About Mattress Fires and Flammability Standards
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 out of the reach of children helps avoid mattress fire accidents. Even when home playing, children should be supervised and warned of the danger of playing with fire.
Cigarette smoking brings the fire igniting element directly into the bed. A quarter of all mattress fire accidents are caused by children playing or people smoking in bed. After lit cigarettes, matches and lighters lead the form of ignition for mattress and bedding fires. The U.S. Fire Administration found that two thirds of the injuries in mattress and bedding fires occur to people attempting to control the fire.
The Law Requires Mattresses to be Tested
Federal laws require mattresses to be tested to make sure they do not ignite easily. Testing is conducted during the design process when the mattress is in the prototype phase, well before the product enters the manufacturing, marketing, and sales to consumer stages.
Mattress Safety Standards
The Federal Mattress Flammability Standard was enacted in 2007 by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The standard requires all mattress manufactured after 2007 resist ignition from cigarettes or other smaller fire flames. A new standard is being developed by the CPSC that will seek to also make mattresses resistant to candle flames, matches and lighters. However, there are millions of mattress in current use that were manufactured prior to 2007. These outdated mattresses are more fire prone. Landlords and other businesses should be aware of this and should take steps to replace their mattresses with safer more fire resistant mattresses.
Legal Remedies for Mattress Fire Accidents
Most mattress fire accident lawsuits involve wrongful death claims. A sleeping person whose mattress ignites has a very small window to escape. The time it takes the person to wake up may be all the time the fire needs to overtake the mattress and anyone sleeping in or around it. The U.S. Fire Administration found that a sleeping person has a 43% chance of dying from a mattress fire accident. A main culprit, contributing to such a high death count, is that the smoke alarms were either not present or not working properly in 62% of all mattress fire accidents.
Keep in mind, mattresses and bedding, are highly flammable. While some manufacturers test materials to determine flammability rates, others do not. Some manufactures may also be sued under theories of products liability for failure to test or warn of the high flammable content of their mattress or bedding products.
Protecting Your Family and Belongings
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, a working fire alarm dramatically increases a person’s chance of surviving a fire. Over 90 percent of homes have a smoke detector but they are not always maintained or operating properly at the time of the fire. Make sure as part of your home maintenance routine that you check the smoke, fire, and carbon monoxide alarms to ensure you can receive a warning when a fire occurs in your home. Landlords, building owners, apartment complex owners and property management companies should understand the importance of properly maintaining these fire safety devices because 52% of residential fatalities occur in homes with no smoke alarms.
Injured by a Mattress Fire Accident in Massachusetts?
Experienced Boston Area Personal Injury Attorneys – Initial Consultations Are Always Free – No Fee Unless We Recover For You
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a mattress fire accident, then call the mattress fire accident lawyers at the law offices of Gerald J. Noonan today. We have a proven track record with over 35 years of legal experience. Our mattress fire accident attorneys have successfully represented victims of fire accidents for decades and we are ready to take on your case today.
No matter where you are located, we are just a phone call away. Call our law offices today to schedule a free no-obligation case review and consultation at (508) 588-0422 or click the link below to use our Free Case Evaluation Form.
Our personal injury lawyers assist accident victims throughout all of Massachusetts, including but not limited to Plymouth County including Brockton, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Marshfield, Hingham, Duxbury, Wareham, Abington, Rockland, Whitman, Hanson, Holbrook, Middleborough; Norfolk County including Quincy, Stoughton, Dedham, Weymouth, Braintree, Avon, Holbrook, Randolph, Canton, Sharon, Brookline, Franklin; Bristol County including New Bedford, Fall River, Taunton, Attleboro, Mansfield, Easton, Raynham, Lakeville, Norton; Cape Cod, Hyannis, Falmouth, Barnstable, Worcester, Springfield, Holyoke, and the Greater Boston area including Cambridge, Somerville, Medford, Everett, Lawrence, Lynn, Revere, Dorchester, Roxbury.
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