April 19, 2012
This past weekend, a Philadelphia house fire claimed the lives of a four year old child and her great grandmother. According to the philly.com article, the house started when one of the occupants was cooking food, but fell asleep waiting for the food to heat. According to the article, a witness indicated that the fire alarms in the home did not immediately go off.
Smoke detectors and fire alarms are the first line of defense in a house or apartment fire situation. Modern buildings are built with many flammable component parts. From carpets to drywall to ceiling spackle, fire can rage through a home or apartment in a matter of minutes. The difference between life and death can literally be a second or two. That’s why fire alarms or smoke detectors are so important. They alert the occupants of the fire so they can act quickly. Lives depend on these small products working correctly.
In situations where a fire alarm or smoke detector fails or doesn’t respond fast enough, the injured occupants and estates of the deceased may have viable product liability claims against the fire alarm/smoke detector manufacturers, distributors and retailers. Pennsylvania law allows for product liability claims of this sort.
In addition, there may be claims against a landlord or property management company for failing to provide required fire extinguishers. Each local municipality has ordinances which may require these important devices. In this situation, as reported by philly.com, a fire extinguisher may have made a difference. Two lives could have been saved.
RELATED ARTICLE: Landlord Liability for Injuries Resulting from Apartment or House Fires in Philadelphia
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