Boaters should check fire extinguishers
FINGER LAKES--As the temperatures continue to warm up and the area approaches the summer season, traffic on the lakes will increase exponentially. While many boaters will annually check life jackets and other safety equipment, a recall late last year affected many fire extinguishers used in homes, vehicles and boats.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported Kidde recalled over 40 million fire extinguishers with plastic handles and plastic push-button operation.
"The fire extinguishers can become clogged or require excessive force to discharge and can fail to activate during a fire emergency," said the recall. "In addition, the nozzle can detach with enough force to pose an impact hazard."
There are 134 models of extinguishers manufactured between Jan. 1, 1973 and Aug. 15, 2017 impacted. The cylinders can be red, white and silver, and are either ABC- or BC-rated.
Although this recall applies to more than just boats, it has the potential to affect boaters as the recall was issued after most boats were stored for the season. In addition, many boats have storage for extinguishers in compartments that may keep them out of the way, but also out of mind. New York requires motorboats and personal water craft to carry a fire extinguisher.
After a 2014 incident, the Product Safety Commission reported, "Emergency responders could not get the recalled Kidde fire extinguishers to work. There have been approximately 391 reports of failed or limited activation or nozzle detachment, including [a] fatality, approximately 16 injuries, including smoke inhalation and minor burns, and approximately 91 reports of property damage."
Contacting Kidde at 855-271-0773 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, or online at www.kidde.com shows additional photos of the recalled products and how to identify them.
A free replacement is being offered by Kidde and the company will have you keep your impacted model until the new one arrives. You will then return the defective extinguisher. Although this recall includes units made over 40 years ago, disposable fire extinguishers should be replaced every 12 years or sooner.
Kidde models with metal handles and metal pull pins are not affected.