Their nozzles also may detach with enough force "to pose an impact hazard", the CPSC said.
They are in millions of homes as a precaution and serve as extinguishers ready to tackle small household fires.
The extinguishers are sold online and at The Home Depot, Walmart, Sears and other stores.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced a recall of almost 38 million fire extinguishers made by North Carolina-based Kidde.
The recalled extinguishers date back decades and some models have been recalled before for other issues.
The problem with the fire extinguishers, as stated in the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recall notice, is "The fire extinguishers can become clogged or require excessive force to discharge and can fail to activate during a fire emergency". It also includes eight push-button models manufactured between 1995 and September 22, 2017. The model numbers are printed on the body of the fire extinguisher (see photos above and below).
The CPSC says one person has died while trying to fight a fire with a faulty Kidde extinguisher.
In 2014, emergency crews responding to a auto crash and fire couldn't get the recalled extinguishers to work and one person ended up dead. Sixteen of those incidents resulted in injuries, including burns and smoke inhalation, the CPSC said.
The Kidde Company is recalling 38-million of their devices because they might not work in an emergency.
Kidde extinguishers are manufactured in Mebane, North Carolina. Those fire extinguishers have a metal handle and are safe to use.