Fire Extinguishers can come in many forms, types and sizes. These are important tools that can potentially save lives and property. That being said, it is also important to know how to use them, check them, how long to keep them and if it is under recall.
Kidde Extinguisher Recall
Let’s start with the most recent event of a large recall on Kidde Extinguishers. They have recalled more that 40 million fire extinguishers as they can be clogged or fail to discharge during a fire. This recall extends to 134 models manufactured as far back at 1973 to more recently August 2017.
All of the different models are listed here by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Kidde is offering free replacements to anyone who owns one of the recall units. You can call at 855-271-0773 or go to the website and fill out a form for a new extinguisher. They will send a replacement within 10-15 days including instructions on how to return the old one. Check this out and make sure you do not have one of the affected units.
How Long can you keep an Extinguisher?
If you have a non-rechargeable fire extinguisher it is advised that you replace it if it is older than 12 years after the date of manufacture. The chemicals that are fire retardant lose effectiveness in this amount of time. Check those dates.
When you should use a Fire Extinguisher and How:
You should use a portable fire extinguisher when the fire is contained to small area and not growing. It still should not be used until you make sure that everyone had been alerted to the fire within the area, the fire department has been called and everyone knows how to get out.
If you have done the above and you have a contained fire, here is how to use the fire extinguisher. The National Fire Protection Association recommends that you remember the word PASS to operate a fire extinguisher:
Pull the pin. Make sure you don’t point the nozzle toward you as this releases the locking mechanism.
Aim low. Do not aim to the middle but the base of the fire.
Squeeze the lever but do so slowly and with the same even amount of pressure.
Sweep the nozzle in a side-to-side motion
Please take a moment to check all of the above and refresh your Fire Extinguisher use and safety knowledge.