Word to the Wise: Kidde issues fire extinguisher recall as winter approaches

Word to the Wise: Kidde issues fire extinguisher recall as winter approaches

Winter is coming, and across the area, it’s the time of year people start breaking out space heaters and gathering wood for the fireplace. Another item at the top of winter wish lists is a fire extinguisher, a safety essential. But buyers beware!

Manufacturer Kidde recently recalled 134 models of fire extinguishers built between January 1, 1973 and August 15, 2017, impacting more than 40 million units within the United States and Canada – and sold at retailers near you.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that the company issued the recall Nov. 2 following reports that Kidde fire extinguishers with plastic handles could become clogged or require excessive force to discharge them and could fail to activate during a fire emergency. CPSC also warns consumers that the nozzle could detach “with enough force to pose an impact hazard.”

According to information from the CPSC, there have been 391 reports that the recalled fire extinguishers did not activate properly or failed to activate, resulting in 91 reports of property damage, 16 injuries, including smoke inhalation and minor burns, and one fatality in 2014 involving a car crash in which emergency responders could not get the Kidde fire extinguishers to work.

The majority of the recalled units, 37.8 million of the 40.5 million units recalled, were sold at retailers in the United States, including Menards, Montgomery Ward, Sears, The Home Depot, Walmart and other department, home and hardware stores nationwide, and online at Amazon.com, ShopKidde.com and other online retailers.

Many people pay no attention to the brand of fire extinguisher sometimes included with large purchases, so everyone should check theirs out because the recalled fire extinguishers were also sold with commercial trucks, recreational vehicles, personal watercraft and boats.

Consumers who find themselves in possession of a Kidde fire extinguisher included in the recall list should immediately contact the company to request a free replacement, and do not use the recalled fire extinguisher. Call Kidde toll-free at 855-271-0773 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday, or go online at www.kidde.com and click on “Product Safety Recall” for more information and a list of models affected by the recall.