Any time a defective product causes a fire it’s a horrible situation, of course. But holiday house fires are even worse. What should be a festive time of year becomes a nightmare, all because a company was negligent in the manufacture or design of that product.
If you’ve suffered a burn injury due to a defective product, an attorney with the McEwen Law Firm will be here for you. Our firm is staffed with legal experts who have a deep understanding of these types of cases. We will fight passionately on your behalf to help you obtain the full and fair compensation you deserve.
These are the top five reasons holiday house fires occur across the country every year.
1. Defective Christmas Lights
It doesn’t seem right that beautiful Christmas lights should cause pain and misery, but that’s an unfortunate fact. There are an average of 770 fires every holiday season that occur due to Christmas lights, and the main cause is product defects. This is not only the case for indoor lights but outdoor lights as well.
Most of the time, an electrical fire will be the result of some sort of short in the circuit. When wiring is defective, the current that runs through it will generate far too much heat. This will eventually result in a spark and then a fire.
The only way you can prevent this type of terrible event is to make sure you check all of the wiring before plugging in your lights. Look very closely for any spots that seem to have melted, as well as any breaks. Also, check for any loose connections and exposed wires.
If you have any reason to believe something isn’t right, use another strand or replace the entire set. Also, check your extension cords very closely.
Lights and cords aren’t the only culprits, however. You should also make sure your outlets are in good shape. If you notice an excessive amount of heat coming from any of them, or you see any sort of discoloration, cut the power to that outlet and call an electrician.
2. Faulty Fire Alarms
When you have fire alarms or smoke detectors in your home, you expect them to work when you need them the most. But if they’ve been defectively designed or manufactured, that could lead to a tragic outcome. The manufacturer of that product could be held liable for any injuries or death resulting from the failure. If you live in an apartment building, the company that owns the property could face liability as well.
If you have an alarm or a detector in your home, check to see if the product has been recalled. That could help you avoid learning the hard way that it doesn’t work the way it should. If it has, demand a refund and purchase a new one.
3. Defective or Poorly Designed Ovens & Heating Elements
Families across the nation will gather for incredible holiday meals this season. This, of course, means that ovens are putting in overtime. It’s not a stretch to say that, in many homes, ovens are used much more during the Christmas season than at any other time of the year.
This, of course, means that defective ovens are at a higher risk of catching fire or possibly even causing an explosion. In order to be able to succeed in any sort of lawsuit against the manufacturer, however, you’ll have to be able to prove that the oven was defective. At McEwen Law, we can perform a detailed investigation to determine exactly what happened and to decide who is to blame.
A fire or explosion caused by a defective oven can obviously result in catastrophic injuries. Not only do they include second or third-degree burns, severe eye damage that can lead to blindness, and also scars that can lead to permanent disfigurement. Anyone who is hurt must immediately seek medical help first and then speak to an attorney.
4. Poorly Designed Candles
There’s nothing more beautiful than having candles throughout your home during the Christmas season. But a real candle obviously means having tiny open flames continually burning as well. So, most people will turn to flameless electric candles as well. Not only do they look like the real thing, but many of them also smell – and even feel – like real candles.
But in some instances, defective electric candles can be just as dangerous as real ones. They could have faulty wiring, or they could sit in unstable holders that could easily be knocked over and cause a fire. Some of the decorative elements that are part of the candle may be too close to the heat source and go up in flames. This is a perfect example of negligent design.
On a separate note, about 50% of all holiday fires occur because decorations are placed too close to the heat. Make sure you keep that in mind as you’re setting everything up in your home this holiday season. Also, if you’re using a real tree, make sure you keep it watered each day. If it gets too dry, it could pose a major fire threat.
5. Poorly Designed Safety Features
Products that could catch fire – or pose some other type of injury risk, for that matter – are supposed to have “fail-safes,” features that should reduce that risk. Designers will hopefully consider potential safety issues, but they miss them in far too many instances. This often results in a design defect, one that causes an unreasonable danger to anyone who uses the product. When that defect causes injuries or deaths, victims or their family members can file defective product lawsuits.