The safety of Kidde fire extinguishers still in question

January 19, 2021

SJ Munoz

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A 2017 recall, which followed recalls in 2009 and 2015, was just the latest Band-Aid on the ongoing issues with Kidde fire extinguishers.

A January 2021 Consumer Reports investigation uncovered, through lawsuits and reported complaints, that Kidde failed to initially share information about problems with their products, putting consumers at risk.

Now, a $12 million settlement has been ordered as part of a consent decree settling allegations by the Department of Justice. Based upon this ruling, Kidde knowingly misled the government about the extent and scope of its products problems.

In addition, Kidde was found to have replaced recalled extinguishers with other models that also had been recalled, according to a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission report.

As part of the settlement, Kidde did not admit it violated federal law.

Kidde maintains, the replacement units were damaged in transit and steps were taken to provide working extinguishers to customers with damaged devices.

If you currently have a Kidde fire extinguisher that has been recalled, you are encouraged to contact the company to have it replaced immediately.

The 134 models of Kidde fire extinguishers that were part of the most recent recall (2017) by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission included fire extinguishers often carried in commercial trucks.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated 2.5 million extinguishers were potentially affected by the 2017 recall.

Clogging, requiring excessive force to discharge and failing to activate were listed as potential hazards, according to the recall notice.

Commercial trucks and buses are required by law to be equipped with at least one fire extinguisher with an Underwriters’ Laboratories rating of 5 B:C or more; or two extinguishers with an Underwriters Laboratories rating of 4 B:C or more. Hazmat haulers must have a fire extinguisher with a rating of 10 B:C or more. LL

SJ Munoz

SJ Munoz is the newest edition to the Land Line Media team. He brings a variety of skills to the job as he has experience as a reporter, photographer and in radio. He’s also written for Omaha Magazine, the Lawrence Journal-World, and PrepsKC.com.