Liability for Smoke Alarm Defects
News 4 Jax recently reminded Floridians that there is a recall on Kidde brand smoke detectors and fire extinguishers due to equipment failures. Nationwide, the recalls affect almost 38 million Kidde brand fire extinguisher units and more than 450,000 Kidde brand smoke detectors.
When probably manufactured, installed and maintained, smoke alarms reduce fire deaths and injuries because they give you a loud, persistent warning when an emergency fire is detected. This can be one of the most effective ways to allow would-be victims to get out and get to a safe place.
How Important Are Working Smoke Alarms?
According to the National Fire Protection Association, three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no smoke alarms that were working between 2012 and 2016. This equated to a death rate per 1,000 reported home fires that was more than twice as high in homes that did not have any working smoke alarms or did not have them whatsoever as it was in homes with properly working smoke alarms. These staggering statistics indicate why it is so imperative that smoke alarms operate properly.
What Are Common Reasons That Smoke Alarms Fail to Operate?
These reasons include:
- missing or disconnected batteries
- dead batteries
- hardware failure or shut off
- improper maintenance
- improper installation or placement
- defective alarms
When Are Manufacturers or Distributors of Smoke Alarms Liable?
In some circumstances, the landlord, owner, or rental company responsible for a property can be held liable for a faulty smoke alarm. In other circumstances, accidents result because a smoke alarm itself was defective. In that case, manufacturers and distributors can be held responsible as any company that makes or sells a defective or damaged device could be held liable for any injury caused by equipment failure.
How Long Do I Have to Begin a Lawsuit?
Under Florida law, victims of injuries resulting from defective products typically have up to four years to bring a claim for a product liability lawsuit. If the injured party has died from the injuries incurred from the product, then the time to bring a claim for wrongful death is limited to two years.
Are You the Victim of a Defective Product?
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed because of a defective smoke alarm, you should not hesitate to hold the responsible parties responsible during. Product manufacturers have a duty to make items that are safe and effective and won’t injure you or those you love. When they fail to do so and it results in an accident, the good news is that the manufacturer can be held financially responsible for the injuries that result. The Jacksonville personal injury attorneys at The Pendas Law Firm have helped many other victims of tragic accidents during our decades of legal experience and we offer the legal help you need to be successful with your claim. Reach out to us for help today.
The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the Orlando, Tampa, Bradenton, Miami, West Palm Beach, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale and Daytona Beach areas.