Fire extinguishers are among the products you buy even if you don’t use them often. However, you want it to work properly when the need arises. When a fire breaks out in your house or an establishment, your lives may be dependent on a good fire extinguisher. However, if you bought a Kidde fire extinguisher between 1973 and 2017, you may be out of luck in case of a fire incident. There have been numerous reports on malfunctioned Kidde fire extinguishers, which led to their recall in 2018.
If you or your loved one has suffered injuries or losses during a fire incident after a Kidde fire extinguisher jammed, you could file for compensation against the manufacturer. You can recover compensation for your injuries by filing a personal injury lawsuit or joining a class action. At consumer Alert Now, we will help you understand more about the recalled extinguishers and guide you through joining a class action against the manufacturers.
Overview of Kidde Fire Extinguishers
Fire extinguishers are a safety feature we install in our houses, business premises, and vehicles for emergency purposes. As simple as the devices look, they can fail and cause injury and damage to property. We put our faith in the manufacturers to make products that will be effective and serve the required purpose. However, this is not always the case. Some extinguishers can become clogged or require excessive force to discharge. This could make them fail to activate during an emergency. Additionally, the nozzle could detach with enough force to cause a hazard.
A fire extinguisher may look like a simple device, but when used wrongly, it can fail. You can effectively use a fire extinguisher by following this procedure:
- Pull the pin to break the seal.
- Aim low while pointing the nozzle at the firebase
- Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent
- Move the extinguisher from side to side until you make sure the fire is out.
Even after following the right procedure, a defective fire extinguisher may fail to perform its intended function due to its failure to discharge the extinguishing agent. Before rushing to use a fire extinguisher when a fire breaks out, you need to consider several factors. Your ability to effectively use fire extinguishers is one of the things you need to consider. If you are unsure of your safety after using the extinguisher, contacting the fire department would be a wiser decision.
Frequently Asked Questions on Kidde Fire Extinguishers
When we purchase a fire extinguisher, we feel safe and trust that they serve their purposes during emergencies. Safety is not always a guarantee for individuals who purchase Kidde fire extinguishers. The extinguishers from these manufacturers have been reported to fail to discharge or dethatch the nozzle causing unexpected injuries and property damage. You want to be more informed on the nature and function of this product. The following are some frequently asked questions on Kidde fire extinguishers:
How long does a Kidde fire extinguisher last?
Even though there is no expiry date on the fire extinguishers, they do not last forever. According to the manufacturers, most extinguishers should last for five to fifteen years. The materials used to stop fire lose their effectiveness with prolonged stay. Therefore, if your fire extinguisher is older than fifteen years, you need to consider replacing it.
Can a Kidde fire extinguisher be refilled?
Disposable fire extinguisher models cannot be recharged. However, Kidde fire extinguishers with a metal valve are built in a way that they could be recharged. If the needle on the pressure gauge of your fire extinguisher is in the green area and is not older than twelve years, your extinguisher is still good.
Who is the manufacturer of the Kidde fire extinguisher?
Kiddie is a brand and division of carrier global. Kidde is a manufacturer and distributor of fire detection and suppression equipment. If you or your loved one is a victim of defective Kidde fire extinguishers, you can file a lawsuit against the manufacturers to recover compensation for your damages.
Why was the Kidde Fire extinguisher recalled?
Kidde fire extinguishers with plastic handles were recalled for failure to discharge. Other extinguishers required a lot of energy to discharge, resulting in many injuries and property damage. Another reason why the fire extinguishers were recalled is that the nozzle was reported to detach, and the defect caused the death of one person.
How do I know my fire extinguisher is among those that were recalled?
Almost forty million fire extinguishers produced between 1973 and 2017 are a part of the Kidde recall. To check whether you're plastic handle Kidde fire extinguisher, you need to have the actual extinguisher see the model and serial number. However, you could contact the manufacturers to make sure you have a safe and effective device.
Damages Caused by Kidde Fire Extinguishers
If you suffered injuries or property loss from Kidde fire extinguishers, you are eligible for compensation, even if you did not own the extinguisher. When filing a lawsuit to recover damages, it is crucial to understand the damages caused by defective extinguishers. Calculating the damages plays a significant role in the outcome of your lawsuit. When Kidde fire extinguishers fail to deploy during a fire emergency, users could be victims of serious injuries and property loss. Injuries common to defective fire extinguishers include:
Smoke inhalation is one of the most common causes of death during fires. The injury is caused by inhalation and asphyxiation of carbon monoxide. Smoke inhalation is a complex injury that affects your airways and, within a short time, becomes a threat to your life. When a fire breaks out, most individuals will rush to the fire extinguishers with the hope of putting off the fire. When the extinguisher fails to deploy, one could be stuck in the fire and inhale the harmful gases.
Smoke inhalation can cause several signs and symptoms depending on the extent of the fire and, materials that are burning:
- Coughing is the immediate reaction of your body to smoke inhalation. This is your body's attempt to get rid of the gas particles from your system. Mucous membranes in the respiratory tract will secret mucus when they are irritated, and coughing is a way to remove the mucus.
- Shortness of breath. An injury to your respiratory tract caused by smoke inhalation decreases oxygen flow to your blood. Rapid breathing can result from the body's attempt to compensate for the smoke damage.
- Exposure to carbon monoxide occurs in all fires. When a fire extinguisher fails, you are likely to stay in the fire longer. This causes carbon monoxide poisoning, evident by nausea, headache, and sometimes vomiting.
- Hoarseness and noisy breathing are common. Depending on the materials that are burning, the smoke could irritate your vocal cords and cause swelling. This will tighten your airways and cause difficulty in breathing.
- Skin Changes. When you inhale too much smoke, your body could lack oxygen, causing your skin to change color.
- Damage to the eyes. Smoke could irritate your eyes, cause redness, and also burn your cones. This can make it difficult for you to navigate through fire and result in more injuries.
- Chest Pain. Prolonged inhalation of the smoke will irritate your respiratory tract. This then causes a serious cough that could cause chest pains. Severe chest pain is a sign that your respiratory system is significantly affected by the smoke.
Inhaling smoke in a fire could worsen your condition if you suffer from asthma or bronchitis. Smoke inhalation may seem like a minor injury to many, but its effects on your body could be significant. If you have suffered smoke inhalation injuries due to defective Kidde fire extinguishers, you can sue the manufacturer for compensation.
Users of fire extinguishers from Kidde are at risk of suffering serious burn injuries when the devices fail to launch during a fire. Burns are caused by prolonged exposure to chemicals or high temperatures. Burn injuries could be very devastating. This is because the skin is a significant part of your body that regulates different body functions.
Burn injuries are categorized based on the severity of the damage done to your body:
- Firth Degree. The mildest form of burns you can suffer is the first degree burns. This type of injury affects the outermost part of the skin and is not often serious. First-degree burns are characterized by reddening the skin or slight pain, and it can be treated with cold water and cream. However, seeking medical care after involvement in a fire is crucial.
- Second degree. Damage of the outer layer of the skin and the layer beneath is classified as a second-degree burn. Most individuals who undergo fire extinguisher malfunction are likely to suffer more than minor burns. This type of burn injury can cause blisters to the skin. Most second degree burns take a while to recover and require immediate medical attention.
- Third-degree. Often known as full-thickness burn, this type of injury destroys a significant part of your skin. Third-degree burns cause charring and browning of the skin. Healing of third-degree burn wounds may take a lot of time, and specialized medical care is required. Also, scars that will require graphing may be left by these injuries.
- Fourth degree. Fourth-degree burns cause injury not only to the skin but to tissues and bones of the affected area. These injuries could result in amputation or removal of the affected areas.
Burn injuries could affect your life significantly. The prolonged stays in hospitals and huge medical bills could take a toll on your financial and professional life. Individuals who have suffered injuries due to defective Kidde fire extinguishers have a right to seek compensation for damages caused by this defect.
Kidde Fire Extinguisher Recall
For fire extinguishers purchased up to 2017, many reports on injuries and even death were reported due to the defective device. In 2014 a fire extinguisher failed to work during a car fire, leading to the victim's death. Sixteen cases of injuries and more property damage reports occurred when the extinguishers were not working or failed to launch in a fire completely.
The Kidde fire extinguishers were listed under the Consumer Product Safety Commission and were sold under different brand names. After the reports on malfunctioning extinguishers, the manufacturers recalled the product. The 2018 recall was the third and biggest recall that kiddie has issued over their extinguishers. Earlier recalls were made in 2009 and 2015, respectively.
The 2018 recall raised many questions on how the defective products entered the market and why it took long for manufacturers to act on the issue. According to a policy analyst, the manufacturers owe the public an explanation and compensate anyone who suffered injuries from their defective products.
The recalled extinguishers were red, white, and silver ones and were sold nationwide for between $12 to $200 in hardware stores, home improvement stores, online retailers, among other places.
Two types of fire extinguishers were included in the recall. The plastic handle and push-button indicator indicated some problems with clogging and detaching of the nozzle. If you own an extinguisher with a gauge, you should look out for the vertically oriented pull pin fixed with connections or hanging down. Even though the defective extinguishers had a plastic handle, the ones with horizontal pins were not included in the 2018 recall. If your extinguisher has a metal handle and a pull pin, it was not affected by the recall.
The recalled plastic handle fire extinguishers were sold from 1973 to 2017 by different retailers. Once you have checked your extinguisher and determined whether it is affected, you should avoid using it and return to the manufacturer. If you had already used the defective product and suffered an injury, you can recover compensation by filing a claim.
Kiddie is offering replacements for individuals who own one or more units of the recalled extinguishers. If you know someone with the recalled extinguisher, you need to inform them to contact kiddie for a replacement. If you seek a replacement, you should check the brand name and the model number against the CPSC notice on the recall. The model numbers are indicated on the extinguisher body. The manufacturer of Kidde extinguisher urges all consumers you keep the current extinguisher until a new one arrives.
The new extinguishers will have metal handles, and the experts claim that all the problems that prompted a recall will be addressed in the new model. The exchange is an opportunity for you to replace your fire extinguisher regardless of age. Since most people may not have their recipes, proof of purchase is not required for you to receive an exchange.
Even though the recall goes out for fire extinguishers manufactured in 1973, you should not keep it that long. Fire-retardant chemicals are known to lose their effectiveness with prolonged stay. Therefore, individuals who have non-rechargeable fire extinguishers 12 years older than the manufacture date are advised to dispose of them.
Joining a Class Action to Seek Compensation for Defective Fire Extinguishers
Purchasing a fire extinguisher is one of the measures that most people take to ensure their families' safety. When a fire extinguisher fails to perform its purpose, the manufacturer could be liable for injuries and damage that result from the incident. Since many individuals suffer damages from Kidde fire extinguishers, it would be wise to join a class action against the manufacturers.
A class action is a type of legal action involving a group of individuals who file a lawsuit against one defendant. People sharing a class action must have common interests and should have suffered a similar fate. Regardless of the extent of your damage, joining a class action guarantees that you will receive compensation.
Active involvement is not required for you to be part of a class action. A representative is chosen to represent other plaintiffs. As long as you submit the claim, you can recover compensation after winning the lawsuit. Even though a class action lawsuit benefits involved parties, you can opt-out if you believe your interests are not well represented. Some of the benefits you accrue from joining a class action include:
- You spend less on legal fees. When you join a class-action lawsuit, you will not need to find lawyers to represent you. Also, the litigation fee is shared among the class members; hence you pay less.
- You have a higher chance of recovering small damages. If a class action is successful, the members will share the benefits equally. Therefore, individuals who suffered small injuries have a chance to get compensation.
- There is strength in numbers. Class action consists of many individuals with similar interests. This helps strengthen the case and improves the chances of recovery.
Compensation from a Defective Extinguisher Lawsuit
The results of a defective fire extinguisher could be devastating. Compensation for injuries from defective fire extinguishers can be sought through a personal injury lawsuit or a class action. When you file a personal injury lawsuit, you will have to contact a lawyer for legal guidance and representation. However, for a class action, you will join a group of individuals who have suffered the same fate to file a joint claim. If you are successful in your claim, you can recover the following benefits:
Injuries from a defective fire extinguisher are life-threatening. Some injuries like burns take a long time to recover, and you end up using a significant amount in medical bills. Sometimes the injuries may bring other complications that you have to deal with for a lifetime. Therefore, if you are successful in your lawsuit, you can recover compensation for current and future medical expenses.
Loss of Income
Injuries that result from defective fire extinguishers could cause permanent or temporary impairment. When you suffer burn injuries and complications from smoke inhalation, it isn't easy to carry out your normal activities. Lost income is the amount you would have earned if you never suffered the injuries. Whether you are pursuing compensation in a personal lawsuit or a class action, you may need to show proof of the lost income.
Future Lost Earnings
When injuries take a long time to recover, your ability to return to your job and earn a living is compromised; therefore, if a defective Kidde fire extinguisher is the cause of your injuries, you can recover compensation for lost future earning capacity.
Fires that are not controlled not only cause injuries to people but can significantly damage property. If you lost property in a fire where a fire extinguisher failed to serve its purpose, you could recover compensation for the lost property.
Mental and Emotional Trauma
Even when you do not suffer physical injury, the inability to control fire is devastating. A dollar value cannot be put on emotional and mental trauma. However, you can recover compensation for the damages.
Seek Guidance from Professionals Near Me
When you purchase a fire extinguisher, you expect it to put out fire in the event of an emergency. However, this is not the case for consumers who purchased the Kidde fire extinguishers before their recall. Several victims had reported that the extinguisher failed to launch when a fire broke out, resulting in serious injuries. If you have a fire extinguisher purchased before 2018, when the product was recalled, you are required to return it to the retailer.
However, if you have suffered injuries from the defective product, you can sue the manufacturer for compensation. Due to the increased number of complaints about the Kidde fire extinguisher, joining a class action could be a wise decision. With a class action, you will join other victims to file a single claim.
If you wish to pursue compensation from the Kidde extinguisher manufacturer, you need a legal expert’s guidance. At Consumer Alert Now, we have competent lawyers who could guide you through joining the relevant class action. Call us today from any state at 800-511-0747.