Orlando Defective Smoke Detector Attorneys
Smoke detectors have been routinely installed in homes and businesses for decades. A properly-manufactured and installed smoke detector dramatically decreases the odds of suffering serious, even fatal, injuries caused by a fire within your residence or business. A defective smoke detector, however, does nothing more than provide a false sense of security that can lead to injury or death.
If you were injured, or you lost a family member, because of a defective smoke detector, you could be entitled to compensation for your physical injuries, emotional trauma, or loss. At Bailey Fisher PLLC, we have more than half a century of combined successful legal experience litigating in the courtroom and negotiating outside the courtroom. We are committed to fighting for the rights of those who have been injured or lost a loved one because of the negligence of others and will aggressively advocate ensuring that you are compensated for all your injuries by the responsible party or parties.
How Do Smoke Detectors Work?
Most of us know little to nothing about how smoke detectors work despite relying on them to save lives. These relatively small gadgets are more complex than they appear. There are three basic types of smoke detectors, including:
- Ionization detectors. These detectors rely on a chamber with two plates that produce electric current. Smoke entering the chamber disrupts the electrical current, triggering the alarm.
- Photoelectric detectors. These detectors rely on a beam of light that projects on a light receptor, or photocell. Smoke entering the detector disrupts that beam of light, causing the receptor to signal the photocell which, in turn, triggers the alarm.
- Combination detectors. Also known as dual sensor smoke alarms, these detectors combine both ionization and photoelectric detectors in one unit.
Smoke Detector Facts and Figures
Experts all agree that smoke detectors have the potential to save lives; however, they must be properly installed, consistently maintained, and operating correctly to provide the intended protection. According to a recently issued report by the National Fire Protection Association:
- Smoke alarms were present in three-quarters (74 percent) of the reported home fires in 2014-2018. Almost three out of five home fire deaths were caused by fires in properties with no smoke alarms (41 percent) or smoke alarms that failed to operate (16 percent),
- When smoke alarms were present in reported fires considered large enough to activate them, they operated in 89 percent of the fires, 73 percent of the deaths, and 82 percent of the injuries.
- The risk of dying in reported home structure fires is 55 percent lower in homes with working smoke alarms than in homes with no alarms or none that worked.
- When present, hardwired smoke alarms operated in 94 percent of the fires considered large enough to trigger a smoke alarm. Battery-powered alarms operated 82 percent of the time. Power source issues were the most common factors when smoke alarms failed to operate.
- When smoke detectors failed, a defect in the unit was responsible for that failure between five and 14 percent of the time, depending on the type of unit.
What Makes a Smoke Detector Defective?
A defective smoke detector can lead to serious injuries, including burns, smoke inhalation injuries, and death. When a defect is responsible for injury or death, the area of the law that allows a victim to seek damages is known as product liability. Under the doctrine of product liability, a product can be defective in one of three ways:
- Design Defect. This includes defects inherent in the design itself, making all products manufactured with that design defective.
- Manufacturing Defect. This occurs when a defect is incorporated into the product at some point during the manufacturing phase, resulting in only some defective products making it into the hands of consumers.
- Failure to Warn Defect. For products that may be inherently dangerous, the law imposes a duty to warn. A missing or inadequate warning makes a product defective.
Who Is Responsible When a Defective Smoke Detector Causes Injury or Death?
When a product is defective it can be challenging to determine how the defect made its way into the product. With this is mind, the law imposes potential liability on anyone in the “chain of distribution.” In the case of a defective smoke detector, that could include:
- The designer
- The manufacturer
- The wholesaler or distributor
- The retailer that sold the smoke detector
- A third party company that produced defective parts
- The company or builder that installed the smoke detector
- A landlord or property owner who failed to maintain the smoke detector
Get the Help You Need from Orlando Defective Smoke Detector Attorneys
If you or a family member were injured by a defective smoke detector, we understand how difficult it can be to navigate an unfamiliar legal system while also trying to heal from your physical and emotional injuries. Having an experienced Orlando defective smoke detector attorney on your side is the best way to protect your legal interests, so you can focus on treating your injuries.
At Bailey Fisher, we are dedicated to protecting your rights and explaining your legal options if you were injured or lost a loved one because of a defective smoke detector. We will identify the negligent party (or parties) and ensure that they are held accountable by obtaining a full and fair settlement for your medical expenses, lost income, pain, and suffering.
Call us at 407-628-2929 or submit our online form today. One of our experienced Orlando defective smoke detector attorneys will evaluate your case for free and advise you on next steps.