Boating safety: Kidde fire extinguishers recalled

fire extinguisher

Many or most of us outdoorsy types own and use boats in our favorite pursuits and an overwhelming percentage of those who boat are required to have a fire extinguisher aboard.

And of course most of us will never use it. But that’s about as silly of statement as betting bad fortune won’t happen to me.

Sorry, but that’s a bad bet. It happens.

So the question is, if there is a fire involved will your extinguisher work?

The popular Kidde extinguisher company is stepping up to make sure it does. The following recall extinguisher announcement has been released by the Boat Owners Association of the United States (BoatUS).


More than 40 million Kidde fire extinguishers equipped with plastic handles, some on the market for more than 40 years, have been recalled.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), “The fire extinguishers can become clogged or require excessive force to discharge and can fail to activate during a fire emergency. In addition, the nozzle can detach with enough force to pose an impact hazard.”

The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean water is urging recreational boat owners to check their boats for the recalled extinguishers and get a free metal-handled replacement by going to the CPSC recall website.

The recall affects both plastic-handle and push-button Pindicator Kidde fire extinguishers, including 134, ABC- or BC-rated models manufactured between Jan. 1, 1973, and Aug. 15, 2017.

The extinguishers are red, white or silver and were sold in the US and Canada through a wide range of retailers from Montgomery Ward to Amazon.

The CPSC recall website shows how to easily identify the affected extinguishers.

According to BoatUS, the free replacement push-button extinguisher being sent to personal watercraft owners is similar in size to the recalled model but may not fit in the same location as the old fire extinguisher and may require a slightly different mounting orientation or location.


According to the BoatUS press release, CPSC says there have been approximately 391 reports of failed or limited activation or nozzle detachment, including one fatality; approximately 16 injuries, including smoke inhalation and minor burns; and approximately 91 reports of property damage.

The Kidde company offers additional recall information online at by selecting “Product Safety Recall.”

Safety first. Hopefully, very few boaters still have extinguishers aboard that are decades old.

Safety conscious boaters are well aware that old equipment is subject to failure and indeed, they understand that emergencies don’t just happen to the other guy.

Recall or not, part of a spring start up ought to be an extinguisher up date.

In fact, why not add a new boat fire extinguisher to Bill and Betty Boater’s gift list this holiday season.


The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is a national leader promoting safe, clean and responsible boating.

Funded primarily by donations from the more than half-million members of Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), the nonprofit provides innovative educational outreach directly to boaters and anglers with the aim of reducing accidents and fatalities, increasing stewardship of America’s waterways and keeping boating safe for all.

A range of boating safety courses — including 36 free state courses — can be found at


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Mike Tontimonia has been writing weekly columns and magazine features about the outdoors for over 25 years, a career that continues to hold the same excitement for him as it did at the beginning. Mike is a retired educator, a licensed auctioneer and marketing consultant. He lives in Ravenna, Ohio and enjoys spending time at his Carroll County cabin. Mike has hunted and fished in several states and Canada from the Carolinas to Alaska and from Idaho to Delaware. His readers have often commented that the stories about his adventures are about as close to being there as possible. He is past president of the Outdoor Writers of Ohio and a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. Mike is also very involved in his community as a school board member and a Rotarian.


  1. Hi Mike. It’s great that you are getting the word out on this. I’m the founder of Homeownering, and we made a video to help people see if their unit is one of the recalled units and also how to go about getting a free replacement sent. Here’s a video on it: Maybe someone in your audience will find it useful.


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