Kidde Recalls 4.8 Million Fire Extinguishers That Could Fail

kidde fire extinguisher recall
cpsc.govKidde is recalling millions of disposable fire extinguishers with plastic valves.
Nearly 5 million Kidde fire extinguishers sold over the past two years are being recalled because a defective valve could cause them to fail when used to put out a fire, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said Thursday.

The massive recall involves 31 different models of disposable fire extinguishers -- the type that aren't made to be refilled. Most were sold between August 2013 and November 2014 for $18 to $65 at stores including Home Depot (HD) and Walmart (WMT), but one model, the XL 5MR, sold for $200, the CPSC said.

Kidde, a division of United Technologies (UTX), is recalling 4.6 million fire extinguishers sold in the U.S. and another 175,000 sold in Canada. Kidde issued the recall after receiving 11 reports of the Mexican-made fire extinguishers failing to properly work.

The problem apparently is a component in the Zytel plastic valves that can fail when, during a fire, the user repeatedly presses and releases the lever.

If you have one of the defective fire extinguishers, you can contact Kidde to get a free replacement.

Here's how you can tell if your fire extinguisher is on the recall list: They are red, white or silver. The recalled extinguishers either "ABC" or "BC" rated. Those ratings are marked on the right side of the nameplate.

The date of manufacture will be between July 23, 2013 and Oct. 15, 2014 and is marked with a 10-digit date code on the side of the cylinder, near the bottom.

Here's how to read the date code:

Digits five through nine represent the day and year of manufacture in DDDYY format. Date codes for recalled units manufactured in 2013 are XXXX 20413 X through XXXX 36513 X and 2014 are XXXX 00114 X through XXXX 28814 X.

A full list of recalled models can be found on the CPSC website.

To contact Kidde, call 855-283-7991 weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern Time or visit the Kidde fire extinguisher recall page.

Here's what Kidde has to say about the recall:

Kidde has made this issue a high priority, with a number of teams assigned to investigate, resolve and communicate the issue. In a small number of instances, Kidde found that a supplier built a component that is out of specification. Follow-up field testing found a low risk of the potential extinguishers not working as designed. However, there is no way to identify which units may fail to discharge as designed. Out of an abundance of caution, we have stopped shipment of affected extinguishers, are working cooperatively with the CPSC to recall any units on store shelves, and are working to replace affected units in homes.

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