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PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 2:49 am 
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Note: this also impacts fire extinguishers marketed under the Sears, Montgomery Ward, Gillette and many other brand names, so your unit might not say "Kidde" prominently on the labeling, but may still be an affected model.

Knowing that many of you likely have tried to do the right thing by having one or more fire extingishers at home or in your shop/office, thought I'd spread news of this rather massive product safety recall on this company's plastic handled and push button fire extinguishers. The nozzle can become clogged to the point where the unit will fail to operate and/or the handle itself will snap off. My unit was among the affected and Kidde is sending me a replacement.

https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2017/kidde-recalls-fire-extinguishers-with-plastic-handles-due-to-failure-to-discharge-and

Plastic handle fire extinguishers: The recall involves 134 models of Kidde fire extinguishers manufactured between January 1, 1973 and August 15, 2017, including models that were previously recalled in March 2009 and February 2015. The extinguishers were sold in red, white and silver, and are either ABC- or BC-rated. The model number is printed on the fire extinguisher label. For units produced in 2007 and beyond, the date of manufacture is a 10-digit date code printed on the side of the cylinder, near the bottom. Digits five through nine represent the day and year of manufacture in DDDYY format. Date codes for recalled models manufactured from January 2, 2012 through August 15, 2017 are 00212 through 22717. For units produced before 2007, a date code is not printed on the fire extinguisher.

Push-button Pindicator fire extinguishers: The recall involves eight models of Kidde Pindicator fire extinguishers manufactured between August 11, 1995 and September 22, 2017. The no-gauge push-button extinguishers were sold in red and white, and with a red or black nozzle. These models were sold primarily for kitchen and personal watercraft applications.

Basically, the upshot is you first determine the manufacture date of your unit and if it falls within the impacted manufacture period, you then check your specific model number to determine if it's an affected model. The model list provided by Kidde is kind of unwieldy, but it's a .pdf document, so after confirming my extinguisher was made during the YOMI period (Years Of Manufacturing Ineptitude) I just did a text search on my model (FA5-1) and quickly got a match. Follow the instructions to provide your contact info and register your defective unit, and Kidde promises to send out a replacement in 15-20 business days, along with instructions for returning the defective unit. In the mean time, don't play with matches.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 6:56 am 
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Let me get this straight. 40 million sold in a forty four year time spread with 391 reports of failed or limited activation or nozzle detachment, approximately 91 reports of property damage ,approximately 16 injuries, including smoke inhalation and minor burns, and one fatality.
That's mind boggling and I would feel dirty if I utilized this recall replacement.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:02 am 
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I get your feelings flybynight.

Something to keep in mind: 40 million units sold. Probably less than 100,000 used. Maybe only 10,000 used. But those numbers of issues reported are probably less than the actual rate of problems due to under reporting. So the percentages of failures due in actual use are probably higher than your post suggests.

On the other hand I'm not super worried and will replace when they need to be replaced.

Honestly I think any plastic piece is at risk. And who knows the age of those pieces which failed. They could have been 10+ years old for all we know. So I'm not saying ignore the recall. I do think I'm less worried than some reporter would have me feel.

Just where I'm at with this. I really appreciate majorhavoc posting this.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:19 am 
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Good catch, majorhavoc. I have one of the affected units, so I'll be taking a closer look at what options there are on the recall, or if I will just replace with a different extinguisher.

In the time since I bought the affected Kidde extinguisher (2013 manufacture date), all my newer fire extinguishers I've bought have been from Amerex. I like the fit/feel of the Amerex extinguishers better (all metal construction - even the pull-pins) and they appear to be a high-quality manufacturer. They will likely run you a few dollars more than a comparable Kidde model, though.

Earlier this summer, I also found a couple of extinguishers that were getting pretty long into their service life, despite being fully charged and otherwise looking OK. Make sure to retire any extinguishers that are too old as well!

For the recalled and older extinguishers: I've rotated them out for now (they're in the garage as 2nd line backup for the house extinguishers if all goes truly to crap), but I might use them for practice soon as well, so I'll try to comment on their performance if I do.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:52 am 
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I'm not following that reasoning. I'm not following it at all. That's like saying it's acceptable to have a CO2 detector that probably detects CO2. Or worse, have a CO2 detector that is discovered to be potentially defective, made subject to a mandatory recall and then saying to the manufacturer: "Hey, don't trouble yourself on my account. I'll sit this one out - I'm liking my chances."

These fire extinguishers might not work the one and only time the consumer needs them to work. They probably will, most of them definitely will, but yours or mine might not.

I don't know about anyone else, but I don't buy something with the expectation that it probably isn't defective. My expectation is it definitely isn't defective. Doubly so for a piece of safety equipment like a fire extinguisher. And if it's discovered to be potentially defective and made subject to a mandatory recall, then I would most certainly expect any sensible person to take advantage of that.

I can't begin to imagine why anyone should feel "dirty" for complying with this recall. Sorry, but that frankly strikes me as a bizarre notion.

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Last edited by majorhavoc on Sat Nov 04, 2017 1:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 12:31 pm 
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Another way to look at the recall replacement option: "make them pay for it". Every unit you request for free replacement is another tiny cut against their bottom line, which is usually the only thing most corporations really care about. If you don't participate in the recall, the company gets off scot-free for selling you a potentially defective product. Even if Kidde brand extinguishers have fallen out of my favor (and this is another shining example of why), a free fire extinguisher is not a bad deal, for filling out a few minutes of online forms on my end.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 1:21 pm 
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JayceSlayn wrote:
a free fire extinguisher is not a bad deal, for filling out a few minutes of online forms on my end.


Maybe that's where the disconnect is here. And if so, I apologize if my second post came across as a little strong. Let me be clear: I don't in any way, shape or form see this recall as a way to score a "free fire extinguisher", any more than I thought I was getting a "free airbag" when I complied with the Takata airbag recall. And I certainly hope that no one who owns an affected Kidde product thinks in those terms either. (Although now that you all mention it, I guess some will. But that's between them and their conscience. The point of this recall - and of my original post - is to get these substandard, potentially dangerous products the f*ck out of households and off the market).

I see this merely as getting the fire extinguisher that I purchased three years ago; one that will reliably function should I ever need it to during its reasonable service life. Nothing more; nothing less. This isn't some sort of gimme for the consumer or a gotcha against Kidde. I don't think that company intended to sell me a substandard product. And if they consciously cut some corners that made this situation foreseeable? I don't really care. I just want the damn fire extinguisher that was marketed to me, just as I want the damn Sig Sauer SP2022, Remmy 597 and PSA AR-15 firearms that I own to go bang when I pull the trigger. I don't feel the least bit dirty expecting that of the businesses that sold them to me.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 1:37 pm 
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Thanks I did not know about this. I have at this count 6 units in different places covered by the recall.

They are all in serviceable condition and I assumed they were functional. However like the Takata air bag in my car that was replaced last year, I sure do not want to find out.

I called the # and they are mailing me replacements. It seems easy. I neglected ask what to do with the defective units. They obviously do not want them back.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 5:53 pm 
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I never expect a product to work 100% of the time. That is why we are told to do malfunction drills and carry a second weapon if dealing with bad people.

If someone made 40 million guns and only had 400+ lemons out of the group I'd say they were doing something right.

On fire extinguishers: we typically don't ever try them. We practice with our guns, but when have you practiced with your fire extinguisher? Me: never. Kinda stupid now that I say it out loud.

But back to this product: I don't know how anyone could make 40,000,000 of anything and not have some bad ones. Again, I don't know if even high end ammo makers can meet that standard. And let's say only 10,000 were used in that time. How many injuries do we think could happen in dealing with 10,000 fires? Out of probably 400 recreational fires I've hurt myself about 6 times. So while I think safety equipment needs to be good and reliable, I also think if using your safety equipment, some injuries and failures are going to happen. We can train and we can reduce the chances of equipment failure and thereby increase our chances of avoiding injuries. But I also think it is impossible to expect gear to be 100% reliable. Also, I'm very focused on talking about probabilities. It sucks when you are the one with a broken fire extinguisher. But again, have a spare.

This is why so many preppers say "2 is 1, 1 is none."

OK, that is such a dumb saying, but the sentiment is solid.

And to be clear: I harbor no judgement towards anyone who gets their extinguisher fixed. I just think there is always the chance of failure in equipment.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:12 am 
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I just checked my Kidde & I did not see the model # listed. I got it off of Amazon. It was one of the first things I bought when I moved into this place.

I'll check again when I am more awake. :D

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:54 pm 
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MPMalloy wrote:
I just checked my Kidde & I did not see the model # listed. I got it off of Amazon. It was one of the first things I bought when I moved into this place.

I'll check again when I am more awake. :D


The model #s on mine were difficult to find and in different places for each one.

The easiest thing to do is call:
Quote:
Consumer Contact:
Kidde toll-free at 855-271-0773 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday,


They answer the phone quickly.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:55 am 
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Got me to dig mine out from under the sink. Yes, it's under recall, but also, it's not reading as full anymore despite never having been used. Not sure I'll be able to return it, but at least now I know I'll need to replace it. The one the previous owners left with the house is also reading as discharged. :/


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:37 am 
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Vallyn wrote:
Got me to dig mine out from under the sink. Yes, it's under recall, but also, it's not reading as full anymore despite never having been used. Not sure I'll be able to return it, but at least now I know I'll need to replace it. The one the previous owners left with the house is also reading as discharged. :/


You will. Or rather Kidde doesn't seem too concerned about whether owners return the suspect extinguishers or not. Complete the recall form and you'll receive a new, upgraded extinguisher. Included in the box will be a return label along with instructions to send the old one back. I got mine last week. It looks pretty much like the old one except for a much more substantial handle/discharge lever assembly.

As to the one the previous owners left, that's between you and your conscience. I personally would not take advantage of this recall unless I was sure the extinguisher was unused.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:00 pm 
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I just received a replacement for one of the 6 I have reported.

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raptor wrote:
I just received a replacement for one of the 6 I have reported.

Do they want the old one back?

How are you? :)

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:01 pm 
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raptor wrote:
I just received a replacement for one of the 6 I have reported.

Just spitballing here, but Kidde may be leery of people padding their recall submissions. If you're willing to invest the time to find out exactly where/who to send it, you could email a photograph of your other 5 extinguishers. I mean, the company must have at least contemplated situations where consumers have more than one faulty extinguisher.

I imagine you might get some traction if in that email you also advise your only recourse would be to continue using the other five defective fire extinguishers, something you'd naturally have to pass along to the Consumer Product Safety Commission that ordered this federal recall in the first place.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:06 pm 
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MPMalloy wrote:
raptor wrote:
I just received a replacement for one of the 6 I have reported.

Do they want the old one back?

How are you? :)


No they did not want the old ones. Which leaves the issue of what do I do with 6 defective 340 ABC fire extinguishers? I planned on test discharging one to see if it works or self destructs. I will decide after that.

That said range targets come to mind however. :P ...complete with big clouds of white dry chemicals. :clap:

majorhavoc wrote:
raptor wrote:
I just received a replacement for one of the 6 I have reported.

Just spitballing here, but Kidde may be leery of people padding their recall submissions.


I submitted all 6 under one item #. After this post jogged my memory I called Kidde and they said the others were enroute and that they ship each one separately. They said the others will arrive over the next 2 weeks.

I am not too worried about them not sending them. I am sure they will do so. Poor postman though having to carry all of these items.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:40 pm 
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They wanted mine back, they sent a nice return label and everything. Maybe it depends on the model.

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Murph wrote:
They wanted mine back, they sent a nice return label and everything. Maybe it depends on the model.


Interesting. Was yours a 5 lb one or the 2 3/4 lb one? Mine are all 5 lbs. These are pressure vessels so they cost extra to ship due to the hazard associated with pressure vessels.

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raptor wrote:
Murph wrote:
They wanted mine back, they sent a nice return label and everything. Maybe it depends on the model.


Interesting. Was yours a 5 lb one or the 2 3/4 lb one? Mine are all 5 lbs. These are pressure vessels so they cost extra to ship due to the hazard associated with pressure vessels.


Multi-Purpose ABC 5.0 lb net weight

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:27 pm 
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Murph wrote:
raptor wrote:
Murph wrote:
They wanted mine back, they sent a nice return label and everything. Maybe it depends on the model.


Interesting. Was yours a 5 lb one or the 2 3/4 lb one? Mine are all 5 lbs. These are pressure vessels so they cost extra to ship due to the hazard associated with pressure vessels.


Multi-Purpose ABC 5.0 lb net weight


Mine are the 340 ABC like this one. I asked and they specifically said they did not want them back.

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raptor wrote:
Murph wrote:
raptor wrote:
Murph wrote:
They wanted mine back, they sent a nice return label and everything. Maybe it depends on the model.


Interesting. Was yours a 5 lb one or the 2 3/4 lb one? Mine are all 5 lbs. These are pressure vessels so they cost extra to ship due to the hazard associated with pressure vessels.


Multi-Purpose ABC 5.0 lb net weight


Mine are the 340 ABC like this one. I asked and they specifically said they did not want them back.

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That's definitely a bigger one than mine. I have something smaller, with just a nozzle but no hose. I too got the return label and shipping instructions.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:12 pm 
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It is likely the size and cost of return. That said these things since they are defective pose a liability for them of they stay in circulation.

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I also had a couple extinguishers affected by their recall.

One was my kitchen unit, which is just inside the laundry room within a couple feet of the stove. That's the one I think has the most likelihood of being used in its serviceable life.

Another one is my garage/shop unit. Right next to the powder & primers across from the reloading bench, although if there's a fire there we have other issues. All my other sealed chemicals are on the other side of the garage a good 20' or so. And the big flammables like gasoline are outside in the shed anyway.

My kitchen replacement arrived quickly, along with the label & instructions for returning the original. It's been a month since I submitted my serial numbers, and the 2nd unit still hasn't arrived. I called today to follow up and learned that one is on back order and they asked me to wait a couple more weeks.

The recall did make me check up on all my extinguishers one more time this year, and it was valuable. I discovered one of mine had gone bad - pressure was low. And another was just outside of its 12-year lifespan although still had perfect pressure on the gauge. Chalk up two more I want to replace especially since both are in daily commuter cars.

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