Recall Alert: Frequently Asked Questions
Are the fire extinguishers that are the subject of the Recall Alert the same fire extinguishers which are covered by Kidde Service Bulletin 007 that was issued on July 21, 2004?
Yes. The Recall Alert covers the same fire extinguishers as Kidde Service Bulletin 007. All Kidde 10 lb. dry chemical fire extinguisher manufactured with Zytel® nylon valve assemblies in steel cylinders between 1991 and 2000 are covered by the Recall Alert.
Why was a Recall Alert issued by the CPSC one (1) year after Kidde issued Service Bulletin 007? Were there consumer injuries?
There has never been any reported consumer injuries associated with the fire extinguishers covered by the Recall Alert. The Recall Alert was issued voluntarily by Kidde in cooperation with the CPCS to ensure that notice of the issue was easily accessible to fire equipment distributors and the general public.
When did Kidde first advise the CPSC that it had an issue with the fire extinguishers covered by the Recall Alert?
Kidde first notified the CPSC of the issue set forth in Kidde Service Bulletin 007 in June of 2004. Over the past year Kidde and the CPSC have worked closely together to make sure that the maximum number of fire extinguishers are being removed from service.
What results did Kidde get from Service Bulletin 007? Did they replace any fire extinguishers?
Yes, Kidde Service Bulletin 007 has been extremely successful and it is still in place for Fire Equipment Distributors and Fire Extinguisher Service Organizations. To date, Kidde has removed over 50,000 units from service. Kidde believed that at the launch of Service Bulletin 007 in 2004 approximately 100,000 units were in service.
What is the problem with the Zytel® nylon valves used in the fire extinguishers covered by the Recall Alert?
Kidde has determined that some of the Zytel® nylon valve assemblies in those units covered by the Recall Alert may degrade over time. This degradation of the valve may cause a loss of strength that could result in the spontaneous separation of the valve body from the cylinder.
Do Kidde's residential 2-1/2 lb. and 5 lb. rechargeable fire extinguishers utilize Zytel® nylon valves? If yes, are they going to be recalled as well?
The issue of Zytel® nylon degradation is solely related to mold and processing conditions unique to Kidde's 10 lb. units. There is no inherent compatibility or suitability problem with using Zytel® nylon resin as a material for fire extinguisher valves. In addition, Kidde submitted its 2-1/2 and 5 lb. Zytel® nylon valves to an independent test lab to confirm that the issue was confined to its 10 lb. valves. There have been no reports of 2-1/2 or 5 lb. valve failures.
How many of the fire extinguisher units that are subject to the Recall Alert were sold by Kidde.
Kidde sold approximately 470,000 units between 1991 and 2000. Approximately two thirds of these were into industrial and commercial channels. The remaining were through retail channels. However, most of those sold through retail channels also ended up in commercial locations serviced by professional Fire Equipment Distributors and Service Organizations. The identified hazard is to those Fire Equipment Distributors who must service these units pursuant to NFPA10. There have been no reports of consumer injuries.
How dangerous is the problem identified in the Recall Alert to the consuming public?
The problem of spontaneous valve separation is dangerous as the fire extinguishers which are subject to the Recall Alert are under 195 lb. of pressure. However, to date there have been no consumer injuries related to this spontaneous valve separation issue. The safety risk has been to fire equipment service personnel who have experienced the valve separation problem during service of the unit. This service requires that the servicing personnel work closely with the unit under recharge pressures. Consumers should be very careful to keep all units which have been identified to be within the scope of the Recall Alert away from their eyes and face. These units should be removed to low foot traffic areas of the home (garage, basement, etc.) until Kidde can have a professional Fire Equipment Distributor remove the unit.
Has anyone been injured by the problem identified in the Recall Alert?
There have been no reported consumer injuries related to the units covered by the Recall Alert The three (3) reported injuries have involved fire extinguishers that were serviced by professional fire extinguisher servicing personnel.
What should I do with my fire extinguisher if it is one of the units subject to the Recall Alert? Should I throw it away?
If your fire extinguisher is in your garage, basement, closet, storage room, or any other area of your home where there is low foot traffic just leave it where it is until Kidde can arrange for a Fire Equipment Distributor to remove it. Please advise family members to only use the fire extinguisher in case of a fire emergency. In the meantime do not handle the unit.
If your fire extinguisher is kept in an area where there is high foot traffic (e.g. kitchen, family room, living room) please place it in your garage, basement, or storage room. Remember that all fire extinguisher equipment should be handled with care and never lift a fire extinguisher by its valve or handle. Also never point or have the valve or handle of a fire extinguisher near your face or eyes.
If my fire extinguisher is one of the units involved in the Recall Alert can I use it to fight a fire?
If your fire extinguisher is subject to the Recall Alert Kidde will be sending you a gift card so that you can replace your unit. Once you receive your gift card you should immediately replace your fire extinguisher.
In the event you have a fire before receiving your gift card, you should use your fire extinguisher if it is necessary to create an escape path to safety. Kidde has had no reports of valve separation occurring while a unit was being used to fight a fire.
If I have one of the fire extinguishers which is the subject of the Recall Alert how long will it take to get my gift card for a new fire extinguisher?
Your gift card should arrive in three (3) to five (5) business days. Please replace your fire extinguisher as soon as the gift card arrives.
If I have one of the fire extinguishers which is the subject of the Recall Alert how long will it take for Kidde to arrange to have a Fire Equipment Distributor come to my house to remove my affected unit?
The Removal will depend on scheduling and where you live. Once it is determined that your unit is subject to the Recall Alert, Kidde will contact a Fire Equipment Distributor in your area and arrange to have that Fire Equipment Distributor contact you at home. You and the Fire Equipment Distributor will then set a time for the pick up of your unit. How quickly that pick up occurs will depend on your schedule and how far you are located from the Fire Equipment Distributor. It will also depend on the schedule of the Fire Equipment Distributor. In most cases, replacement should occur within two (2) to four (4) weeks.
What should I do if someone in my family is injured by one of the fire extinguisher covered by the Recall Alert?
First, seek appropriate medical attention if it is needed. You should then call Kidde at 1-800-654-9677 x2500 to report the incident and injury. An appropriate representative from Kidde will then call you back and assist with the incident in a timely manner.
What should I do if the valve from my fire extinguisher separates and causes damage to my home or furniture? Will Kidde pay for the damage?
In the event of a valve separation, you should immediately call Kidde at 1-800-654-9677 x2500 to report the incident. An appropriate representative from Kidde will then call you back and assist with the incident in a timely manner and answer all questions you may have regarding clean up and costs. You CANNOT obtain a gift card at the retail store where you purchased your fire extinguisher.
If it is determined that my fire extinguisher is subject to the Recall Alert, can I just return it to the store where I bought it?
No. The fire extinguishers which are subject to the Recall Alert are no longer under warranty. You cannot return them to the store. Kidde has established a replacement program whereby Kidde will send you a gift card to purchase a replacement extinguisher. You can ONLY obtain the gift card by calling Kidde at 855-271-0773. You CANNOT obtain a gift card at the retail store where you purchased your fire extinguisher. Gift cards will only be sent to those consumers who have fire extinguishers subject to the Recall Alert.
Will Kidde give me a cash reimbursement if I do not want a gift card?
If it can be established that you do not live in close proximity to one of the retail stores that will allow you to use a gift card, then Kidde will make arrangements to send you a reimbursement check. However, these circumstances are limited to those who live more than twenty-five (25) miles from a retail store that will honor the gift card.
Will I have to pay for the service call by the Fire Equipment Distributor who removes the fire extinguisher from my house?
No. There will be no charge to you for the service call by the Fire Equipment Distributor. If it is determined that your fire extinguisher is within the scope of the Recall Alert, Kidde will pay to have a Fire Extinguisher Distributor remove it free of charge.