Our Asheville fire accident attorneys know that smoke and flames can cause severe injury and complete devastation to a family when a fire breaks out, especially in a home. Victims in a fire often die from smoke inhalation or toxic gases but can also suffer severe burn injuries that are sometimes fatal. As winter season approaches, landlords and businesses have a responsibility to keep residents and guests safe. We’d like to remind our readers that colder weather months are prime time for a fire to break out caused by a fireplace, malfunctioning electrical wires, or a defective heater or appliance.
In recognition of National Fire Prevention Week, the National Safety Council is offering tools and safety tips to help reduce the risk of fire-related injuries in Charlotte and throughout the country. In 2009, fire-related accidents were the sixth leading cause of unintentional deaths in the United States.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports in 2010 there was a fire-related death every 169 minutes on average. Someone was injured in a fire every 30 minutes in 2010. Home fires were the cause of 2,640 deaths in 2010 (not including firefighters), and another 13,350 civilians were injured in home fires. The victims most at risk of injuries or deaths in a fire are children 4 and under and older adults ages 65 and over.
NSC offers these fire prevention tips:
-More than a third of deaths in residential fires are due to faulty smoke alarms. Check your batteries in each smoke alarm annually and place one on each level of your home.
-Carbon monoxide detectors should be checked monthly.
-Place a smoke detector in each bedroom.
-If a home sprinkler system is something your family can afford, have one installed. If you are a renter, inquire if a sprinkler system is installed in your building and how often it is inspected for proper functioning.
-Have a training session for everyone in the family on how to use a fire extinguisher. Make sure fire extinguishers are easily accessible throughout your home.
-Devise an evacuation plan and practice it monthly so that everyone is familiar with what to do in case of a fire. Landlords and businesses should have an evacuation route in place, so ask for a copy so that everyone knows how to get out safely.
Other resources provided by the NSC include creating a home fire safety checklist , which helps determine if your home is hazard-free from the most common causes of fire accidents. Also, the family escape route plan, which suggests options that family members can utilize to reach safety when a fire breaks out.
If someone in your family develops a severe burn caused by a fire, there are some things you can do to help treat the burn right away. First- and second-degree burns that are less than 3 inches in diameter should be cooled by running the burned area under cold tap water or by placing a cold compress on the area until the pain goes away. Once the pain subsides, loosely wrap or place a sterile nonstick bandage on the burn for protection. If pain continues, administer aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen or naproxen in prescribed doses to help relieve the pain.
Call 911 for emergency response if someone has suffered a severe burn.
It is a good time of year for homeowners to take the necessary precautions to help reduce the risk of a fire-related accident in your home. By utilizing preventative measures, family members can feel safe and secure all winter long.
If your apartment catches fire or if you are injured in a fire-related accident in North Carolina, contact the injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices, P.A. for experienced advice about your rights. Call 1-800-887-1965 for a free consultation.
More Blog Entries:
Heating Units Should be Checked During Fall Season to Reduce the Risk of Injury from Defective Products in North Carolina, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, September 28, 2011.