Warning: 38 million fire extinguishers recalled after 500 complaints — and one death

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Kidde fire extinguisher recall
Image Credit: Kidde
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Kidde has announced a massive recall of 37.8 million fire extinguishers because they can catastrophically fail during use, something that has already resulted in one death.

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Massive Kidde fire extinguisher recall

The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a November 2 recall of a wide swath of fire extinguishers manufactured by Kidde but sold under a variety of names.

The fire extinguishers are at risk of clogging up or requiring excessive force to discharge, thereby failing users when they’re needed most in an emergency situation.

Other reported defects with these extinguishers include nozzles that can detach with enough force to pose an impact hazard.

Kidde has received 391 reports of failed or limited activation or nozzle detachment, including one fatality following a 2014 car accident when the recalled Kidde fire extinguishers wouldn’t work for first responders.

In addition, there have been 16 reported injuries, including smoke inhalation and minor burns, and approximately 91 reports of property damage resulting from non-working extinguishers.

The extinguishers were sold at variety of retailers including Menards, Montgomery Ward, Sears, The Home Depot, Walmart and other department, home and hardware stores nationwide, and online at Amazon.com, for between $12 and $50.

One model in particular — the XL 5MR — retailed for around $200.

Commercial trucks, recreational vehicles, personal watercraft and boats may have come outfitted with these extinguishers.

Look for the following model numbers on the extinguisher to determine if yours is included in the recall.

Plastic-handle models

A whopping 134 models of extinguishers with plastic handles that were manufactured between January 1, 1973 and August 15, 2017 are part of this recall.

These units were sold in red, white and silver, and are either ABC- or BC-rated.

Kidde fire extinguisher recall
Kidde plastic handle fire extinguishers

Push button extinguishers

In addition to those listed above, eight models of Kidde Pindicator fire extinguishers with push buttons that were manufactured between August 11, 1995 and September 22, 2017 are being recalled.

Kidde push button Pindicator fire extinguishers
Kidde push-button Pindicator fire extinguishers

These units, sold in red and white with a red or black nozzle, are primarily for kitchen or personal watercraft use:

Not subject to the recall are Kidde Professional or Badger branded fire extinguishers, nor are any Kidde-manufactured units with metal handles/valve assemblies included here.

What to do next…

If you have one of these units, contact Kidde for a free replacement.

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Theo Thimou About the author:
Theo is director of content for clark.com. He has co-written 2 books with Clark Howard, including the #1 New York Times bestseller Clark Howard's Living Large in Lean Times.
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