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Fire Causation

Because several commonly found household products are sold to be used and stored in the home, we assume they are safe.  Sadly, many such products create serious fire hazards and dangers. Because of the commonality of these everyday products, we may sometimes take for granted they do not pose any health or safety dangers to our loved ones and ourselves. Therefore, it is of paramount concern that you the consumer learn of the often hidden dangers of these products.

Almost every American household relies on gasoline as a fuel source for some function, whether for cars, motorcycles, boats, lawnmowers, or snowblowers. However, gasoline represents a major fire and explosion danger. Liquid gasoline does not burn, but gasoline vapors do. Gasoline is highly volatile due to its low flash point (the temperature at which a flammable liquid vaporizes) and easily vaporizes when exposed to air. Since these vapors are heavier than the air, the vapors collect in low areas closely along the grounds, seeking out ignition sources such as a pilot light. Any source of ignition (a cigarette, an exhaust pipe, any type of spark, even static spark from clothing) can ignite gasoline vapors.

While gasoline is certainly the most common, there are several other flammable and combustible liquids and gases used in the average household. In additional to gasoline, these other flammable liquids will not burn in its liquid state, but will ignite when they vaporize into a gaseous state. All flammable liquids produce vapors that can ignite from an ignition source. Some of these flammable liquids include:

Nail Polish
Spray Paint
Toluene products
Paint Thinner

There are several precautions you should take to prevent fires caused by these household products.  Keep it in a separate storage area, such as a detached garage or shed. Ensure that they are kept far away from any potential source of ignition, such as a water heater, washer, or dryer – vapors can be ignited by a spark or flame source many feet away

If you have suffered a serious burn injury as a result of a flammable product, please contact the attorneys at Swartz & Lynch LLP.  We are happy to answer any questions about a possible product liability claim.

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