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Ensure Safety When Pipes Burst

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on January 9, 2014

We’ve previously discussed what can be done by residents of cold weather locales to prevent pipes from freezing during the winter, but one thing we haven’t really focused on is what steps to take when those precautions fail and the pipes freeze over anyway.  When this happens, the pipes are in danger of rupturing, flooding your home and endangering people in the vicinity.  To avoid danger when this happens, please consider the precautions related by the Fire and Rescue squad of Huntsville, Alabama.

The biggest danger is going to occur if the water comes into contact with electricity.  Any type of appliance could potentially pose an electrocution danger if the water makes its way from a burst pipe toward a live electrical source.

If you suspect this may be the case, then steer clear of the room in question, and call emergency officials who can shut off the electricity and help you avoid an injury.  You shouldn’t just not go near the water; you shouldn’t go in the room where the water is located.

When this happens, make sure to cordon off the area, not letting children or animals in the vicinity while you wait for emergency officials to arrive.  If you know how to turn off your water supply, do that while you wait so that flooding doesn’t continue uninterrupted.

Shock and Fire Risks Prompt Crate and Barrel to Recall Pendant Lamps

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on October 28, 2013

The Northbrook, Illinois-based Crate and Barrel has announced the recall of pendant lamps from the Finley Collection due to a potential shock and fire hazard posed to consumers.  The recall affects rectangular, small, and large lamps available across the United States and Canada, with all but 860 of the 19,860 products recalled being sold in this country.  These hanging pendant lamps have polarity labels that may either not be correct or that can fall off, and either situation could lead a user to connect the wires in the wrong manner.  This improper wiring can cause a shock or a fire.  Four shorting-out incidents have come to the fore, leading to a burn and property damage.  Owners of the products, which were sold between January 2009 and this past July at Crate and Barrel, should unplug the products and get in touch with the company.

Follow this link for more about the recall.

Tips Relate How Farmers Can Be Kept Safe From Electrical Threats

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on September 5, 2013

For many farmers, football season also marks the dawn of the harvest season.  Farmers across the state and the country will soon be taking part in numerous harvesting activities, which could signal a jump in the number of injuries that take place in rural areas.  With that in mind, the folks at MidAmerican Energy have released a series of safety tips that harvesters can put into action in order to ensure safety.

Safety starts with your grain bin.  If you need to gain access to the structure, then your first step will be shutting off the electricity in the area so that you aren’t shocked.  Once that’s complete, you can turn your attention to different hazards, such as suffocation or falling.

The first thing you might do to ensure safety in this regard is to have someone with you when you set out to enter the bin.  Rather than simply entering the structure without protection, have a harness ready to go so that you can be pulled out of the unit if for some reason you fall.

Since the tips hail from an energy company, it makes sense that much of the precautions they urge relate to electrical safety.  Farms that have power lines on the property require extra precautions that other areas might not, especially if those lines are in areas that are about to be harvested.

Any equipment you’re going to be using should have adequate clearance so that there’s no chance it’s going to strike the lines strung up above.  Augers, cultivators, and planters might each be tall enough to strike a line under the right conditions, and thus you should measure the distance when in the folded and field position to ensure you can safely pass through a given area.

Of course, the lines up above your head are but the first hazard; the second is the utility poles that actually holds up those lines.  Such poles should be given a wide berth.  If a piece of equipment ever does end up making contact with a power line, either because a pole was knocked over or the vehicle was too tall, you need to be extremely cautious.

Although it might seem counterintuitive, stay put in your seat if this happens.  The biggest danger occurs if you try to get down; when you touch both the ground and the equipment, the threat of a shock rises dramatically.  Instead, stick around until emergency or utility officials can come by.

If, however, a fire is a possibility, then you’ll need to get down.  Rather than climbing down normally, you’ll want to leap away, getting as much clearance as you can.  That way, your risk is mitigated because you’re not touching the ground and the equipment at the same time.

Over 25,000 Threshold Lamps Recalled By Target Over Shock Risk

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on September 3, 2013

A series of white floor lamps from the Threshold collection are being recalled by the Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Target Corporation due to a potential shock and fire threat.  The more than 25,000 lamps in question were sold at Target stores across the country and in Canada between September of last year and this past May.  The lamps have a three-way socket, but this can pose a threat if a person instead places a one-way bulb into the product.  A short can occur when tightening of such an incorrect bulb takes place, and that short can either burn or shock the person doing the tightening.  Six incidents involving a fire and/or a shock have come to the notice of the company at this time.  Owners are being asked to unplug the lamps and bring them back to Target to get their money back.

Click here for more about the recall.

Do What You Can To Eliminate Common Summer Shock Threats

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on July 29, 2013

The summer often brings to the fore numerous electrical hazards that citizens wouldn’t necessarily be privy to at other times of the year.  People spend more time outside, but that time can prove dangerous if it leads to an overlooked safety hazard.  To make sure that your family is protected from common threats, you might take a look at some of the safety tips offered in a new report.

Make sure that you’ve taken the proper precautions with outdoor electrical sources.  Outdoor power outlets absolutely must be covered, especially if you have a pool or a sprinkler system.  Similarly, the cords sticking out of those outlets must be kept dry and unplugged when not in use.  Ground fault circuit interrupters should be available on these outlets so that contact with water prompts a shutoff instead of an electrocution.

You also have to be careful if a thunderstorm descends on your area.  Although it might be tempting to congregate together as a group if you’re outside, this isn’t a good idea, as a lightning strike on one individual would quickly transfer to everyone else.  Instead, separate if you’re caught outside.  Head inside if you can, unplugging appliances and keeping a safe distance from corded phones, which can transmit electricity.

While you’re waiting out the storm, don’t take a shower or really use the plumbing in any way.  Finally, don’t forget about animals.  If you keep a pet outside, make sure to bring it inside so that it won’t be endangered by a lightning strike.

Avoid Common Summer Electrical Hazards

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on June 13, 2013

With warmer weather here to stay, many people are going to do whatever they can to seek solace from the heat.  But an increase in the number of air conditioners on at any given time and people engaging in water-based activities can pose electrical shock hazards that must be understood and overcome.  You can do so by consulting a few tips from the Electrical Safety Foundation International.

This will be the time of the year that you try to get your money’s worth out of air conditioning, but you have to be careful if the unit breaks down.  Air conditioners and other large appliances contribute to one out of every five shock injuries, and you don’t want to fall prey to such circumstances.

So if you’re going to be fixing things up yourself, you should turn off power to the unit before you do anything.  Flicking the correct circuit breaker or fuse is essential to safety.  Once you’re able to verify that power has been cut to the air conditioning by using a circuit tester, make sure other persons in the home understand that they’re not to turn the power back on.  You can even put up a large sign near the fusebox explaining the danger.  And if you’re not comfortable in your ability to repair the unit safely, call a professional to fix the issue.

Ground fault circuit interrupters are a great thing to have around the house, especially in bathrooms or outdoors if you have a pool or your patio contains power outlets.  When a surge is imminent, these devices will cut power so that you electrocution can’t occur.

If you do have a swimming pool, you must keep all cords and appliances a sufficient distance from the water so that the shock risk is mitigated.  When power outlets aren’t being used, you should place covers over them so that water can’t seep in.  And when you exit a swimming pool, you need to give yourself ample time to dry before using any kind of electrical device.

One instant when you never want to be around a pool is during a storm.  Being near water greatly increases the risk that a bolt of lightning will strike you, a situation that the National Weather Service says kills one in ten people and leaves 70% with longterm side effects.  And you shouldn’t cut it close if a storm is imminent, as lightning can travel up to ten miles from its source.

Finally, understand what to do if water makes its way into your home because of a storm.  Hopefully you unplugged electronics prior to the storm so that the shock threat is decreased.  You don’t want to plug back in or otherwise turn on these items until your house has been properly dried out.

Protect Yourself From Common Power Line Hazards

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on May 15, 2013

May is National Electrical Safety Month, and agencies across the country are doling out tips which aim to keep citizens safe from common hazards associated with electrical lines.  The Michigan-based Consumers Energy wants to make sure that adults and kids out playing this summer are protected from harm, while the Energy Education Council’s Safe Electricity program wants people working near power lines to stay safe.  We’d like to relate how you can ensure safety in each regard.

If your children go outside to play, make sure that they know climbing a utility pole is never permissible.  Not only does drawing near to power lines pose a shock hazard, but the child could fall and sustain a serious injury that way.  Similarly, kids should be warned not to climb a tree that’s even in the vicinity of power lines.

To cut down on that latter threat, it’s up to you to make sure you don’t plant trees near power lines.  Those trees will grow quickly after just a couple years, and the situation could prove dangerous if the branches begin to entangle the power lines.  Should you move into a home with such a tree, or a tree that you planted still shoots up around electrical lines despite your best efforts, don’t conduct branch cutting work yourself.  Call a local agency that’s qualified to handle such a job.

A typical summer activity that could prove hazardous when power lines are around is flying a kite.  Make sure your children never participate in this activity anywhere that power lines are in the vicinity, and if somehow a kite does get stuck on the line, the child should move away at once.  You shouldn’t attempt to retrieve the kite without a professional, as the shock which could take place can prove fatal.

If you do have to conduct some type of work around your home and power lines are nearby, it’s imperative that you take certain precautions.  Things like ladders and longer pruning shears need to be kept a safe distance away from the lines; the extended reach of the tools could makes it far easier to contact power lines, especially when the wind is blowing at high speeds.

The proper precautions become particularly important if you have to do any work on your roof.  Think twice about using a blower or water extension around power lines if you’re cleaning the gutters, as this could create a potential shock hazard.

Keep in mind that you don’t always have to even touch a power line to suffer a shock.  Thanks to the arcing phenomenon, it’s possible to be electrocuted within ten feet of the lines.  Thus, you might just consider hiring a professional to do roof work if power lines are that close to your home.

2,200 Chandeliers Recalled By Currey & Company Over Shock Risk

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on April 26, 2013

2,200 metal and crystal chandeliers have been recalled by the Chico, California-based Currey & Company.  100 were distributed in Canada, with the rest available across the United States between January 2010 and February of this year.  Various models are affected, but each has one thing in common:  wiring that could be defective and thus transmit electricity to the metal of the chandelier.  If the metal is electrified and a person makes contact with it, he or she could be injured.  Thankfully, no such incidents have been reported at this time.  Owners are being asked to cut power from the chandeliers and get in touch with the company to obtain a replacement product.

For more about the recall, click here.

Industrial Overarching Floor Lamps Recalled Due to Risk of Collapse

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on April 23, 2013

A company based in Northern California has issued a recall on a series of items that could pose a dual hazard to consumers in the vicinity.  Multiple instances of a defect making itself known have already been reported, and thus owners of the products should take the announcement particularly seriously.

The West Elm branch of the San Francisco-based Williams-Sonoma announced the recall, which affects Industrial Overarching floor lamps.  These 78 inch tall iron and bronze products will have a manufacture date from August of last year through February of this year.  That frame of time encompasses around 900 lamps, each of which was available from West Elm between December and February.

These lamps have joint locking mechanisms that are in danger of experiencing a failure while in use.  The lamp could then fall downward and strike a person positioned beneath.  In addition, the cord can spark when this occurs, leading to a user potentially experiencing a shock.  24 failures have already been reported, ten of which led to a collapse and three of which prompted a spark.

Thankfully, none of those occurrences led a consumer to experience an injury.  Still, consumers are being advised to unplug the lamp as soon as possible.  Once that’s accomplished, the lamp can be sent or brought back to West Elm by those looking to get their money back.

Shock and Overheating Risk Leads to Recall of 19,100 Disco Lights

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on March 5, 2013

Yet another product is being recalled because of an overheating threat.  It’s important that parents in particular pay attention to this next safety directive, though, as it concerns an item designed for children who probably aren’t as up to date with the latest recall news as their parents might be.

The New Albany, Ohio-based Tween Brands announced the recall, which pertains to Style my Room by Justice Disco Lights.  The recall affects those versions of the item with a style number of 901651 (star disco light) and 900528 (black disco light).  Around 19,100 of these seven inch tall lamps are encompassed within the scope of the recall, and each was available across the country at Justice retailers between May and November of last year.  They cost $24 at that time.

Users can actually gain access to the lamp base’s wiring.  This poses a shock threat, and the lamp can itself overheat.  One incident of the lamp overheating has been reported, as has one occurrence of an individual experiencing shock upon making contact with the wiring.

To make sure that none of these situations befall you, the lamp should be unplugged as soon as possible.  The items can then be brought back to the store, where a refund will be given.

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