Space Heaters can Injure
San Antonio is not known for its cold weather, but that does not mean San Antonio residents are safe from the hazards of home fires caused by heater malfunction. In fact, as the attorneys at Carabin & Shaw have pointed out in several cases, the light usage of such equipment actually increases the probability that space heaters can injure based on improper maintenance or degradation of material. In order to address this understandable lack of experience regarding space heaters, our lawyers have compiled the following information. In some cases, our attorneys can use statistics like these to corroborate your circumstances and link what happened to you here in San Antonio with what happens elsewhere.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment was involved in approximately 57,100 reported home fires in the United States in 2010. These fires caused 490 deaths, 1,540 injuries and $1.1 billion in direct property damage.
Heating equipment, including portable heaters, fixed space heaters, and wood stoves, 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
- 32% of home heating fires
- 79% of home heating deaths
The following is a list of recalls of space heaters from 2011-2012 compiled and released by the Consumer Product Safety Commission:
- June 20, 2012 – Big Lots Recalls 70,500 Portable Ceramic Space Heaters Due to Fire, Electric Shock Hazard
- March 5, 2012 – 3,000 Portable Space Heaters Recalled by PD Sixty Distributor Due to Fire 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
As you can see, space heaters can injure home owners in a variety of ways at any time of the year. Our lawyers are committed to helping San Antonio families recover from such incidents. Fortunately, these types of fires and explosions are almost always preventable.
If you are asking yourself what you should do if you have been burned by a space heater, our attorney’s first piece of advice is to immediately stop using the space heater. Keep it unplugged and safely stored so other family members will not use it. If possible, follow any of the other applicable safety instructions printed on the heater, such as how to disconnect the heater from its current location and store it properly. If you feel that the ensuing lack of heat would pose a serious risk of cold, fever, or pneumonia to you or your family, see if you can stay with family or friends for a few nights, or invest in a single-room heater or portable wood stove. Move everyone into a single room and sleep together for additional warmth.
Once those immediate details have been taken care of, call us. Speaking to a San Antonio fire accident attorney can help you see what your rights are and determine what action you should take from here. It is possible you might want to take legal action against one of the companies involved with the defective heater. Space heaters can injure anyone, but that doesn’t mean you have to heal without assistance. Call us for a free consultation at 800-862-1260.