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A shocking recall has just been issued by the CSPC and the largest player in the consumer fire extinguisher market, Kidde. The company is recalling close to 40 million fire extinguishers, some of which may be over a decade old at this point. According to media reports, there have been 16 injuries and one death related to the defective extinguishers.
If you don't know what brand of fire extinguishers you own, it could actually save your life to check to see if you are affected by the recall. The recalled fire extinguishers reportedly can malfunction, or become clogged, effectively making them a serious hazard, and putting your life at risk if you try to use it to fight a fire.
To find out if you're affected by the recall, read on.
Affected Fire Extinguishers
Before getting into the details of which models are being recalled, consumers will be pleased to know that Kidde is offering free replacements. The recalled fire extinguishers include 142 different models. The easiest ones to identify are the smaller ones sold for kitchen or marine use, which have plastic tops with push button activators (called "pindicators"). Other models may look like traditional fire extinguishers, but if the top (handle) is plastic rather than metal, there's a good chance it's subject to the recall.
Kidde notes that the Kidde Professional and Badger lines are not subject to the recall. But if you have a Kidde fire extinguisher, it is highly recommended that you check your model number against those listed on their website. If your model is subject to the recall, Kidde will replace it with one that does not use a plastic top at no cost to you. For those with older fire extinguishers that should probably be replaced anyway, the recall could be welcome news (that is, unless they need to use it before they have a chance to replace it).
Fight Fire With Fire Extinguishers
Despite how surprising it is to learn that there are some 40 million defective fire extinguishers out there, it's a good reminder to check the ones around your home, car, and office. If you don't have fire extinguishers (plural) in all three, consider this a wakeup call for you to get a few. Yes, even the newest, and fanciest, electric cars can catch fire.