Have you ever bought a fire extinguisher online or at Walmart, Home Depot, Sears or other brick and mortar retailers? Well you may need to check to make sure you didn’t purchase a defective fire extinguisher. A new recall has stirred safety advocates all over the country and if you aren’t careful, the consequences of ignoring this recall could be high.
Why Is a Defective Fire Extinguisher at the Center of an Auto Fatality?
This story happened in Pennsylvania, however, the implications of this crash reach all over the nation, even here in Colorado. A 22-year-old man from West Chester, PA was driving near Immaculata University early in the morning of August 17, 2014. But for unknown reasons, the man swerved off road and his car smashed into a tree.
It took first responders only a few minutes to arrive, but when they did, the car was on fire. Rescuers grabbed fire extinguishers to battle the flames while they pulled the man from his car. However, when responders tried to use the devices, they clogged—allowing the fire to spread out of control. Rescuers were unable to reach the man until fire crews arrived on scene and battled down the flames. By then, it was too late, and the young man had perished.
What Will Be Done About Defective Extinguishers?
At the center of this tragedy were malfunctioning Kidde Fire Safety extinguishers used by first responders. As it turns out, plastic parts in the handle of these extinguishers can cause clogging and in some cases, the handle can even disconnect from the cannister and become a hazardous projectile.
After receiving 391 reports, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced a recall of almost 40 million fire extinguishers manufactured by Kidde. Recalled extinguishers include 142 models manufactured from 1973 to September 22, 2017. The manufacturer, which has operated since 1917, has set up a website where consumers can find out how to check their extinguishers to see if they are defective. The manufacturer says it will replace faulty extinguishers with new models that use metal internal parts that don’t clog.
With over four decades of possibly defective safety devices on the market, there is no telling if people other than this Pennsylvania man were hurt by these faulty products. If you are unsure whether your burn injury could have been the result of a faulty fire extinguisher, then you should contact an attorney right away. A products liability attorney has the resources to investigate incidents like this and put you on the path to recovery.