During the winter months in northern California, it is not uncommon for people to rely on alternative heat sources to keep the cold, wet weather at bay. Unfortunately, doing so can end up increasing your risks for home fires resulting in serious property damages and potentially life-threatening personal injuries. Wood stoves and fireplaces require regular maintenance to avoid becoming a hazard while portable heaters can be dangerous if used improperly and are too often subject to product defects. After a recent fire in San Jose left one family homeless, we encourage you to take the necessary precautions to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.
Mobile Home Fire Impacts Family in San Jose
Recently, a fire that broke out in a mobile home park in San Jose left a family of four displaced. Officials report that firefighters responded to a call for help from residents on Hermitage Drive shortly after midnight. When they arrived on the scene, they found the mobile home in flames. Fortunately, a smoke detector alerted the family of four to the fire in the early stages, allowing them to all evacuate safely. While there were no reported injuries, the structure itself sustained major damages and the family is currently staying with friends. Fire officials are continuing to investigate the blaze and have not determined a cause.
Foremost Insurance Group, an AARP approved mobile home insurance provider, states that these types of fires are common and that one of the most frequent causes is accidents involving home heating equipment. For people in the Bay area who often rely on alternative heat sources, such as fireplaces and wood stoves, regular cleaning and maintenance can help prevent sparks, flames, and dangerous fumes from impacting the home’s residents.
The Dangers of Portable Heaters
Either in place of or as a supplement to other types of home heating devices, many people end up relying on portable space heaters over the winter months. Unfortunately, these are particularly susceptible to accidents and malfunctions that increase your fire risks.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that dozens of these products have been recalled due to electrical hazards and fire dangers over the past several years. If you do rely on portable space heaters in your home, it is important to purchase one from a reputable company and to follow these tips:
- Carefully read the directions to ensure you are using it properly;
- Place the heater on a flat, hard surface;
- Ensure there is room for adequate airflow behind the unit; and
- Remove any obstacles in front of the unit which could touch the coils, igniting flames.
Contact Our San Jose Attorneys Today for Help
At the Jachimowicz Law Group, we can assist fire victims when the actions of service providers or manufacturers are responsible for a blaze. To find out if we can help you, call our office at 408-246-5500 or contact our dedicated San Jose product liability attorneys online to request a free consultation today.