In the cold winter months, individuals may use an extra space heater in the home or office to add extra heat to the space. Space heaters are small, portable, electric heaters that can be used in spare rooms, offices, or other rooms as desired. When a person purchases a space heater, he or she likely does not give the purchase a second thought.
Unfortunately, there are many issues that can arise in the course of using an electric space heater. These issues are:
- Manufacturing or design defects
- Using the space heater near fuel-burning appliances
- Placement of a space heater near flammable objects
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
If you have unwittingly placed a space heater near a fuel-burning appliance or flammable object, then this use may give rise to a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the space heater. You may also have a claim against all of those entities in the “chain of distribution” of the space heater, such as a retailer or distributor. This is because an entity becomes liable when it releases an unsafe product onto the market that has dangerous, foreseeable uses. You may also have a claim if your space heater has released dangerous levels of carbon monoxide into your home or is defective.
Contact Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers for an in-depth analysis of your case today. We work on a contingency fee basis and will only charge you a fee if we are successful in obtaining compensation for you.
National and Illinois Fire Statistics
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that heating equipment accounts for thousands of home fires in the U.S. every year. Here are some of the following statistics offered by the NFPA:
- There were 57,100 home fires occurring in the U.S. in 2010
- 490 people died as a result of home fires in 2010
- 1,540 people suffered from injuries as a result of home fires in 2010
- Homeowners suffered from $1.1 million in property damages
- Heating equipment accounted for 16 percent of reported home fires
The NFPA also maintains an informational blog to educate the public and raise awareness about fire issues. On this blog, the NFPA has written that space heaters account for 3 in 4 deaths that result from fires. The NFPA has provided safety tips that can benefit the public so that they avoid causing a fire. Individuals should keep flammable objects away from heating equipment. Individuals also should never use an oven for heating, provide maintenance for space heaters, turn space heaters off before going to bed and use the proper fuel specified by a manufacturer for space heaters.
Fires may even outbreak on business properties used for farming and other purposes. The Illinois Press Association has discovered that space heaters also account for numerous farm fires in Illinois every year.
Out of 887 farm fires occurring from 1990 to 2012, about 81 of those fires were caused by a space heater. There is an 4 percent chance that a farm fire is caused by a space heater or heat lamp in Illinois.
Fire Safety Checklist from the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal
Individuals who are concerned about preventing fires due to space heaters can visit the website for the Illinois State Fire Marshal to receive additional information. The Illinois State Fire Marshal provides free checklists that can assist homeowners and others in protecting spaces from fires. The following Fire Safety Checklist is aimed at ensuring that homeowners take all necessary precautions in preventing fires within their homes. Individuals should follow these tips to improve safety in the home:
- Test a smoke alarm once a month
- Change the batteries in smoking alarms at least twice a year
- Have a written plan of escape
- Put the written plan of escape into practice with family members
- Keep flammable objects away from a space heater, such as matches and lighters
- Keep space heaters at least 3 feet away from flammable objects
- Extinguish smoking materials
- Replace cords that may appear damaged
Contact a Law Firm with Experience in Handling Illinois Space Heater Fire Cases
If you have been injured due to a space heater fire, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers is ready to help you. Our attorneys are well-versed in the legal issues presented by space heater fires. We can analyze your claim and provide you with a free case evaluation.