Fire Hazards in Residences

Your home is your shelter and security, so it doesn’t make sense if it is in danger of igniting. You, as a property owner, has the responsibility of ensuring the safety of your home against fires. In fact, you are legally bound to this responsibility. According to the website of Russo, Russo & Slania, P.C., fires are under premises liability.

Premises liability states that a property owner is liable for the accidents and injuries that have occurred in its premises, especially if there is negligence involved. This can translate to huge financial burdens, including property repair costs, medication costs, and compensatory costs for those you have unnecessarily inconvenienced.

The first step to avoid fires in your residence is to know the hazards that can actually cause residential fires. They are enumerated below.

Direct Fire Sources

The most obvious fire hazard is, well, fire itself. There are many fire sources inside the house, and if you are negligent enough, they may spell disaster. The most common ones are candles, lighters, and matches. Make sure that you do not leave these materials unsupervised, especially when they are near children or flammable objects.

Electronics

Items that rely on electricity, such as appliances like television sets, equipment like computers and printers, and other devices like mobile phones, have always been known to cause fire accidents in residential areas. This is particularly true for those that are defective. But those that are not defective can also cause fires, especially those that directly involve fire and heat, like stoves.

These items should be regularly maintained to avoid fires. Those that involve fire and heat should also not be left on unsupervised.

Flammable Objects

On their own, flammable objects are not fire hazards, but they can become the catalyst for large residential fires if they are near fire or heat. Again, as a property owner, you should be responsible to avoid this, by making sure that fire and heat sources are not near flammable objects, especially unattended ones, like curtains near candles, mittens near stoves, carpets near extension cords, and blankets near outlets.

Wiring Systems

It cannot be stressed enough that electricity is a major factor in many fire accidents in residences. This includes wiring systems, outlets, and extension cords. The easiest to handle are the cords, because you just have to make sure that they are intact, and the outlets, because you just have to avoid overloading and overusing them. The wiring systems of your house are entirely different beasts, so you should call a professional to regularly check them for defects.

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Slip and Fall Accidents

Most people trip and get back up instantly, unharmed. However, some may experience recurrent medical issues or may even die from complications after falling.

When a slippery liquid or a misplaced object trips someone in public, the victim or the victim’s family may be entitled to compensation. In general, it is the responsibility of the property owner to ensure that the land or building is safe for others. However, determining if the property owner is at fault may be complicated. Laws on the subject are somewhat vague, and it is vital to prove the “reasonableness” of the property owner’s actions. If a property is not examined or cleaned regularly, for instance, and someone falls on a puddle caused by a leak, then the property owner may be held accountable for any consequent injuries. On the other hand, if that leak started the morning of the incident, the property owner may not legally be at fault.

Victims in most states must also prove that they were not being careless or clumsy. For example, if someone was sending a text message at the time of the slip, they may be held partially accountable for their own injuries.

According to Hach & Rose, LLP, a law firm in New York City, some common causes of slip and fall accidents include slippery flooring, bad lighting, or deep cracks in sidewalks. These are things that can and should be avoided; some cases of wrongful death have occurred where a victim dies from a fall due to someone’s negligence.

When someone has experienced injury or death from a situation that should have been avoided, it may be wise to seek legal representation.

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