During the cold winter months, many Texas residents utilize the convenience of space heaters to provide warmth. However, if these appliances are not used correctly, a burn injury and even a house fire may result. Regardless of whether you use an electric model or one that is powered by wood or kerosene, the dangers remain the same.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported that approximately 6,000 people are annually treated for burn injuries that resulted from incidents related to space heaters. An average of 25,000 house fires are caused by space heaters each year, and annual fatalities are in excess of 300. While many of these injuries and deaths result from the negligence of the user, it is not uncommon for space heaters to have a defect that may cause a fire or electrical shock.
Manufacturers of space heaters have a responsibility to supply products that will not injure consumers. Defects that could cause personal injury include faulty wiring of the appliance. They are also obligated to provide safe operating instructions with every space heater, and they should include warnings about the dangers of flammable fuels that may be used in some models. In addition, consumers should be warned about the need for proper ventilation where a fuel-powered space heater is used, in order to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
If you have suffered a burn injury as the result of an incident involving a space heater, you may benefit from a consultation with an experienced Texas personal injury attorney. The circumstances of your claim will be assessed for viability, and your attorney will suggest a way forward. If the product is found to be defective or not containing adequate safety warnings, your legal representative may present your claim in a civil court in pursuance of compensation for medical and other damages incurred. More information related to personal injury claims is available on our website.
Source: alicetx.com, "NEC encourages safety when using space heaters", Ofelia Hunter, Nov. 14, 2014