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Space Heaters may Pose a Threat to Framingham Residents Trying to Keep Warm

Snow PlowThis winter has been the worst in decades for many parts of the country, and New England has certainly gotten its fair share of severe weather. As of today, January 21st, Framingham has declared a snow emergency, meaning that parking on all arterial roads is prohibited. The move comes in response to the National Weather Service predicting heavy snowfall overnight, with some areas expected to receive accumulation of several inches or more.

It goes without saying that driving in these kinds of conditions can be treacherous, and accumulations of snow or ice can significantly increase the risk of slip and fall accidents. These types of accidents may be compensable and anyone injured in one should contact a Framingham personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

Less obvious are the dangers that winter storms create for those who choose to stay in the comfort of their own homes. A disruption in electrical or gas service can be particularly dangerous in cold weather, as many modern homes require either one or both of these utilities in order to be heated. When they fail, many people turn to generators and space heaters in order to keep their houses warm. As effective as these devices may be, they also have the capability to cause serious injury when consumers are inadequately warned about the dangers they pose or they malfunction due to defective manufacture or design.

Thousands of people every year are seriously injured in accidents involving space heaters. In an effort to keep people safe, the CPSC has issues some safety tips to people who use space heaters to keep warm in cold weather. They include the following:

  • Use a space heater that has been tested to the most recent safety standards and have been certified by a recognized laboratory.
  • Always place space heaters on a flat, hard, and nonflammable surface.
  • Keep the space heater at least three feet from any flammable materials.
  • Keep children and pets away from space heaters.
  • Turn space heaters off when going to sleep.
  • Never use the wrong type of fuel (e.g. gasoline instead of kerosene) in a space heater.
  • Only use space heaters designed for indoor use indoors.

Unfortunately, accidents occur even under the best of circumstances. When they happen because of someone’s negligence, victims may be able to recover by bringing a legal claim against the negligent party. Product liability law involves claims against manufacturers for negligently designing or manufacturing a product, or failing to warm a consumer about a nonobvious danger that could be mitigated by an adequate warning to the consumer. Some instances of accidents that could indicate that you may have a claim against a space heater manufacture include:

  • Overheating
  • Tipping over
  • Cord insulation fraying or melting
  • Causing burns
  • Unit catches on fire

A Framingham personal injury attorney will be able to review the circumstances of your accident and determine whether you have a claim. To schedule a free consultation with lawyer Daniel Cappetta, call our office today at (508) 969-9505 or fill out or contact form available on the right side of this page.