Thomas Pyles | Category: Personal Injury | March 17, 2023
A nice fireplace can make a house a home. Unfortunately, thousands of people across the country suffer fireplace injuries every year. While many of these incidents may have been nothing more than accidents, some of them were easily foreseeable. If you have suffered a burn injury caused by a fireplace, you may be entitled to compensation if it was the result of someone else’s negligence. An experienced personal injury lawyer can guide you through the claim process.
Wood-Burning Fireplaces and Stoves
The hazards associated with fireplaces are obvious – there is an open flame that can cause burns and house fires. People should also be aware that metal items around the fireplace – such as a fire screen or fireplace tools can become hot, resulting in burns when touched.
Wood-burning stoves present a more subtle danger, as it is not always obvious when they are in use. The outside of a wood-burning stove can become extremely hot – hot enough to actually cook food on. Property owners who fail to take steps to warn guests and visitors that their wood-burning stove is in use may be held liable for any injuries that occur.
If you have suffered a fireplace burn injury that you believe was caused by someone’s negligence, a personal injury lawyer will be able to determine whether you may have a claim.
Gas Fireplaces: A Hidden Danger
Gas fireplaces have become increasingly popular. They do not require a chimney, so they can be installed in homes where a wood-burning fireplace would not be an option. People who live in apartments and condominiums, for example, can now enjoy the warmth and ambiance a fire provides.
They are also popular with families with young children. This is because the fireplace can be completely enclosed in glass, eliminating the hazards of having an open flame. Unfortunately, the glass on the front of the fireplace can become extremely hot, leading to severe burn injuries, especially for young children.
Manufacturers have not done an adequate job of warning people of the risk of burn injuries associated with gas fireplaces. Landlords, hotel managers, and other property owners likewise have a duty to warn guests or visitors of these risks, especially considering that many people don’t own gas fireplaces and are therefore unaware of the possibility that they can suffer serious burn injuries.
Gas fireplaces also carry the risk of gas leaks and explosions. Gas leaks can result in carbon monoxide poisoning that can easily result in death. While rare, a gas explosion can result in very severe injuries and extensive property damage.
If you or someone you love has been burned or otherwise injured by a gas fireplace, a personal injury lawyer can discuss your options with you and whether you might be entitled to compensation.
Fireplace Safety Tips
Thankfully, there are several things you can do to protect yourself and your family. Here are some steps you can take to make sure your fireplace is safe:
- Have your chimney cleaned annually to remove creosote and other debris such as bird nests
- Inspect the chimney cap to prevent birds and rodents from nesting in your chimney when it is not in use
- Make sure you have an adequate fire screen or doors to guard against embers coming into the room and starting a fire
- Keep all flammable items away from the fireplace, including books and newspapers
- Never leave a fire unattended
- Supervise pets and children when around the fire
- Always hire a professional to install or repair your fireplace and any gas lines or other components
- Have your fireplace routinely inspected to ensure that it is safe and working properly
- If you smell gas, immediately turn off the fireplace and arrange for an inspection
- Consider installing some type of screen or other barrier to keep children and pets away from the fireplace while it is in use or still hot
Whether you have a gas or wood-burning fireplace, you should keep a fire extinguisher handy. You should also have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors installed throughout your home and routinely test them to ensure that they are working correctly.
Burn Injuries Are Very Serious
If you or someone you love has suffered a burn injury, you should be aware that it may require extensive medical treatment. Depending on the severity of the burn, it could require a skin graft and result in permanent nerve damage and disfigurement. If your injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for the following:
- Your medical expenses, especially any expenses incurred that are not covered by insurance
- Your lost income
- Your pain and suffering
Contact the Law Offices of Thomas E. Pyles if You Have Suffered a Fireplace Injury
If you have suffered a burn injury due to someone else’s negligence, you need to act now in order to protect your rights. To discuss your case and how we can help, contact us today at 301-705-5006 to schedule a free consultation.