Recently in Fire Accidents Category

September 17, 2010

Fire at Park South Condo in Lauderhill Leaves One Woman Dead

A condo fire in Lauderhill on September 6th has claimed the life of an elderly woman. The victim, who was 74 years old, died from the injuries she sustained during the fire. Officials are still investigating what caused the fire, which did not spread to any other units.

This is the second fire that has occurred at Park South condos since May of this year. A 30-unit building was destroyed on May 7th by a massive fire. The cause of that blaze, which landed one person in the hospital for smoke inhalation, is also being investigated. Unfortunately, residents of that building are now left without condo insurance because the homeowners' association cancelled the insurance for that building before the fire occurred.

Stories such as the Lauderhill condo fires underline the importance of having smoke alarms that are installed correctly and maintained on a regular basis. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), over 3,000 people in the United States die each year as a result of residential fires. In two thirds of these deadly fires, the residences either did not have smoke detectors or had smoke detectors that did not work. The majority of injuries and fatalities happen during fires that occur at nighttime. Smoke and toxic gas inhalation, not burns, are the major cause of fire fatalities. The Consumer Product Safety Commission offers information on testing smoke detectors and the importance of having an evacuation plan in case a fire occurs. Also, Consumer Reports offers tips on choosing smoke detectors.

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May 19, 2009

HP Laptop Batteries Pose Danger of Serious Burn Injuries

Hewlett-Packard Co. (better known as HP) has announced that approximately 70,000 computer batteries found in various models of HP and Compaq laptop computers pose a risk of serious burn injuries and property damage.  The company, in conjunction with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), announced a recall of the lithium-ion battery packs because the batteries can overheat and explode causing damage to property and burn injuries. 

Although no injuries have been reported thus far, HP acknowledges two reports of their batteries overheating and rupturing resulting in fire damage.  The Chinese-manufactured battery packs were included with various HP and Compaq laptop models and sold separately from August 2007 through March 2008.  According to the CPSC, HP and Compaq laptop users should immediately remove the battery packs from their laptops and contact HP to determine if their batteries are included in the potential hazard recall.

This defective laptop battery recall is the latest in a long line of recalls due to defective battery packs with the potential to cause fire damage and burn injuries.  In 2008, approximately 100,000 laptop battery packs manufactured by Sony Energy Devices Corp. and included with HP, Toshiba and Dell computers worldwide were recalled because of their potential fire hazard.  In 2006, some 526,000 defective laptop batteries found in Lenovo and IBM ThinkPad notebook computers worldwide were recalled because of their potential to overheat and cause burn injuries and other fire hazards.
 

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March 17, 2009

Sunrise, Florida Boy Dies in House Fire Accident

A fire at a Broward County home claimed the life of three-year-old Aiden Bizier of Sunrise.  According to reports, firefighters used thermal imaging to search the house and eventually found the child dead in the garage with his dog which also perished.  Sunrise Police and the Florida's State Fire Marshal's Office are investigating the cause of the fire.

This tragedy emphasizes the continued threat fire poses even in this technologically advanced age and the need to focus on fire safety and prevention in South Florida.  According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), in 2007 there were 530,500 structural fires in the United States which caused 3,000 civilian deaths and 15,350 civilian injuries.  Although not all fires, nor the deaths and injuries that result from them, are preventable, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the likelihood of such incidents.  FireSafety.gov suggests that everyone install and maintain smoke alarms, make an escape plan, practice fire safety as a daily routine, and take other actions in the prevention of fire accidents.

When a fire does occur, determining the cause of the fire is often left the state fire marshal.  Determining the party responsible for the damage caused by the fire, however, is often the job of a South Florida personal injury attorney that handles fire accident cases.   This is because determining liability can be a complex issue depending upon the source of the conflagration.  For instance, a fire which starts in electrical wiring may have numerous potentially liable parties including the landlord/owner of the building, the company that installed the wiring, the manufacturer of the wiring, and so forth. 

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