WEST MAHANOY TOWNSHIP - Imagine this: a fire breaks out at your home. You go to use a fire extinguisher and it doesn't work. What started as a small problem, could all of a sudden become catastrophic. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, nearly 40 million Kidde fire extinguishers are being recalled.
"If you don't have a fire extinguisher and that fire is allowed to spread until the fire department gets there, and that's only a few minutes, that fire might be much larger than you've expected when you first had the opportunity to out that fire," Chief Frank Zangari of the Girardville Fire Department said.
Most of the extinguishers that are being recalled have push buttons and plastic handles. The recall involves more than 140 different Kidde models sold between 1973 and this past September. Fire officials tell us that a quality extinguisher is worth the price.
"You get what you pay for," Joe Kufrovich, a retired fire chief said. "If you get a $2 extinguisher, it's going to be worth $2. If you get a $29 extinguisher, it's going to be working a lot better for you."
A simple step that everybody can take to ensure that their fire extinguisher works in case of an emergency, is to once a year, turn the fire extinguisher upside down. Then, shake it to make sure that the material inside loosens up, so that when you go to use it, it doesn't clog.
"If you do that once a year and you have the extinguisher tested when it needs to be tested, that extinguisher will last a lifetime," Zangari added.
There are several other simple instructions to make sure your extinguisher is active.
"You want to make sure it's pressurized properly," Angela Ventresca, first lieutenant with the American Fire Hose company in Pottsville explained. "It has a pull pin in place. There's nothing obstructing the hose nozzle when they go to use it. Just do the pass set to discharge the agent in the extinguisher. The extinguisher itself will tell you what type of fires they're good to be used in. They also have the pictorials to show you that also."