Mebane, North Carolina-based Kidde has issued a voluntary recall of 4.8 million fire extinguishers, warning that they could fail just when needed most.
The massive recall affects 31 different models of disposable fire extinguishers (designed not to be refilled) with plastic valves. It’s that Zytel (a DuPont trademark) plastic valve that company officials and safety experts with the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission say can fail when repeatedly pressed and released. The move comes after receiving 11 reports of the Mexican-made fire extinguishers failing to properly work.
“Kidde has made this issue a high priority, with a number of teams assigned to investigate, resolve and communicate the issue,” Kidde officials said in a released statement. “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.”
Most of the affected units were sold between August 2013 and November 2014 for $18 to $65 at major chain stores like Home Depot and Walmart throughout the US and Mexico. However, one model, the XL 5MR, sold for $200. They are red, white or silver in color and are either ABC or BC rated. To determine whether you have one of the defective fire extinguishers, first check the nameplate affixed to the front of the fire extinguisher for one of the following model numbers:
- 1A 10BC
- 1A 10BCW
- FH/ RESSP
- KFH Twin
- M110 Twin
- M5 Twin
- Mariner 10
- Mariner 110
- Mariner 5
- XL 5MR
Then, check the date of manufacture, marked with a 10-digit date code on the side of the cylinder, near the bottom. Affected units were made between July 23, 2013 and October 15, 2014. To understand the date code, know that digits five through nine represent the day and year of manufacture in DDDYY format. For instance, a unit made on July 23 (the 204th day of the year) in 2013 will have the date code XXXX 20413 X. 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.
If you have suffered personal or property damage that you believe was caused by the failure of a recalled Kidde fire extinguisher, keep the unit intact and call 800-251-1111 to speak with a personal injury or product liability attorney with Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell. If no injuries or damage have occurred, call 855-283-7991 or visit the Kidde website to request a replacement.