These days, smoke alarms are as important as ever. According to the National Fire Protection Association, about 60% of fatal household fires occur in homes that have faulty or non-functioning smoke alarms. To further reinforce this, homes without functioning smoke alarms have been found to carry an increased death rate (twice as much) than homes that are properly outfitted with smoke alarms.
Needless to say, the importance of keeping up with and maintaining smoke alarms cannot be understated. This post goes over some of the key facts that you should know when checking up on your smoke alarms at home before briefly looking at how a defective or faulty alarm exposes you to all sorts of liabilities. Remember that we at the Law Offices of Dean Petrulakis are always a phone call away, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you need more information.
Installing and Checking Smoke Alarms at Home
There are two main types of smoke alarms available for homeowners: ionization fire alarms, designed to identify flaming fires, and photoelectric alarms, useful for picking up on smoke-heavy, smoldering fires. It is recommended that you have both types of alarms at home, as they can help alert you to any type of potential fire threat regardless of the source or type of fire.
Guidelines dictate that you need to have a fire alarm in every room where anybody might sleep, as well as in every level of the home. You want to check your smoke alarms on a monthly basis, ensuring that the batteries are in good working condition and that the alarm itself is operating as it should be. Most models include a “test” button that lets you do this easily. Finally, fire alarms should at minimum be replaced every 10 years.
Defective or Faulty Alarms Expose you to Legal Liability
A defective alarm, or one that fails to go off when it should, can have catastrophic consequences. Fires are serious disasters that often lead to the loss of one’s home and possessions, and can cause serious injuries such as burns, throat and lung damage, and loss of life.
If someone is harmed in a fire that involved a faulty smoke detector, he or she could potentially pursue legal action against a variety of different parties. This can include the manufacturer, the owner of a business where a fire might have broken out, and yes, even a homeowner. This applies in cases where it could potentially be proven that the homeowner was aware of the faulty smoke alarm and failed to address it in a timely manner.
This is why we at the Law Offices of Dean Petrulakis always advise that everyone keeps up with and properly maintains all smoke alarms. Remember, if you need to speak with a California personal injury attorney for any reason, you can always call us to schedule a free initial consultation. Call today to learn more about what we do.