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Residential Fire Risk Triples on Thanksgiving Day

The product liability lawyers at Shoop | A Professional Law Corporation, reiterating the recent warning and announcement by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission ("CPSC") remind and alert consumers that the threat of residential fires within the kitchen nearly triples on Thanksgiving Day. From the time period, 2009-2011, there was an uptick of nearly 1,300 cooking fires on Thanksgiving Day, alone. This figure constitutes more than 3x the average, daily rate from the time period 2009-2011 of approximately 400 cooking fires a day.

CPSC Chairman, Inez Tenenbaum, maintains, "If you are frying, grilling or broiling food, stay in the kitchen. Not following this advice can be a recipe for disaster on Thanksgiving and throughout the year." When it comes to residential fires, kitchen fires are one of the leading causes, accounting for approximately 150,000 reported fires (in excess of 40% of all such yearly, unintended residential fires from that same time period).

In sum, CPSC conservatively estimates an average of 362,000 unintentional residential fires, 2,260 resulting consumer deaths, 12,820 consumer injuries involving burn and inhalation, and nearly seven (7) billion dollars in property damage attended by fire departments occurring each year between the period 2009-2011.

Aside from electrical failures occurring in appliances and receptacles within the kitchen, there are additionally cooking-related burn injuries as well. For optimal kitchen safety, it is important to avoid wearing overly, loose-fitting clothing (particularly those with with long sleeves) near ranges or ovens, turn pan handles to the back of the stove so that children and others are prevented from spilling or otherwise overturning a pan's hot contents onto themselves.

In the event of a fire, remember to call 911 as expeditiously as possible. Also, cove pans with lids to smother/extinguish the flames and remember never to pour water or flour on a fire. That can actually serve to spread the fire. Always keep a fire extinguisher close to the kitchen.

Glenn Gaines, Deputy U.S. Fire Administrator for the United States Fire Administration (USFA), advises additionally that, "Turkey fryer fires can be explosive and result in serious burns. Only use a turkey fryer outside and away from your home. Never use it in a garage or on a porch. Don't overfill the oil or leave the turkey fryer unattended."

Moreover, Since 2003, there have been in excess of 125 reported turkey fryer fires, burns, smoke inhalations and/or laceration incidents, inclusive of not less than fifty-five (55) consumer injuries amongst these incidents, none of which were fatal. For these types of incidents, the total loss and property damage reported was approximately $6 million.

If you have suffered injuries resulting from a residential fire, care should be taken to retain a law firm with extensive knowledge in handling fire related claims and litigation.

Attorney David Shoop is a member of the National Fire Protection Association ("NFPA") and has prepared numerous presentations and lectures on NFPA 921 concepts, fire cause and origin analysis as well as evidence preservation. For serious burn injury cases, it is imperative to retain a lawyer that knows how to litigate fire cases and has a proven track record of success to maximize your recovery.

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