Safety experts: Kidde recall affects South Dakotans

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - It's one of the biggest recalls ever.
The company Kidde is recalling nearly 40 million fire extinguishers.
The recall covers dozens models with manufacture dates spanning all the way to 1973.

When a fire extinguisher is functioning properly all you have to do is pull off a seal, pull out this pin, aim, and squeeze, and it will work, but for nearly 40 million extinguishers across the country, that might not be happening.

“Probably going to affect a lot of residents in Sioux Falls and the surrounding area. I think it's going to affect a lot of people,” Mike Top, Sioux Falls Fire Rescue Battalion Chief of Enforcement and Investigation said.

Kidde is a brand people find in stores across South Dakota.

“They're pretty popular because they're readily available,” Top said.

According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, these fire extinguishers with a plastic handle may become clogged and fail to spray in an emergency. The nozzle can also come off with enough force to cause injury.
This defect has resulted in one death, 16 injuries, and 91 reports of property damage.

Fire officials in Sioux Falls say these types of extinguishers are most commonly found in homes.

“In their RV, in their boats, those are the types of places those will end up as well,” Jerry Justice, Justice Fire and Safety General Manager said.

“I know I have a Kidde fire extinguisher on my boat, so when I get home tonight I will be making sure that I have a good fire extinguisher on my boat,” Top said.
Having a fire extinguisher that works properly can mean the difference between life and death.

“You're also saving your own, possibly your families lives, or your neighbors lives by keeping that fire either put it out, or keeping it very small and contained,” Top said.

Jerry Justice has sold fire extinguishers for three decades.
He recommends avoiding extinguishers with plastic handles.

“They're not reliable in the history that I’ve seen, and that's just my perspective. Metal is always better. Get what you pay for,” Justice said.

Justice says this isn't the first time a fire extinguisher with a plastic handle has been recalled and industrial grade fire extinguishers are required to have metal handles.

According to the US Consumer Protection Safety Commission, Walmart and Sears have carried these recalled fire extinguishers for years.