We associate fire with heat, and in Ft. Lauderdale, heat usually means summer. However, a fire damage attorney often sees more damage from fires occurring in the winter months.
Moreover, winter fires may be more likely to lead to personal injuries and even wrongful death. If you understand the causes of fire damage in winter, you can take steps to protect yourself, your home, and your loved ones. If you have already suffered heavy losses in a winter fire, a dedicated legal advocate could help you move forward after your ordeal.
Take Precautions with Space Heaters
The National Fire Protection Association reports that space heaters and other heating equipment account for over 40% of house fires in the U.S. What is even more alarming is that fires caused by space heaters account for up to 85% of fire-related deaths in the home. The leading months for home heating fires are, not surprisingly, January, February, and December.
It is important to keep adequate open space around heaters, follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and ensure that stationary heating equipment is installed by a professional. If a defect in equipment could have caused a fire, an attorney can investigate whether the manufacturer could be held liable.
Smoking Can Cause More Fires in Winter
Nights in Ft. Lauderdale are not usually known for blizzard conditions, but the cooler weather often prompts more smokers to light up indoors. Even smokers who indulge their habit outside may stay closer to the house than during warmer months. A fire damage lawyer in Ft. Lauderdale knows that cigarettes are a leading cause of fires.
Candles and Christmas Trees Can Be Hazardous
The dark winter months make candlelight very appealing, but it is better to use battery or electric options instead. A Ft. Lauderdale fire damage lawyer sees candles as a leading cause of house fires, particularly during the holidays.
Also, both live and artificial Christmas trees pose fire dangers during the winter. Dried needles from live trees can cause them to ignite quickly when exposed to flame or spark. And even artificial trees are dangerous because of the toxic fumes released when they catch fire.
Year-Round Hazards Often Cause More Damage in Winter
While people in Ft. Lauderdale cook year-round, outdoor cooking slacks off during the winter months, so the dangers posed by heat, oil, and flammable materials all move indoors. Cooking is a leading cause of house fires, and the opportunities for cooking fires has increased during COVID closures.
Clothes dryers also pose a fire risk. Lint build-up inside dryers and dryer vents can prevent a dryer from releasing heat properly, leading to overheating. In the winter months, people are less likely to hang clothes out to dry, which may be why January is often a peak month for dryer fires.
A Ft. Lauderdale Fire Damage Attorney May Be Able to Help
If you have experienced fire damage or injuries from a fire, the consequences can be disastrous. Unfortunately, the insurance company that was happy to take your insurance premiums may not be at all happy to pay their share of your claim.
An experienced fire damage attorney could help you receive fair treatment so that you can put your life back in order. For a free consultation to learn more about what may be possible in your case, contact the legal team at the Maus Law Firm today.