Health Team

More than 40 million fire extinguishers recalled after car fire death

If you've never taken a close look at your fire extinguisher, now would be a good time to check it.

Posted Updated

Alaa Elassar
Brandon Griggs (CNN)
(CNN) — If you've never taken a close look at your fire extinguisher, now would be a good time to check it.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission announced the recall of more than 40 million Kidde disposable fire extinguishers Thursday, saying they may malfunction during an emergency.

The faulty extinguishers are equipped with plastic handles and push-buttons and can become clogged. Their nozzles also may detach with enough force "to pose an impact hazard," the CPSC said.

The recall covers 134 models of Kidde plastic-handle fire extinguishers manufactured between 1973 and August 15, 2017, including models that were recalled in 2009 and 2015. It also includes eight push-button models manufactured between 1995 and September 22, 2017.

The extinguishers are sold online and at The Home Depot, Walmart, Sears and other stores.

A faulty Kidde extinguisher may have played a role in the death of 22-year-old Brendan Rosko in a car wreck in Pennsylvania in August 2014. After Rosko's car struck a tree and burst into flames, emergency responders first tried to use fire extinguishers to put out the fire but they didn't work, according to the CPSC.

Rosko's family later received a settlement from Kidde, according to the company.

The federal product safety agency also cited 391 reports of Kidde fire extinguishers that failed to work or had nozzles that detached. Sixteen of those incidents resulted in injuries, including burns and smoke inhalation, the CPSC said.

Kidde is recalling about 37.8 million fire extinguishers sold in the United States, plus 2.7 million more in Canada. The company has set up a web page where you can check to see if you own one of the affected models. Or you can call the company at (855) 271-0773.

No proof of purchase is required, but consumers will need to supply serial numbers and other identifying information.

If Kidde determines that you have an affected model, the company says it will send you a replacement within 10 to 15 business days. The new extinguishers contain metal parts instead of plastic.

Following the recall, Kidde released a statement saying, "customer safety is our first priority." The company also said it is working with the CPSC and other authorities to "ensure that affected fire extinguishers are replaced with different models as quickly as possible."

Ann Marie Buerkle, acting chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, told CNN the agency is using print and radio ads and social media to spread the word about the recall.

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