Approximately 37 million fire extinguishers developed by the North Carolina-based Kidde Corporation were recalled on Thursday after failing to perform in 391 reported instances, including a 2014 car crash where the tragic death of one of the individuals involved was directly tied to an extinguisher's malfunctioning. It is estimated that 2.7 million of the extinguishers had been shipped to Canada.
Both Health Canada and the United States' Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) have released notices outlining which models should be sent back and how owners can go about doing that. CPSC described their hazard as such: "The fire extinguishers can become clogged or require excessive force to discharge and can fail to activate during a fire emergency. In addition, the nozzle can detach with enough force to pose an impact hazard."
Of the 391 known instances in which one of the Kidde extinguishers failed to work, 17 resulted in injury of any kind, including the one death. In 91 instances, property was damaged. Only two of the instances were reported to have taken place in Canada, and neither resulted in consumer injury.
The range of years in which the extinguishers were manufactured is quite large. Some date back as long ago as Jan. 1, 1973, while others are as recent as Aug. 15, 2017. There were 134 different brands included in total.
Health Canada is directing any consumers affected by the recall—it provides a list of the Canadian products that have been flagged—to immediately contact Kidde and request a free replacement extinguisher. Kidde has a toll-free number available and is currently also responding to inquiries through its Twitter account, @KiddeSafety.