Across the country, every 60 seconds or so there is a fire serious enough to require a call to the emergency services. Fires cause devastating injury and damage in Hollywood and across South Florida each year. They can cause smoke inhalation—serious enough to cause life-long injury, burns, property damage, and even fatalities.
Fires can be caused by defective appliances and electronics, and in fact each year products liability claims in South Florida and Hollywood are filed for this reason. Fires can also be caused by arson or intentional acts or by improper use or storage of fuels, barbecues, and other household items.
To keep your family safe, the Florida Department of Health recommends a few steps:
1) Install and test smoke detectors in your home.
Wired smoke detectors are considered safer than battery-powered units. No matter what kind you use, position them carefully. Have at least one smoke detector outside each bedroom of the house and one on each level. Have one in the kitchen and another outside the laundry room.
Test your smoke detectors regularly; they can save your life.
2) Make sure everyone in your home knows fire safety.
Make sure children know not to turn on certain appliances. Better yet, install child-proofing on any fire hazards in your home. Even if you do reduce the risk of a fire, create a fire escape plan and practice it with your family regularly. Make sure each person knows what to do in case of a fire. Children need to be taught to:
- Stop, drop, and roll to douse flames if their clothes catch on fire
- Touch doors in the event of a fire and to never open a door if the doorknob is hot
- Leave quickly in the event of a fire and not go back for any reason
- Crouch down low and stay low if there is smoke in the house
Practice with your family how to escape from each room and practice what to do if a door is hot to the touch in the event of a fire. Practice stop, drop, and roll, too.
3) Have a plan in place for members of your family who can’t follow the fire escape plan.
If someone in your family has dementia, is an infant, or has mobility or hearing issues, your fire escape plan needs to include them, too. Consider installing home sprinklers if there is someone in your home who can’t escape easily in the event of a fire.
If you have been injured in a fire in Hollywood or your South Florida community, contact Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation. If you think your injuries were caused by a defective product, negligent landlord, or a criminal act, you may have a legal claim. Let our team help you understand your rights. Our attorneys have more than 60 years of combined experience and we work with a network of fire investigators, consultants, and other professionals to help you get answers and peace of mind.