Defective Heaters Can Lead to Severe Burn Injuries

Fires are devastating, there is no doubt. And, sadly on an almost daily basis fires are caused by heaters deemed safe to use in homes and commercial buildings. They include portable ceramic space heaters, the boxed shaped infra-red ones that simulate a real fire feel, the sealed oil filled ones and the propane/gas ones that if not properly used correctly could ignite a spark and turn fatal.

But the advertisements state they are safe! And yet, somehow those heaters designed to take the chill out the air and provide warmth and comfort are now suspect in a fire case. People got hurt, property was damaged and lives were lost…from an appliance designed to be danger free.

Maybe you’ve heard about office workers who placed these small heating devices under their desks in their cubicles and simply forget about them. They used them to warm their feet in the cold months and just kept them on all the time. They were so used to the warm feeling that they forgot there was a potential for risk. Then they throw their coat, scarf, or some garment under their desk or dumped their paper shavings and that’s all it took to go from warm to very hot.

Or maybe you know of neighbors or friends placing these heaters in bedrooms or basements then forgetting they were on, only to be alerted when the smoke alarm starts to sound or emergency personnel break through their front door to rescue them.

Have you ever witnessed where faulty wiring inside the housing of these units causes overheating, smoldering and fires? The rubber insulation melts and starts to burn the surrounding areas. Again, they are supposed to be safe. You might have seen such words on the plug as “Approved by Underwriters Laboratories” or “UL Approved” meaning the wiring and components have passed a rigorous testing and have complied with established safety protocols. Or did they?

So were the heaters at fault or were the people using them without proper supervision at fault? Did the heater have a tip over switch? Or in the event of over heating could the device switch itself off? Was there proper warning language printed on the device so that users would know what to expect? Did the manufacturer adhere to the UL protocols or skip that process to get their products sold faster? Were there proper instructions about venting? Were the dangerous of carbon monoxide poisoning addressed?

These are just some of the questions we would ask in the likely event that you were hurt using a personal heating device. Yes, common sense does play a part in how the heater was used, but if the device was manufactured poorly or advertised in a way that was contrary to its suggested usage then we might suggest a claim be made against the seller and manufacturer.

If you’ve been injured as a result of an improperly manufactured heating device and your injury happened in Indiana, I invite you to pick up the phone and talk to one of our specially trained legal counselors. We will listen and if it’s determined that you indeed have a case we will let you know. Call the Law Offices of David Holub today at (219)736-9700, you’ll be glad you did!

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