MEBANE, N.C. (WSAV) – The Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced a recall of nearly 40 million extinguishers made by North Carolina-based company Kidde because they might not work in an emergency.
There have been 291 reports of the fire extinguishers failing, as well as 16 related injuries and one death.
Sixteen people were been burned or breathed in too much smoke while trying to use the device. A man in Pennsylvania died in a car fire following a crash.
Emergency crews couldn’t get the extinguisher to work.
The problem is the plastic handle on 134 Kidde models. The nozzle can get clogged or detach completely.
Not all of the models with plastic handles are covered in the recall, but many are.
Kidde will replace all recalled extinguishers for free. Proof of purchase is not required.
The company asked stores last month to stop selling recalled models. A statement from Kidde reads, in part, “customer safety is our first priority.”
According to Ann Marie Buerkle, CPSC Chairman, the new extinguisher will have a metal hand on it. She says that all of the problems with the handle have been addressed by scientists and staff in the new design.