ELLSWORTH — Kidde, a manufacturer of fire-suppression equipment, has recalled more than 40 million fire extinguishers equipped with plastic handles. Some of the units were manufactured more than 40 years ago.
According to the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), “The fire extinguishers can become clogged or require excessive force to discharge and can fail to activate during a fire emergency. In addition, the nozzle can detach with enough force to pose an impact hazard.”
Millions of Kidde fire extinguishers are currently installed on pleasure and commercial fishing boats. Recreational and commercial boat owners are urged to check their boats for the recalled extinguishers and get a free, metal-handled replacement by going to the CPSC recall website cpsc.gov/Recalls/2017.
The recall affects both plastic-handle and push-button Pindicator Kidde fire extinguishers, including 134 ABC- or BC-rated models manufactured between Jan. 1, 1973, and Aug. 15, 2017. The extinguishers are red, white or silver and were sold in the United States and Canada through a wide range of retailers from Montgomery Ward to Amazon. The CPSC recall website shows how to easily identify the affected extinguishers.
In the recall, Kidde also acknowledged that the free replacement push-button extinguisher being sent to personal watercraft owners is similar in size to the recalled model but may not fit in the same location as the old fire extinguisher.
The CPSC said there have been approximately 391 reports of failed or limited activation or nozzle detachment, including one fatality; approximately 16 injuries, including smoke inhalation and minor burns; and approximately 91 reports of property damage.
Kidde may be contacted directly at (855) 271-0773 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
The company offers additional recall information online at kidde.com. Select “Product Safety Recall.”