High winds have taken out thousands of power lines in the last few days. It seems that Mother Nature has taken on an early promise of ensuring that March comes in like a lion. In the meantime, you may notice something else. Are there really more fires in frigid weather?
At the very least, there’s definitely some correlation between cold temperatures and putting out fires. For certain, wind helps fire spread as it impacts the supply of oxygen to burning fuel.
Meanwhile, firefighters face other challenges. Among them, includes are the ill effect of cold on fire equipment. Hydrants also freeze up or become buried in snow. And, that’s just the start of the problems posed in trying to extinguish fires when the temperatures plummet.
So, yes, there is the fact that there’s the prospect of more fire-related damage – and injuries in frigid weather. After all, the harder it becomes to stop a fire, the more the risk of horrific consequences and catastrophic injuries.
More than likely, you understand the idea that it’s harder to put out a fire when temperatures plummet. But, are there really more fires in cold weather than when it’s hot outside? What causes winter fires?
Origin of Fires in Cold Weather
The winter holiday months create their fair share of concerns when it comes to fire risk. In fact, a couple of years ago, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) came out with a report regarding home structural fires and Christmas trees.
On a national basis, there is an average of 200 fires per year related to Christmas trees. As you might guess, they just don’t result in property damage. Fire injuries don’t just come from burns. There’s also the issue of smoke inhalation. Like a recent Luzerne County blaze, fire can even end with at least one fatality.
In the meantime, you should know that space heaters can be a major fire hazard. Take the number of fires related to Christmas trees and multiply it a few times. NFPA reports that more than 20,000 residential fires occurred because someone used a space heater to take out the chill in the room.
Do you find that you cook more comfort food during the winter months? Believe it or not, that could also put you at a greater risk for a house fire. While heating equipment ranks second for fire origins, cooking equipment comes first. Other top causes of fire include:
- Electrical problems
There’s a proverb that says that “Fire is never a gentle master.” If you or a loved one has suffered loss from a fire, there’s no doubt you agree. Fire is insidious.
There’s no doubt about it. Fire takes lives. It’s a sad fact that victims can become overwhelmed with smoke inhalation. More than one seasoned firefighter tells the tale of finding someone huddled over – who just couldn’t escape smoke from entering their lungs.
Of course, fire also causes other harm as well. Those who survive fires with burn injuries not only experience pain and suffering. They may also go through surgery after surgery, and still be left with scars. Sadly, memories of devastating fire live on even after the burns heal.
Fire Injury Claims
Can you make a claim for injuries you received in a fire? What about a wrongful death action if a loved one dies as a result of smoke inhalation or burns?
If someone else’s actions or negligence caused the fire, you might be able to pursue a lawsuit. Here are some examples:
- Malfunctioning space heaters or other appliances
- Electrical failures
- Chemical combustion
- Improperly maintained or serviced HVAC systems
- Construction accidents
When you consult with an experienced personal injury attorney, your lawyer assembles documentation to investigate the accident. For example, your landlord might store chemicals in the basement of your apartment building. If you are injured as a result of their combustion, you could have a premises liability claim.
If you or a loved one suffered harm as a result of a fire, Fellerman & Ciarimboli would like to offer you experienced advice regarding your legal options. Give us a call so that we can set up an appointment. We look forward to helping you!