Smoke detectors save lives. Home fires typically ignite during the late evening or early morning hours, while the inhabitants are sleeping. In fact, according to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), fully one-third of fatal residential fires take place between midnight and 5 a.m.
Working smoke alarms dramatically reduce the incidence of burn injuries and fatalities. The unmistakable blaring of a smoke alarm rouses sleeping residents and alerts them to imminent danger, enabling them to escape the structure before it's too late. A functioning smoke alarm can turn an otherwise fatal fire into a survivable one.
The Disturbing Prevalence Of Smoke Alarms That Don't Work
Most jurisdictions have strict regulations requiring smoke detectors in homes, rental properties, hotels and other buildings. Despite these regulations, however, many landlords and building owners still do not equip their buildings with adequate and functioning smoke detectors. Firefighters responding to fatal blazes often note the presence of ceiling-mounted smoke detectors — only to open them up and discover they do not have batteries.
Statistics illustrate the prevalence of this needless oversight. By 1995, 93 percent of homes in the United States were equipped with at least one smoke alarm, according to the USFA. However, only 74 percent of all homes had a working smoke alarm. The remaining 26 percent were completely unprotected.
Landlords and property owners can be held legally responsible if they fail to maintain appropriate fire-prevention measures, including smoke detectors. Likewise, product manufacturers may be responsible if the alarm failed to function as it should have.
Get Answers: Turn To An Injury Firm With An Unmatched Record Of Success
At the San Francisco law firm of Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger, we strive to make a difference by pursuing justice for fire victims. If you suffered serious burn injuries or lost a loved one in a fire, it's possible that the harm you suffered could have been prevented by working smoke detectors. Our lawyers can conduct a meticulous investigation to identify whether someone else's negligence was a contributing factor.
As one of the nation's leading personal injury firms, Walkup Melodia has a legacy of multimillion-dollar victories spanning more than five decades.
We consistently attract some of California's top trial attorneys – including a doctor-lawyer with an invaluable medical background. Our legal team's winning track record outpaces any other similar-sized personal injury firm in Northern California. Contact us online or call us at 415-981-7210 today to schedule a free consultation.