Do Your Extension Cords Pose a Fire Risk?

An extension cord ignited a fire that took the lives of two Brooklyn NY residents and burned out their home.  The extension cord fire occurred in East Flatbush, Brooklyn on November 28, 2015.

The blaze struck in the middle of the night.

According to the New York City Fire Department, the home did not have working smoke detectors.

Flames trapped a married couple in their upstairs bedroom before they were even aware of the fire.

Heroic neighbors tried to help the Caribbean-Brooklynites escape through a small upstairs window, but were unsuccessful.  The tragic victims were overtaken by smoke and fire.  Fire trucks were not able to reach the burning home in time.

The New York City fire code requires landlords to install and maintain smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in all residential dwellings.  Landlords are further required to maintain the detectors to make sure they are working properly, and are not expired or painted over.

An extension cord fire is a particular concern in the Winter season.  An electric heater extension cord fire can result from an overheated unit.  Christmas lights on an extended power strip present an additional hazard around a dried Christmas tree.  Utmost caution should be taken with these items.

Accidents · Injury

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Extension Cord Fire Damage

Is there an Extension Cord Fire Hazard in your home?

Respect the wattage limitations of your extension cords and outlets.  Large appliances like a refrigerator or microwave should be plugged directly into the wall, using a high voltage outlet if available. 

Do not plug one extension cord into another.  If you need a longer cord, you can purchase an extended length cord.  For example, extension cords are available in 50 foot length.

Do not plug splitters or outlet adapters into extension cords.  Never run extension cords under carpeting.  Keep outlets and extension cords free from clutter and window drapes.

Install and maintain smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in a home you own.  In a rental home, insist in writing that your landlord provide this important safety equipment.

Injured in a House Fire?

Most death fatalities in a house or building fire result from smoke inhalation, not from being burned by fire.

The heat from smoke can burn the lungs.  Gas emitted by a fire can also fill the lungs, depriving a person of air.  The smoke and gas may travel to an upstairs room faster the the blaze of the fire.

A landlord can be held legally liable for personal injuries sustained in a house or apartment fire that lacked a working smoke detector.  A delinquent landlord could also face criminal penalties.

If you have been involved in a fire, or sustained an injury from smoke, gas or fire burns, the law limits the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit for money compensation.

Our fire injury lawyers represent New York fire and accident victims in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Bronx and Staten Island.

Call our personal injury attorneys today for a free consultation about a possible claim.

About NYC Injury Attorneys

Michael Hurwitz, Esq. is the managing member of The Hurwitz Law Firm, PC, and is a personal injury attorney representing accident victims in Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Manhattan and throughout the New York City region.