Space Heaters Can Injure
Electric space heaters can cause serious burn injuries, especially if they are poorly designed or manufactured.
Space heaters – those pint-sized, portable, personal electric heaters used in offices and homes –can be dangerous sources of injury, especially if they are manufactured improperly. They can cause not only fires but also carbon monoxide poisoning if they are fuel-burning appliances. While fires can be caused by space heaters placed too close to flammable objects, 12% of home heating fires are caused by mechanical failure or malfunction.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment was involved in approximately 57,100 reported homes fires in the United States in 2010. These fires caused 490 deaths, 1,540 injuries and $1.1 in direct property damage.
Heating equipment was involved in:
- 16% of reported home fires
- 19% of deaths in home fires
- 10% of home fire injuries
- 16% of direct property damage from home fires.
Portable or fixed space heaters, including wood stoves were involved in:
- 32% of home heating fires
- 79% of home heating deaths.
Not surprisingly, nearly half of all home heating fires occurred in the colder months of December, January and February. More home heating fires occurred between the evening hours of 6:00 to 8:00, while more deaths are associate with the overnight times from midnight to 2:00 am.Recent Recalls Of Space Heaters, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission:
- June 20, 2012 – Big Lots Recalls 70,500 Portable Ceramic Space Heaters Due to Fire, Electric Shock Hazard
- February 22, 2012 – Meijer Recalls 6,100 Touch Point Fan Heaters Due to Fire, Shock Hazards
- January 12, 2012 – Kaz USA Recalls 19,000 Honeywell Portable Electric Heaters Due to Burn Hazard
- July 13, 2011 – Additional Retail Sales Prompt CPSC and Meijer to Re-announce Touch Point Recall of 13,000 Heaters; Fire Hazard Posed
- February 16, 2011 – Atico International USA Recalls 92,000 Heaters Due to Fire Hazard; Sold Exclusively at Dollar General Stores
- February 8, 2011 - Lasko Recalls 107,500 Portable Electric Heaters Due to Fire Hazard
- March 5, 2012 – 3,000 Portable Space Heaters Recalled by PD Sixty Distributor Due to Fire Hazard
- Stop using the space heater, keep it unplugged and safely stored so other family members will not use it.
- If you have been seriously injured by a space heater, talk with a personal injury attorney to see what your rights are, and help determine what steps of action you should take, if any. It is possible you might want to take legal action against one of the companies involved with the defective heater.
A good product liability lawyer who has worked with defective consumer products can help you if there was:
- a defect in the manufacturing process
- an error in design
- failure to provide warning about the dangers of the product
- or other problems that were not the fault of the person using the heater.