Home Fires and Burn Prevention
Each year, about 450,000 Americans need medical treatment for burn injuries, according to the American Burn Association. In the United States, the leading cause of home casualties is due to fires, with home burn injuries accounting for about 85 percent. Almost all injuries and deaths are preventable. Often, factors such as being under the influence of alcohol, or a lack of smoke detectors are what lead to deaths and burn injuries. It is very important to practice safe fire and burn prevention measures.
How Can I Prevent Burn Injuries in the Home?
There are various causes for fires that lead to burns; however, at the root of most of these events is negligence. Essential to safety is being aware of potentially flammable objects and materials as well as taking precautions for burn prevention. Safety measures should be put in place for fire and burn prevention.
Consider the following for burn prevention and prevent fires from happening at home:
- Never leave incense or candles unattended
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Using properly maintained oven mitts while cooking
- Never smoke in bed and avoid smoking in the house
- Keeping curtains and other flammable substances away from heat sources
- Keep electrical outlets and equipment properly maintained
- Give space heaters as well as other stand-alone heat sources much space
- Prevent scalding by setting water heater between 120-130 degrees Fahrenheit
- Unplug electrical appliances when not in use
- Maintain smoke detectors or other fire and burn prevention measures. It is recommended to change the batteries in a smoke detector every six months at a minimum
What If I am a Renter and Have a Fire?
Renters Rights in a Louisiana Fire
Victims of fires or burns injuries face severe physical and emotional after-effects. They are also left with substantial medical bills and questions about how they are going to pay their expenses. When the injury was sustained due to no fault of their own, it can make the impact even more devastating. As a renter in the state of Louisiana, you have certain rights that protect you if you suffer a burn injury because of the negligent actions of your landlord. The recovery from a severe burn injury is time-consuming and expensive. Make sure you seek the assistance of a skilled burn injury attorney to get the financial compensation you are entitled to after your burn injury.
The attorneys at Cueria Law Firm understand the complexities of burn injury cases and the frustration that many victims feel when dealing with landlords and insurance companies. You will need dedicated and seasoned burn injury attorneys who will fight for your rights as a tenant that was harmed due to the negligence of a landlord. It is your right to not only recover compensation for your losses, but to hold the guilty party accountable for their carelessness so a similar injury does not happen to another innocent victim.
What Causes Apartment Fires?
There are many causes of apartment fires in Louisiana. Research has shown that the most common cause of apartment fires and burn injuries in the home is cooking. Frying food or leaving cooking food unattended can cause devastating kitchen fires that could lead to extensive property damage, injury, and even death. Other common causes of apartment fires include space heaters, smoking, and candles.
Landlords have specific responsibilities for burn prevention to keep their tenants safe from fire risks; however, not every landlord takes this responsibility seriously. If a fire in the apartment home results in property damage, injury, or death, the landlord can be held liable for the damages if they acted with negligence.
Apartment fires that result from the negligence of a landlord may be caused by:
- Defective smoke detectors or the absence of smoke detectors
- Defective fire extinguishers or the lack of fire extinguishers
- Faulty wiring
- Blocked exits
- Defective water heaters
- Poorly maintained dryer units
- Defective or poorly maintained appliances
- Poorly kept grounds
The Responsibilities of Landlords
It is a landlord’s responsibility to provide tenants with a safe and adequately maintained rental unit that complies with state and local regulations and health codes. If they neglect this duty, landlords can be held liable for the damages that result from a fire. Although requirements for landlords vary from state to state, at a minimum, a landlord must install working smoke detectors and provide access to working fire extinguishers.
If you feel that you are not living in a safe and properly maintained apartment unit, contact your landlord right away with your concerns. Keep documentation of your requests to your landlord and the maintenance issues that are of concern. If the landlord takes no action, file a report with the appropriate authorities right away. Being proactive and documenting the negligence of the landlord will help you in the unfortunate event that a serious fire or burn injury occurs.
Damages That Renters May Be Able to Recover
In order to have a valid claim against a landlord, the renter must prove that the landlord acted with negligence and that the negligent actions were the direct cause of the damages that the renter sustained. If a renter was injured in an apartment fire due to the negligence of the landlord, renters might be able to recover damages, some of which include:
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitation and recovery
- Loss of future wages
- Pain and suffering
If you were the victim of a severe burn injury, and you believe that your injury was due to the negligence of your landlord, contact the Louisiana burn injury attorneys at Cueria Law Firm today. Our team of compassionate and knowledgeable attorneys has a proven track record of success in helping burn injury victims get the compensation and the peace of mind they need after a debilitating burn injury.