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Fire extinguisher recall prompts safety reminders
A major nationwide recall of fire extinguishers serves as a reminder of the importance of maintaining home fire safety devices.
More than 37.8 million Kidde brand fire extinguishers were recalled in November for faulty nozzles, clogging and difficulty discharging during a fire. The recall involves both push button and plastic handle styles of extinguishers manufactured between January 1, 1973 and September 22, 2017.
“Extinguishers can be a great fire safety tool to have around the home as long as they are properly maintained, and home owners understand how and when they are to be used,” said Loss Prevention Capt. Scott Brooks.
Just like the smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in your home – which need to be tested regularly and refreshed with new batteries twice per year, at minimum – fire extinguishers also require regular checks.
“Make fire extinguisher checks part of your ‘Change Clocks, Change Batteries’ routine. It’s time to replace when the extinguisher is no longer charged or if you spot damage to the handle, nozzle or hose,” Brooks said.
Generally extinguishers should be replaced 12 years after the date of manufacture, regardless of condition. Look for a manufacture date code printed on the extinguisher’s label or on the canister itself. Bad fire extinguishers can be safely disposed at any of West Chester’s five fire stations.
Recalled units of Kidde fire extinguishers will be replaced by the manufacture. Contact the company at (855) 271-0773 business days between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. or weekends 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Consumers can also visit www.kidde.com.
Home fire extinguishers should be kept in a conspicuous, easily-accessible location near exits in the kitchen or garage. Deploy extinguishers when: fires are confined to small areas; buildings are clear of people; heavy smoke is not present; and after the fire department has been called.
The U.S. Fire Administration recommends using the “PASS” method when operating a fire extinguisher:
- Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.
- Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
- Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
- Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.
West Chester Fire Department offers hands-on fire extinguisher training. Call (513) 777-1133 for more information.