At least one person has died, 16 have been injured and another 91 have reported product damages resulting from defective and dangerous fire extinguishers manufactured by the Kidde group. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is calling for the immediate recall of 37.8 million fire extinguishers with plastic handles and push-buttons due to a lethal manufacturing error.
Manufacturing design defects and flaws sometimes cause consumer injuries or death, and can create other hazards. The CPSC regulates products to decrease these dangers. Even when a product appears to be safe, people can get hurt. The CPSC reports that Kidde’s fire extinguishers require “excessive force to discharge” and frequently become clogged – this means that when an emergency happens, they’re unlikely to effectively fight a fire. Because the force builds up, the extinguisher’s nozzle attachment is also prone to detaching, which causes impact and trauma hazards.
In 2014, a 22-year old man was in a car crash and his vehicle lit on fire. He died because emergency personnel were unable to get the Kidde fire extinguishers in their ambulance to work. The CPSC has received at least 16 consumer reports of smoke inhalation and burns that happened because the fire extinguishers failed or were defective. 91 others reported damage to their homes, belongings or other personal property. Altogether, there have been 391 reports of product failures of some kind, indicating the serious need for getting these dangerous fire extinguishers off the market immediately.
Many different models are featured in the recall – 134 total. The fire extinguishers were manufactured from January 1973 to August 2017; the CPCS notes that this current recall includes a previous one involving Kidde fire extinguishers manufactured from March 2009 to February 2015. To determine the model number of your Kidde fire extinguisher, simply look on the label. All of the recalled models come with push-button features to engage use or plastic handles. The push-button models are called Pindicators.
The recalled extinguishers sold for anywhere from $12 to $200, depending on their intended use. Some models are for recreational vehicles, commercial trucks and boats, whereas others are designed for personal, kitchen or other types of at-home use. Kidde is complying with the CPSC’s recall, and has launched a website so their customers can determine whether or not they own a defective model.
Because hazards associated with electrical, chemical and mechanical problems are more likely to result in catastrophic bodily and property damages, the CPSC tries to quickly regulate them and alert consumers to their dangers. Manufacturers have the legal responsibility to create reasonably safe products and to not put people in harm’s way. Kidde’s fire extinguishers serve as an alarming – and sad – example of how product failures and defects can result in the early death of unsuspecting consumers.
Individuals who purchased a Kidde brand fire extinguisher at Walmart, Sears, Menards, Montgomery Ward, Home Depot or online through Amazon.com or ShopKidde.com should immediately discontinue use if the model is included in the nationwide recall. The products were available through other major retailers as well. Consumers who own recalled models can contact Kidde directly and receive a replacement fire extinguisher free-of-charge. The manufacturer will also instruct consumers on how to properly return their defective unit(s).
If you own a Kidde brand fire extinguisher and had problems with nozzle detachment, failed activation or sustained any type of injury or other damage, please contact a representative at our firm.
If you or a loved one sustained any injuries from a defective Kidde fire extinguisher, please contact our Allentown products liability lawyers at Galfand Berger. With offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Reading and Lancaster, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.