Preparing for House Fires

You have probably heard the saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” These wise words penned by Benjamin Franklin are especially appropriate when it comes to fires. Many disasters could be lessened or even prevented if homeowners took a little time to ensure they are prepared for emergencies. Before getting down to the question of what to do if an electric blanket actually causes a fire, it might be helpful to investigate some of the preventative measures that you can take:

  • Inspect Electric Blankets – make sure to thoroughly inspect all electric blankets on a regular basis. Check the inner coils (from an outside inspection), the thermostat, and the cord for any breaks or damage that have the potential to cause fire. Discontinue using any blankets with possible danger signs.

  • Unplug Blankets – when not in use, be sure to pull the plug.

  • Have a Fire Plan – make a map of your house, no matter how small it is and think through the safest escape routes from each bedroom. Make sure every person in the home knows their specific routes.

  • Learn Emergency Contact Numbers – should be easily available.

  • Fire Extinguishers – placed in strategic locations.

If an Electric Blanket Fire Happens

Despite the greatest precautions, fires happen. So, what should you do if you wake up to a smoldering electric blanket or heating pad? Studying the following tips will give you a strategy should the unthinkable occur.

  • Pull the Plug – If the blanket is nearby and not completely engulfed in flames, pull the plug to remove the source of any electrical short. This is especially helpful if the fire is just starting. If the cord is inaccessible, skip this step.

  • Evacuate the House – Before attempting to put out the fire, get everyone out of the house. Hopefully you will be able to extinguish the flames, but it is best to first have everyone out of harm’s way.

  • Call for Help – Dial those emergency numbers and get help on the way. This is especially important if the fire is already growing.

  • Never, Ever use Water – Water and electrical wires do not mix. Although water is often our first reaction to fire, it is actually dangerous in a fire involving electrical devices.

  • Grab a “C” Fire Extinguisher – It is probably best to keep “ABC” or “BC” rated extinguishers handy so you do not have to read labels under pressure.

  • Baking Soda – If you do not have the proper fire extinguisher handy, baking soda can be dumped on small fires.

Recovering From an Electric Blanket Fire

What to do after the flames are gone and the smoke is settled? Regardless of the size of the fire, there is going to be some damage done. What you do next depends on the extent of the damage.

  • Call the Insurance Company – if the fire was limited to the blanket itself and little damage was done, this may be an unnecessary step. But keep in mind that smoke can saturate room furnishings and cause health problems later on.

  • Check the Evidence – if possible, take pictures of anything remaining of the electric blanket. Brand name and such information is important if the fire was due to a faulty blanket.

  • Call the McLaughlin Law Firm, P.C. Today – getting a personal injury lawyer on your side is one of the best moves you can make after an electric blanket fire. You may be able to get compensation as a result of a faulty blanket.

We understand the trauma of fire. We are there for you. When you cannot think through what legal recourse may be available to you, our associates are ready to work on your behalf. Call us at (720) 420-9800 or email today.