According to the U.S. Fire Administration, each year house fires kill more Americans than all natural disasters combined. Cooking, arson, and heating are the leading causes of house fire accidents. The most vulnerable members of the family are senior citizens over the age of 65 and young children under 5 years old.
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, tasteless and odorless gas that is toxic to humans and pets. Carbon monoxide is a byproduct of combustion and is produced when the generator burns gasoline. The most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, and a feeling of weakness. When someone is exposed to carbon monoxide they can become confused, disoriented, experience visual disturbances, faint and may have a seizure.
One of the areas in the home most prone to fires is the kitchen. The power source (gas or electric) can be defective. The resulting flame or fire, the capacity of walls to accumulate grease, and problems with the stove-top or other kitchen appliances itself may lead to a significant fire in your house or apartment.
Mobile home park and trailer fires can be a destructive force. A neighbor’s negligence or a landlord’s failure to provide a safe environment, can cause you to lose your home, all of your belongings, or a loved one. A fire started in one home can easily spread to the next home and before you know it an entire park can be engulfed in flames.
Apartment complex fire victims face years of recovery for burns and other respiratory injuries. If a family member dies during the blaze, the landlord or responsible party may be sued for wrongful death if the fire was caused by inadequate safety equipment or fire prevention protocols. Because homes contain flammable materials, like drapes, the apartment dweller may not have enough time to escape or get all members of the family out before the flames, heat and smoke from the fire take over.
The cause of the electrical fire is often unseen, located behind the walls or in electrical wiring. The victims are often caught by surprise, unaware of the danger. Building codes and manufacturing standards exist to keep people safe and to hold people responsible for the victim’s injuries when those standards are not followed or short-cuts are taken.
The NFPA identified the leading factors contributing to home space heating fires. The main causes are failing to clean the chimney and failing to clean the creosote from the solid-fueled space heating equipment. The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) determined that after cooking, heating is the number two cause of home fires.
It is hard to believe that many home fires begin with the mattress or bedding in bedrooms. Between the period of 2005 to 2009, the National Fire Protection Association, estimates that in roughly 10,260 reported house fire accidents, the mattress or bedding was the first item ignited. Mattress fire accidents cause an average of 371 civilian deaths and 1,340 civilian injuries, and millions of dollars in real property and personal property damage. How Mattress Fires Start The leading causes of mattress and bedding fires are smoking in the bed and children playing with matches in bed. Keeping matches and lighters … Read more…
Unlike with mattresses, most of the fire prevention procedures and practices in the upholstered furniture segment come from the manufacturers themselves. There is no federal requirement to test the combustibility of upholstered furniture even though there is a substantial loss of life associated with fires that originate with the family couch.
The most important thing someone can do to avoid a dryer or washing machine fire is to clean the lint filter between washes. According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2010, there were about 16,800 reported fires involving clothes dryers or washing machines in homes. 51 people died, 380 people were injured, and millions of dollars in property damage was recorded.
The State of Massachusetts requires propane tanks to be equipped with overfill prevention devices. This device prevents people from refilling the tanks with an unsafe level of propane gas. Additionally, improvements were made to the hoses and connectors that carry the propane from the tank to the appliance or BBQ. Particularly with BBQs made after 1995, a shut-off mechanism is triggered if the grill overheats or malfunctions.
Hot water heaters heat water contained in tanks so that when you turn on the kitchen or bath tap inside the home, hot water comes out of the faucet. The hot water heater is responsible for heating household water, whether in a house or apartment building, to a safe level. During the heating process, excess pressure is created that is then released automatically through a safety valve on the hot water tank. Sometimes the hot water heater can produce pressure levels that are dangerously high causing the entire hot water heating system to fail. This failure produces a hot water … Read more…
Proper Storage is Key to Avoiding Massive Explosions Acetylene is stored in a high pressure cylinder filled with a porous material that contains acetone. As with any gas, proper care should be exercised to seal the cylinder once it has been used and maintain proper ventilation systems so that there is no release of the gas into a confined or closed space. Leaks should be avoided for the same reasons. For example, a steam fitter left an E-size oxygen tank and acetylene cylinder on the back seat of a double cabin truck over the weekend. The acetylene cylinder was not … Read more…
A natural gas explosion is generally the result of negligence by an individual or company. A gas leak of some kind combined with an ignition spark is enough of a trigger to cause a natural gas explosion. Gas tanks, valves, and pipelines are supposed to be leak proof. So if a gas leak leads to an explosion, it is very likely that the cause was a negligent act or omission.
Personal injury cases involving house and apartment explosions are very difficult and complicated. The majority of the time an explosion accident is the result of the negligent or careless acts of a company or an individual and so the first and most important question that needs to be answered is “who is responsible for the explosion accident.”