During the transitional period between late winter and early spring, many people rely on space heaters as a cost-effective way to add warmth to a room without having to heat their entire house. However, faulty space heaters or space heaters that are used improperly can pose serious fire hazards. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), space heaters cause over 25,000 fires every year, resulting in over 300 deaths and 6,000 burn injuries.
Dangers of Space Heaters
Space heater fires are often the result of improper use, for example when a user places their space heater near bedding or drapery. Other times, faulty installation is to blame. If a heater’s screws are not appropriately tightened, they can detach and cause electrical shock. Space heaters that use fuel instead of electricity can generate carbon monoxide fumes that can cause death if used in an area that is not properly ventilated. Finally, space heaters may cause fires because they are either designed improperly, or suffer from a manufacturing defect. Victims of faulty space heaters may get compensation for injuries and property damage by filing a product liability lawsuit.
You can check to see if your space heater has been subject to a recall by visiting the CPSC’s website: http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/Recalls-by-Product/. One of the most recently recalled heaters is the KUL Fan Heater, sold exclusively at Bed Bath & Beyond. On February 4, 2016, 28,000 of these units were recalled due to reports that they are overheating and catching fire.
Recently in Lakewood, New Jersey, a single-family home that may have been used as a makeshift dormitory was burned to the ground. The occupants were awoken by a smoke alarm at 6:00 a.m. and escaped unharmed. It is believed that a faulty space heater caused the fire by igniting an air mattress. It is not clear what brand of space heater caused the fire.
Space Heater Safety Tips
- Make sure that your space heater has not been recalled, and ensure that it has the Underwriter’s Laboratories’ approval (UL approval).
- Never use a heater that you suspect is damaged, this includes the cord, the plug and the heater itself.
- Don’t leave a heater on while you are sleeping or not at home.
- Keep flammable items (sofas, drapes, fabric, drapes) at least three feet from all sides of the heater.
- Make sure that the cord, plug and outlet are not hot.
- Don’t use extension cords with space heaters.
- Keep your heater on a level surface where it cannot be knocked over.
- Do not place the cord under a carpet or floor covering.
- Keep the heater away from water to avoid risk of shock or electrocution.
New Jersey Product Liability Lawyers at Shebell & Shebell Get Compensation For Victims Injured By Faulty Space Heaters
If you have suffered property damage or been burned as a result of a faulty space heater, the dedicated New Jersey personal injury lawyers at Shebell & Shebell can help you recover compensation. For a free consultation, call us at 732-532-2011 or contact us online today. We proudly serve clients throughout New Jersey, including Monmouth County, Middlesex County, and Ocean County, including Howell, Freehold, Middletown, Shrewsbury, Wall, Keansburg, Asbury Park, Long Branch, Union Beach and Neptune.