Every heating season, millions of Americans put themselves and others at risk. The National Fire Protection Association reports that pellet stoves and fireplaces are two of the items likely to play a role in home heating disasters, which is disturbing given the latest recalls. In July 2015, both pellet stoves and fireplaces were recalled due to product liability concerns.
Collectively, more than 4,000 products were deemed faulty. The brand names involved in the two recalls were Heatilator®, Heat-N-Glo® and Quadra-Fire®. Each of the items on the list had defects that could potentially cause them to combust during normal usage. Subsequently, people and property would be at risk of getting hurt in the initial explosion as well as the ensuing aftermath.
Clearly, a number of injuries are likely to occur as a result of a fireplace or pellet stove explosion. However, burns would most certainly be at the top of any list. Healthcare practitioners often note that recovering from burns takes anywhere from two days to several months. And if the burns are severe enough, some people may never fully bounce back to their old selves.
Given the fuel and heat at which gas fireplaces and pellet stoves operate, people caught up in explosions would likely find themselves in the latter category. On average, pellet stove interiors can reach temperatures upwards of 2,300 degrees Fahrenheit. Gas fireplaces, on the other hand, often boast interior temperatures of 3,600 degrees Fahrenheit. That is certainly more than enough to cause fourth degree burns and death.
Even if a person manages to escape the flames, chances are they’ll be cut during the explosion. Also, there will be ash and toxic fumes in the air too. The fumes and ash alone may cause a number of negative outcomes. For example, a person may experience carbon monoxide poisoning, respiratory infections and asthma attacks. As for the lacerations, they could cause massive blood loss and permanent disfigurement.
Should fireplace and pellet stove manufacturers who produce faulty products be allowed to cause so much damage without consequence? We don’t believe so and modern-day, product liability laws agree with us. They are there to discourage heating equipment manufacturers and others from causing harm to innocent individuals. In addition, they allow victims of pellet stove and fireplace explosions to receive reparation for their injuries.
In 2013, Paradigm® Outcomes published an in-depth blog on exactly how much burn treatment costs nowadays. Let’s just say that their figures put treatment costs far beyond many people’s pocketbooks. And their totals did not include the other types of injuries that could occur as a result of a fireplace or pellet stove explosion. Additional elements were also missing from the calculations, like suffering and reduction in one’s quality of life.
Bearing that in mind, victims of faulty heating equipment may be able to pursue reparations for a number of things, not just medical costs. To find out which potentially recoverable costs the courts may consider during product liability cases and how to bring forth a successful suit, please contact us today.