Texas has seen some lower temperatures than usual so far this winter season. This may cause more people to utilize space heaters in order to keep warm. While these devices are small and convenient, they can also be quite dangerous to use. If you have suffered injuries due to a malfunctioning space heater, the use of the wrong type of space heater for the space or a fire started by a space heater, you may seek compensation for your losses.
There are two types of space heaters: those that run on electricity and those than run on gas - vented and non-vented. Gas-powered portable heaters are generally for heating outside spaces. If used indoors, this can cause a very dangerous air quality situation, unless they are properly vented outside. Plug-in heaters are the most appropriate for in-home use.
Why think twice?
Before using a portable heater, here are few things to think about. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Commission:
- 25,000-plus residential fires every year are due to the use of space heaters
- 300 people die in these fires annually
- 6,000 people receive treatment in emergency rooms for portable heater-related burn injuries
This is a significant problem, and one that negatively impacts numerous lives every year.
If you use one...
Make sure it is a new model. Older models do not have the approved safety features. Do not use one that is too big for your space, and keep it on a level surface, away from pets and children. Do not leave a portable heater running while not in the home. If anything appears wrong with the machine, turn it off right away.
Defect or carelessness?
Some space heater-related injuries result from product defects, while others are from owner carelessness. If a defective heater or the negligence of another tenant in your apartment building resulted in significant injuries or the loss of a loved one, you may be entitled to compensation for your financial losses and pain and suffering.
Depending on the details of your case, you may file applicable personal injury or wrongful death claims against the manufacturer, others in the chain of supply or the device's owner. If one can successfully establish negligence against the party or parties deemed responsible, a Texas civil court may award you fair and full compensation for any and all legally recoverable damages.
After such a fire, speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.