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Don’t Overlook The Potential Fire Hazard Posed By Your Dryer

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on February 3, 2014

This winter, we’ve talked about many of the fire hazards that tend to crop up as people set out to heat their homes during bouts of extreme cold.  If you’re not using a space heater, a fireplace, or a furnace in the optimum manner, you put yourself and everyone within your residence at risk.

However, there is another part of the home that can pose a fire hazard under the right (or rather, wrong) circumstances, and that’s the clothes dryer.  Many people may overlook this potential hazard despite the fact that it can heat up hotter than just about anything else in the home.  Thankfully, you can protect yourself by enacting some of the safety tips available from the Fire Marshal of Newtown, Connecticut in a new report.

He points out that the biggest threat to safety is when the dryer isn’t adequately cleaned.  If left unimpeded, the buildup of lint can become quite dangerous.  When exposed to sufficient temperatures, it could catch fire and endanger the immediate area.  That’s why you should clean out the filter and dispose of the lint properly.

The other area that you have to make sure is clear is the space around the vent.  If hot air is unable to properly escape via this vent, this could also pose a danger.

For more tips on how to safely use your dryer, click the link up above.

Santa Barbara Fire Offers Guidance On Safe Candle Usage

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on January 31, 2014

The winter usually sees an increase in fires as people heat their home with space heaters, fireplaces, and the like.  But there’s another hazard that can’t be overlooked, and that’s the threat that can sometimes be posed by inappropriate candle usage.  So that you and your family might be kept safe, please consider the tips from the fire department of Santa Barbara County in a new report.

First, understand the importance of supervision.  You may not think that there’d be a problem, but even a small candle can get tipped over and create a fire.  Be on hand in the room whenever a candle is lit, and reduce the risk that you’ll fall asleep while it’s burning by not letting the candle take the place of a night light.

You can further promote safety by keeping all flammable materials a good foot away from anything that could feasibly be set alight.  Anything paper-based is a bad idea, but even overlooked products like carpets or drapes could pose a fire threat if the flame comes into contact with them.

If you ever have to move a candle, blow it out first so you don’t burn your hand or drop the candle onto anything flammable.  Avoid splashing wax by investing in a simple candle snuffer, and always put the flame out prior to its reaching the bottom of the wick.

Lawsuit Seeks Reinstallation Of Furniture Chemical Law In California

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on January 28, 2014

At the beginning of this year, the state of California repealed the requirement that furniture be able to stand up to an open flame before it comes to the market.  California made this move in a bid to reduce citizens’ exposure to chemicals that could possibly increase the risk of cancer.  In order to stand up to open flames, furniture typically will have to be exposed to flame retardants that contain the aforementioned chemicals.  Now, though, the state is being sued for striking down that requirement.  Chemtura, a company that produces flame retardants, filed the lawsuit.  They contend the removal of the open flame test opens consumers up to danger in the form of a fire.

Click here for more about the lawsuit.

2,800 Ellipticals And Ascent Trainers Recalled Over Fire Threat

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on January 23, 2014

The Cottage Grove, Wisconsin-based Johnson Health Tech North America has announced the recall of Elliptical trainers and Ascent trainers under the Matrix Fitness brand.  These products could be found at various gym facilities across the country, where they were provided between November 2011 and the end of 2012, adding up to a total of around 2,800 pieces of gym equipment.  When a person sweats onto the machine or cleaning liquid is applied, the power socket can be privy to a collection of moisture that can prompt a short circuit and even an ensuing fire.  44 incident reports involving sparking, melting, or smoking have been filed at this time, though there have thankfully not been any injuries.  Until free repairs can be sought from the company, the equipment should be unplugged and no one should be allowed to use them.

For more about the recall, click here.

Even In Winter, Californians Must Be Aware Of Wildfire Dangers

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on January 22, 2014

Although it may seem inconceivable given the time of the year, a wide swath of California is dealing with what can be considered drought conditions.  A state of emergency was recently declared by the Governor, and a new article relates how persons in the Santa Clarita Valley (and potentially other affected areas) may stay safe and prevent an injury.

Make sure that you’re taking the time to clear out leaves on and around your property, as these can easily be set ablaze if exposed to an ignition source.  Don’t lose focus on things like gutters, where various debris could collect.  Also have an evacuation plan ready to go if such a thing is called for so that you and your family can get out of there with pets, credit cards, cash, and prescriptions intact.

Don’t Let Your Wood-Burning Fireplace Endanger Your Home

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on January 17, 2014

Now that winter is in full swing, residents everywhere are likely wondering when the spring is going to get here and banish the cold weather.  That may still be months away, so for now, it’s up to you to do what you can to stay warm within your residence.

For many people, that will mean using a wood-burning fireplace.  If you do this, you have to do so with the utmost caution, and you thus ought to consider the tips available from the United States Fire Administration related by the Public Safety Advisory Committee of Lawrence Township, New Jersey in a new report.

Safety begins with where you’re actually placing the firewood that is going to be necessary in order to get a blaze going.  Many people don’t think about the threat that could be posed even outdoors if the pile is allowed to catch fire.

You therefore want to make sure that the firewood is a sufficient distance from your home so that any fire that does break out doesn’t endanger your residence.  One way that such a fire could break out is from an emanation of embers from the chimney itself.  You ought to invest in a mesh chimney topper, similar to the grate that goes over the fireplace, that can prevent this.  Furthermore, make sure all flammable substances, like leaves from trees, are cleared from the immediate area and that overhanging branches aren’t going to be a hazard.

Once that’s complete, you can apply the same kind of attentiveness indoors.  If there is anything near the hearth that could conceivably catch fire, you should move it away so that there’s no danger.  It’s also not a bad idea to get in touch with a professional qualified to inspect chimneys for potential hazards so that any type of creosote buildup isn’t going to cause a fire.

Most fireplaces have one or two barriers:  a glass door and a grate.  The former is not to be shut while a fire is roaring, while the latter certainly is.  When the glass door is shut, the fire isn’t fed by the air, which can further prompt the formation of excessive levels of creosote in the chimney.

The grate, though, absolutely should be shut so that there’s no danger of a burning ember wafting from the fireplace to the interior of your home.  By shutting the grate, you dramatically reduce the threat of a fire.

This grate should only be opened to stoke the fire or add kindling. When you’re adding that kindling, use an available tool to place the log, as this will protect you from burns.  Also make sure to place new logs near the back so there’s no danger of them rolling out.

300,000 GMC Sierras And Chevy Silverados Recalled Over Fire Risk

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on January 17, 2014

GMC Sierra and Chevy Silverado vehicles of the 2014 model year are being recalled by General Motors because of a possible overheating threat.  Each of the 300,000 vehicles estimated to be affected by the recall could have a 5.3L or 4.3L engine.  The overheating issue affects the exhaust and could be triggered when the vehicle is in cold weather and is placed in the idle position.  The plastic in the vicinity of the exhaust would be in danger of melting at this point, and when that happens, a fire can break out in the engine.  The recall actually started yesterday, so owners should hear from GM soon if they haven’t already.  At that point, they can get their engine control module reprogrammed by dealers at no cost.

Follow this link for more about the recall.

27,933 Edge Automobiles Recalled By Ford Over Fuel Leak Risk

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on January 16, 2014

Edge automobiles of the 2012 and 2013 model years that have 2.0L engines are being recalled by the Ford Motor Company because of a safety issue that could pose a fire threat.  27,933 vehicles are potentially impacted by the recall, which comes as the result of an error during manufacturing.  This could lead to a crack in the metal housing of the fuel line pulse damper, which can lead fumes and even the fuel itself to emanate.  If there is some type of open flame that comes into contact with the leaking fuel, a blaze could break out.  The recall is supposed to start at the very end of February, so owners can expect to hear from Ford at that time.  A new fuel line will be installed at no cost to owners.  Ford is also noting that the owners of vehicles impacted by a similar recall issued recently still need to bring those automobiles in for additional repairs.

For more about the recall, click here.

42,500 Kenmore Oscillating Fan Heaters Recalled For Overheating Risk

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on January 15, 2014

A recall has been issued on oscillating fan heaters under the Kenmore brand due to concerns that they could trigger a fire in the nearby area.  42,500 heaters with a model number of 127.90914310 are affected by the recall, which was announced by the Hoffman Estates, Illinois-based Sears Holdings.  The motor mounts can reportedly break, and when that happens, overheating and a subsequent fire are distinct possibilities.  Two injuries and five additional smoke or fire reports have already been filed, and so that future damage can be avoided, the company is asking that the items be unplugged at once.  Kmart and Sears, the only places where these items were on sale, are accepting returns and will issue refunds as needed.  The heaters were available this past September, October, and November.

Click here for more about the recall.

8,900 Coby Televisions Recalled For Possible Fire Threat

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on January 10, 2014

8,900 televisions from the now-defunct Coby USA are being recalled by 11 of the retailers that stocked the equipment because of safety concerns associated with the flat-screens.  Affected televisions are 32 inches, have TFTV3229 as their model number, and were available across the country between August 2011 and this past November.  The failure of an internal component can trigger a fire that may be able to spread beyond the television, posing a risk of property damage and burns.  Six reports have already been filed relating instances of overheating or subsequent smoke and fires breaking out, and to ensure those are the final such issues, owners are being asked to unplug the televisions and get in touch with whichever retailers they bought the products from.

Click here for more about the recall.

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