One of the most devastating experiences is the terror from an unexpected fire. Burns resulting from uncontrolled fires are incredibly painful, take many years to heal, and may have to undergo multiple skin grafts. Skin grafts, if not properly taken care of, can easily become infected, causing even more injury to already tortured tissue. If the burn continues deep enough, nerve damage may occur. If the burns are severe enough to reach the bone, amputation may be the only alternative.
Fires can break out in many situations. The owner of the premises must ensure that any dangerous activity being performed is properly secured and prepared for the worst. In a lab, scientists may spill caustic liquid, causing extreme acidic burns to the skin. These liquids can burn through clothing and protective gear. Often, whether the perceived odor is offensive or not, inhalation may burn exposed mucus membranes. Tiny particles may enter the lungs, searing the inner lining.
Apartment fires occur often, especially in highly populated apartment buildings. The landlord has a duty to ensure the building is kept to security code. This may include emergency fire exits, fire extinguishers, and easily accessible fire escapes. Tall apartment buildings are especially susceptible around holidays such as the Fourth of July. Celebrations often bring fireworks and light displays. Should a lit firework land on the apartment roof – often referred to as tar beach – the building will catch fire as well.
The landlord is also responsible to make sure building codes are up to date and structurally sound. Electrical wiring must be supervised and tested upon installation, and property fixed by professionals when needed. Electrical fires spread incredibly fast, sparking outward and consuming all in its path. Additionally, your first reaction may be to throw water on an electric fire, in an attempt to prevent burn injuries. Do NOT ever attempt to put an electric fire out with water. Water is a known conductor of electricity and will only succeed in spreading the fire faster, and possibly electrocuting yourself as well.
The landlord/property owner/supervisor is legally responsible to follow all fire safety codes. If they have not, and you have been burned in a fire through no fault of your own, you may be due compensation for your injuries. If you have questions about a case, contact a Personal Injury Lawyer, like The Law Offices of Francis X Young PLLC.