House fires are devastating. Even if everyone in the house escapes unscathed, thousands of dollars in property damage can be done in a matter of a few minutes. Insurance will replace some of these items, but family heirlooms and photographs are not replaceable with money.
Fire awareness is not as commonplace as it should be. Every day, we interact with dozens of objects that present significant fire risks, including space heaters, curling irons, and electrical outlets. In part, because these items are so much a part of our everyday life, we tend to overlook them.
Open flames always represent a fire danger. In fact, certain types of open flames are particularly common causes of household fires. These include:
- Stovetop flames, particularly with gas stoves
- Smoking, particularly smoking near beds or other linens
Smokers can grow particularly jaded regarding the risk of cigarettes causing fires. Because many people smoke hundreds and hundreds of cigarettes without a fire occurring, they falsely assume that the risk is not high. But in reality, cigarettes are responsible for tragedy after tragedy. Quitting smoking is an option, but most people can’t choose not to use their stove or fireplace, and even candles can seem like a necessity in the event of a power outage. Practicing reasonable care when using these items is key to minimizing your risks.
If you or someone you love has suffered through a house fire, one of the first things investigators will determine is the cause of the fire. Often these fires are caused by other parties, or by faulty wiring or faulty manufacturer of a household item. If the fire that caused your injury was caused by another party’s negligence, your best bet is to retain an experienced attorney who can help you explore your legal options.