumers can contact Kidde by calling at 855-271-0773, or by visiting www.kidde.com and clicking on “Product Safety Recall.”