Maryland Personal Injury Lawyers Discuss Safe Use of Space HeatersJanuary 4, 2016
As the cold of winter finally begins to settle in, many people are looking for low-cost heating methods for their home or office. When used properly, space heaters can be a great way to warm up cold or drafty areas without having to heat unused rooms, saving on energy costs. However, if a space heater is defective or used improperly, it can also be extremely dangerous.
Common problems associated with the use of space heaters are:
- Fire – Space heaters, whether portable or stationary, are the cause of roughly one-third of all winter house fires and 80% of home heating fire deaths.
- Burns – The coils inside space heaters become extremely hot, creating a risk of burn injury for anyone or anything that comes in contact with the unit, especially small children and pets. There is also a danger that the space heater will overheat and burn flooring or other nearby items such as bedding or drapery.
- Carbon monoxide poisoning – Some space heaters use fuel instead of electricity to operate. These heaters generate carbon monoxide fumes that can sicken or kill anyone who has been exposed. For this reason, it is imperative that fuel burning space heaters be properly ventilated and maintained regularly.
Injuries caused by space heaters are most often the result of poor maintenance, faulty installation or improper use of the heater. Occasionally however, the problem is caused by a design flaw or manufacturing defect in the space heater. When this is the case, victims may be able to recover compensation for injuries and damage to property by filing a product liability lawsuit. An experienced Maryland product liability lawyer will conduct an investigation of the accident to determine whether the manufacturer or some other party may be held financially responsible.
Tips for Safe Use of Space Heaters
- Only purchase newer model heaters that are equipped with the latest safety features. Make sure the unit carries the Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) label.
- Always read the instruction manual before the first use and follow all safety guidelines. Keep the manual in a safe spot for future reference.
- Create a three-foot safe zone around the space heater to avoid possible contact with anything that could burn or ignite.
- Do not leave a space heater on while sleeping or in an empty room.
- Never use a space heater to heat water or food.
- If using a fuel-burning space heater, be sure it is properly ventilated.
- Only use the fuel specified by the manufacturer and replace it with a fresh supply each year.
Maryland Product Liability Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Those Injured by Space Heaters
If you have been injured or suffered damage to your property because of a defective or poorly designed space heater, you could be entitled to significant compensation. Contact Baltimore product liability lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton today for a free review of your case by calling 800-547-4LAW (4529) or submit an online contact form.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie and Towson, allowing us to represent victims of dangerous or defective space heaters throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood and Elkridge.