More than 40 million Kidde fire extinguishers are being recalled in the United States and Canada because they can fail to work during a fire emergency.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Kidde's plastic handle and push-button Pindicator fire extinguishers can become clogged or require excessive force to discharge. With enough force, the nozzle could also detach and become a hazard.
Back in September, our cameras were rolling as Cleveland 19 Chief Investigator Carl Monday tried, and struggled, to use one of the now-recalled Kidde extinguishers.
While filming product demonstrations for a series of fire safety stories that aired in October, Carl visited the Parma Fire Department's Station #3, where he tested out a brand new, white Kidde kitchen extinguisher with a plastic handle and nozzle. After reading the instructions and taking the extinguisher out of the box, he pulled the pin and squeezed the handle.
Nothing came out.
He spent 30 seconds trying to squeeze the fire extinguisher's plastic handle to no avail.
"Got a defective product here," Carl said, before handing the extinguisher off to Parma Fire Captain David Higginbotham.
Higginbotham also struggled with extinguisher's trigger and eventually pushed down on the handle with the palm of his hand to get it to discharge.
"It's hard to squeeze it like this. ln fact, I don't like this style at all," he said.
Parma Fire Captain David Higginbotham trying to discharge fire extinguisher (Source: WOIO)
A faulty Kidde fire extinguisher was linked to the 2014 death of Brendan Rosko of West Chester, Pennsylvania. The 22-year-old was involved a fiery car crash and first responders couldn't get their Kidde fire extinguishers to work.
The CPSC says there have been close to 400 reports of Kidde extinguisher malfunctions, including the death of Brendan Rosko, approximately 16 injuries, including smoke inhalation and minor burns, and about 91 reports of property damage.
The recall involves 134 models of Kidde fire extinguishers manufactured between Jan.1, 1973 and Aug. 15, 2017, including models that were previously recalled in March 2009 and February 2015. The extinguisher tested by Cleveland 19 was the RESSP model, which one of 134 plastic-handle models currently under recall.
The recall also involves eight models of Kidde Pindicator fire extinguishers manufactured between Aug. 11, 1995 and Sept. 22, 2017. The no-gauge push-button extinguishers were sold in red and white, and with a red or black nozzle. These models were sold primarily for kitchen and personal watercraft applications.
The fire extinguishers were sold at The Home Depot, Walmart, Sears, Menards and other department, home and hardware stores nationwide, and online at Amazon.com, ShopKidde.com and other online retailers for between $12 and $50 and for about $200 for model XL 5MR. These fire extinguishers were also sold with commercial trucks, recreational vehicles, personal watercraft and boats.
Consumers should immediately contact Kidde to request a free replacement fire extinguisher and for instructions on returning the recalled unit, as it may not work properly in a fire emergency.
For more information, 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 online at www.kidde.com and click on “Product Safety Recall.”
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