An American company has recalled 37 million fire extinguishers in the U.S. and 2.7 million in Canada because they can get clogged or require excessive force to discharge and won’t work in an emergency.
Kidde Corporation, based in North Carolina, mentioned today that it is recalling 134 different brands of fire extinguishers manufactured between Jan. 1, 1973, and Aug. 15, 2017. The recall includes models that were recalled two years ago.
Health Canada is asking anyone with an affected fire extinguisher to contact the company at 1-855-233-2882. If you’re having trouble getting through, call the Kidde support line at 1-855-271-0773. The company says customers will be sent a replacement unit, free of charge, within two weeks, and no proof of purchase is required.
Saeed Sedarat, the general manager of fire safety equipment seller Tesla Electric Ltd. in Toronto, says his company doesn’t sell the extinguishers in question because he finds them inferior to metal-based industrial ones he favours.
He said,”It’s because it’s cheaper plastic. Big-box store retailers … sell these Kiddes with the plastic top but when they bring it to us we refuse to refill them because they’re going to lose their charge.”
“I tell all my customers ‘we do not touch or recharge the ones with the plastic part.It was a known fact for the past few years.”
The recall should serve as a reminder to Canadians that are cutting corners with fire safety, says Sedarat.
He recommends one up-to-date extinguisher on every level of a home, displayed prominently. “It’s a matter of prevention,” he said, “it’s like insurance.”