By Consumer Reports and Ryan Yamamoto
After one of the biggest recalls in government history, a new Consumer Reports investigation finds reports of serious problems with Kidde-brand fire extinguishers.
“We sifted through years of lawsuits and public reported complaints and found allegations that Kidde knew of the problems with its fire extinguishers for years before they finally issued a recall in 2015 and again in 2017,” said Ryan Felton, Consumer Reports Investigative Reporter.
A judge recently ordered Kidde to pay a $12 million fine as part of a consent decree settling allegations by the Department of Justice that the company knowingly misled the government about the extent and scope of the problems with some of its products. Kidde did not admit that it violated federal law as part of the settlement.
But Consumer Reports also found reports on the CPSC website of consumers saying, “Kidde bungled the recall.” In some cases, replacing a recalled fire extinguisher with another recalled extinguisher.
Kidde says, they learned some of the replacement units were “damaged in transit”, adding that the company has since taken steps to provide working extinguishers to customers who received damaged devices.
So what can you do to make sure your fire extinguisher will work when you need it? First, make sure it hasn’t been recalled. You can head online to cpsc.gov to check the model number.
“If you have a recalled Kidde fire extinguisher, contact the company to have it replaced as soon as possible,” said Felton.
And here are some helpful tips about storing and using a fire extinguisher:
- Store it where you think a fire is most likely to occur like the kitchen and garage.
- Check the dial on the pressure gauge — it should always be within the green zone.
- Check the manufacture date on your extinguisher, if it’s older than 12 years, replace it.
- Make sure you and everyone in your family knows how to properly use it!
The original article can be found here.