The federal government has issued a massive recall for 37.8 million Kidde fire extinguishers following 400 reports of the extinguishers malfunctioning during emergencies. The malfunctions have been linked to 16 injuries and one death.
According to CBS News, the recall affects extinguishers that date back decades with some models having previously been recalled for other issues. The recall states that extinguishers with plastic handles and push button pindicators can clog, resulting in a failure to discharge. Nozzles can also pop off with enough force to be a dangerous projectile.
The extinguishers were sold for domestic use as well as for use by emergency responders. CBS News cited a 2014 incident in which an extinguisher used by first responders malfunctioned as they attempted to extinguish a fire following a car crash in Pennsylvania. The malfunction led to the death of Brendan Rosko. Rosko’s family received a settlement from Kidde following his death.
Kidde will replace the defective extinguishers for free. New extinguishers will be made with metal parts instead of plastic.