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Fire Injuries in Buildings: How Do They Happen?

Fires in buildingsFires are common in buildings during winter because of the dry air and strong winds. Property owners have a legal responsibility to reduce the risk of a fire breaking out in their buildings and should take precautions to protect people in case of a fire, such as by installing sprinklers and clearly marking emergency exits. When property owners fail to do these things, they may be liable if someone was injured because of a fire in their building. 

When the property owner fails to mandate certain safety protocols or install basic precautions that could warn of or even prevent a fire, they have shown negligence. Some specific examples are:

  • Failing to install or maintain fire alarms
  • Failing to install or maintain sprinkler systems
  • Failing to clearly mark fire exits
  • Failing to keep fire exits clear of potential obstructions
  • Failing to address fire hazards such as improperly installed electrical wiring

According to Stanford Children’s Health, installing both smoke alarms and sprinkler systems can reduce fire-related deaths by 82% and injuries by 46%.

Common injuries sustained in building fires

  • Burns
    • First-degree: Only affects the outer layer of skin, results in moderate pain and redness
    • Second-degree: Harms the epidermis and dermis layers of skin, results in sharp pain, swelling, blistering
    • Third-degree: Injures skin down to the subcutaneous layer, results in extreme and unbearable pain, burned skin may appear charred
    • Fourth-degree: Affects victims down to the muscles and bones of injured areas, may cause permanent loss of sensation and immobility of that region
  • Smoke inhalation
  • Asphyxiation (suffocating)

Contact a New York premises liability attorney

If you sustained injuries due to a property owner’s negligence, Hach & Rose, LLP can help you get justice. Our personal injury attorneys have over 100 combined years of experience dealing with premises liability cases and are prepared to assist with yours. Call us at (212) 779-0057 or reach out to us online.


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