DETROIT - Kidde recalled more than 40 million fire extinguishers that may not work because of a faulty handle and one person has already died because of this risk, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said Thursday.
This massive recall could impact the safety of your family. Kidde said the extinguishers, which have plastic handles, can get clogged and may not work in an emergency.
"The mounting mechanism, along with the handle, is not allowing it to express the content in there," said Commander Walter Schroeder, Chicago Fire Department.
There's also concern over the nozzle detaching with so much force that it could injure someone. One person died in 2014 because extinguishers failed to function as they should for emergency personnel responding to a fiery car wreck, the CPSC said.
There have been 391 reports of extinguishers failing to work properly or of nozzles coming off, resulting in 16 injuries that included smoke inhalation and minor burns. Also, there were about 91 reports of property damage linked to the problem.
CFD officials said it's important consumers get those extinguishers replaced, as the weather turns colder.
"We are going in to the time and season where people are turning their heat on candles those types of things," Schroeder said.
He also said while fire extinguishers are an important tool in home fire safety, "The fire department's recommendation is this: if you do have a fire and have fire extinguisher in your home, you should call us first. We want to make sure we're en-route in case anything gets crazy. If the fire spreads, we don't want you getting trapped."
Kidde said 37.8 million extinguishers were included in the recall in the U.S. and an additional 2.7 million in Canada. Some have been on the market for more than four decades.
The recall covers 134 models of push-button and plastic-handle extinguishers in the U.S. and Canada made from 1973 through Aug. 15 of this year. It includes models that were previously recalled in March of 2009 and February of 2015, the CPSC said.
For a full list of models included in the recall, click here.
Owners should contact Kidde to ask for a free replacement and for instructions on how to return recalled models. Kidde can be reached at (855) 271-0773 or at www.kidde.com.
Kidde, based in Mebane, N.C., near Raleigh, says it has worked closely with the government to start the recall and make sure the extinguishers are replaced with different models as quickly as possible. The company also makes smoke detectors and other fire safety products.
The recalled extinguishers are red, white and silver and are either ABC or BC rated. They were sold at Menards, Montgomery Ward, Sears, Home Depot, Wal-Mart and other home and hardware stores, as well as on Amazon.com, ShopKidde.com and other online retailers. They also were sold for use in commercial trucks, recreational vehicles and boats.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.