Category – Fire Injury
CPSC Urges Consumers to Replace Smoke Alarm and CO Detector Batteries when Changing Clocks for Daylight Savings Time
While making sure that all clocks are set to the correct time after the Daylight Savings Time change, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) encourages consumers to make sure they have installed properly working smoke and CO detectors in their home, and to replace batteries in those detectors.
According to the CPSC Residential Fire Loss Estimates report, there are more than 366,000 residential fires each year, which result in more than 2,300 fatalities. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) notes that two-thirds of residential fire deaths occur in homes without properly functioning smoke detectors.
The CPSC recommends that smoke alarms be placed outside sleeping areas, in each bedroom, and on every level of the home.
Smoke and CO detector batteries need to be changed every year and the detectors should be tested every month to ensure that they are working properly. Lack of maintenance is not the only circumstance under which a smoke or CO detector may fail, increasing the chances of a fatal or injury causing house fire. If a smoke alarm or CO detector is defectively designed or manufactured, it may not work properly, even if it has new batteries.
Product manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure the safety of consumers. If you or a loved one has suffered burn injuries as the result of a defective smoke alarm, the New Jersey fire injury attorneys at Blume Goldfaden can help you determine if your potential claim has merit. Call us at (973) 635-5400 to learn more about your legal rights.
NFPA, CPSC, and Maryland State Fire Marshall Provide Tips to Prevent Holiday Décor Injuries and Fires
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and Maryland State Fire Marshal encourage consumers to take the necessary safety precautions so that they can have safe holidays.
Every November and December, and even during Easter time, millions of dollars in property damage and thousands of consumer injuries are reported as the result of fires, falls, and other incidents related to holiday decorations. In fact, the estimated number of injuries caused by holiday decorations has increased from 12,000 in 2009 to 14,000 in 2011. Property damage has also increased. The cost of property losses from Christmas tree fires has increased from $18 million to $19 million between 2008 and 2010. Candle fires in the same time period caused 74 deaths and property losses totaling $347 million.
To avoid becoming a holiday statistic, keep the following safety tips in mind:
- If you are buying a live tree, make sure it is fresh. The needles should be green, hard to pull from the branches, and should not break when bent between your fingers.
- Place your Christmas tree and any holiday decorations away from heat sources (that are ever in use).
- If are planning to buy an artificial tree, make sure it is labeled as “Fire Resistant.”
- Decorate your Christmas tree and home for any holiday with child safety in mind if you have small children. Avoid weighted, breakable, or sharp decorations.
- Always supervise burning candles and make sure they are on a stable and heat-resistant surface.
- Only use lights and/or electrical holiday displays and decorations that have been safety tested by a reputable lab, such as UL (Underwriters Laboratories).
- Check lights before using and throw away damaged sets. Also, never use electric lights on a metallic tree.
- Make sure lights and other electrical displays are certified for outdoor use before actually using them outdoors.
- Be cautious if using “fire salts,” which create colored flames when added to wood fires. Keep away from children.
- Never burn wrapping paper in the fireplace, as they may ignite very rapidly and cause a flash fire.
Even by following these safety guidelines, it is possible for a defective piece of holiday decoration to create an injury or fire hazard.
If you or a loved one has suffered injury as the result of a defective product, the experienced product liability attorneys at Blume Goldfaden can examine the details of the incident and determine whether you may have a meritorious claim. To find out more about your legal rights and options, call us for a no-cost consultation at (973) 635-5400.
Two residents and a security guard at a South 12th Street boarding house in Newark, New Jersey, suffered second-degree burns in a flash fire on Monday, April 2, 2011. According to a story in The Star-Ledger, the three men were transported to the Burn Center at St. Barnabas Medical Center after the fire, which is believed to have been caused by a leaking gas pipe which ignited. The men, ages 55, 63 and 69 have received treatment in the intensive care unit and updates on their conditions are not currently available.
At the time of the article’s publication, it was reported that one of the residents, a maintenance man and the security guard searched one of the boarding house’s restrooms to identify the origin of a gas odor. Apparently, the resident sparked a lighter, which ignited the flash fire. The second resident who suffered burns was reportedly using the restroom at the time. A spokeswoman for PSE&G stated that the utility turned off gas to the three-story building after the flash fire and made repairs to the building.
Second-degree burns can be extremely painful and significantly increase the chances of scarring and the need for skin grafting.
The fire injury lawyers in New Jersey at Blume Goldfaden are familiar with the physical, emotional, and financial repercussions of serious burn injuries. Fire injury accidents involving burns that are caused by another person or entity’s negligence may permit those injured to pursue claims for the injuries and damages they suffer against the responsible parties. If you or a loved one were injured as a result of a fire, call us at 973-635-5400 for a no-cost consultation of your potential claim.