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Christmas Tree Fires: How Common Are They?

For those who celebrate Christmas, Christmas trees are an essential holiday decoration. Real Christmas trees can brighten up a home, spread holiday warmth, and help the environment. Unfortunately, they can also be a fire hazard. According to a report from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Christmas tree fires caused an average of 160 home fires, fifteen injuries, and three deaths from 2013 to 2017. Annually, these fires contributed to approximately $10 million in property damage.

Home fires are a serious matter, no matter what the cause may be. According to the NFPA, fires involving Christmas trees have much higher fatality rates than fires caused by other factors. Researchers have estimated that for every 52 Christmas tree fires, there is one death. Compared to the national average of one death for every 135 reported house fires, Christmas tree fires are almost three times more likely to result in a fatality.

The most common causes of Christmas tree fires involve electrical distribution or lighting equipment. According to researchers from the NFPA, 44 percent of home Christmas tree fires were attributed to these factors. Twenty-five percent of Christmas tree fires involved a heat source, such as candles or space heaters, being too close to the tree. In almost 40 percent of reported cases, Christmas tree fires began in the living room.

During any time of year, it is essential to monitor your home for fire hazards. The holidays are no different. To ensure that your home is not at risk for a Christmas tree fire, you can take the following precautions:

  • Place Christmas trees away from flammable heat sources, such as candles or space heaters.
  • Make sure that any lights you decorate your tree with are not defective or damaged in any way. If you notice that your lights have cracked plugs, frayed wires, or bent prongs, do not use them.
  • Do not leave any lights or electronics on your Christmas tree plugged in while unattended. Be sure to unplug decorations on your Christmas tree every night before going to bed.
  • Do not leave children or pets unattended around your tree for long periods
  • Make sure that your tree is adequately hydrated. Dried-out trees are significantly more likely to catch fire, making them serious fire hazards.

 Contact a New York Premises Liability Attorney

The holidays should be a time for celebration and happiness, not for tragedy and loss. If you or someone you know has suffered injury from fire caused by a negligent party, the experienced premises liability attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP will be there to help you get justice and fair compensation if a negligent party caused a fire that harmed you. Call us today at (212) 779-0057 to schedule a free consultation. 


Escalator Accidents: Common Risk Factors

Much like elevators, escalators are typically seen as a safe way to travel between different floors. However, serious escalator accidents are much more common in the United States than most people think. According to a study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), “about 10,000 escalator-related injuries per year result in emergency department treatment in the United States.” Accidents involving escalators have the potential to leave victims with severe physical trauma.

What are some of the causes of escalator accidents in the United States? Studies have shown that the most common factors include:

  • Mechanical malfunctions – In order for an escalator to continue functioning properly, regular maintenance is required. If not, major mechanical failures could lead to life-threatening accidents.
  • Missing or broken steps – If a step is missing or broken, a rider could fall through and become trapped within the machinery below.
  • Missing or broken handrails – Although escalators only transport riders between two or three stories within a building, the heights could be hundreds of feet. If a rider falls off a moving escalator, serious fatal injuries could result.
  • Comb plate malfunctions – Comb plates are present at the top and bottom of escalators. If a comb plate has gaps, missing teeth, or is otherwise malfunctioning, a rider could get caught and seriously injured.
  • Intoxication – Alcohol is a huge risk-factor within many escalator-related injuries. According to data from the NCBI, 50 percent of male victims and 7 percent of female victims showed signs of alcohol intoxication.

New York City is home to some of the oldest escalators in the world. In fact, the very first escalator was built and installed on Coney Island as an amusement park ride in 1892. Since then, escalators have become a seemingly harmless part of everyday life. However, the risks of riding escalators are still present.

Contact an Elevator and Escalator Injuries Attorney in New York

If you or someone you know has been seriously injured or killed in an escalator accident, you have the right to fair compensation from the party responsible. Property owners have a duty to ensure the safety of visitors by properly maintaining the functionality of all escalators on the premises.

Our experienced team of attorneys will do everything in their power to get justice for you. For more information about how to prepare for a premises liability claim in New York, contact a premises liability attorney from Hach & Rose, LLP, today by calling (212) 779-0057.

Swimming Pool Injuries and Deaths

According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “about one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger. For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries.”

The most vulnerable age group includes children who are 1 to 4 years old. Tragically, the overwhelming majority of drowning incidents involving children of this age group take place in private pools. According to the CDC, “drowning is responsible for more deaths among children [aged 1 to 4] than any other cause except congenital anomalies (birth defects).” For children ages 1 to 14 years old, drowning is one of the major leading causes of unintentional injury-related fatality — only second to car accidents.

For parents to reduce the risk of unintentional drowning, here is some information on the common causes of drowning incidents:

  • Lack of adequate fencing and barriers – Oftentimes, young children can gain access to pools without their parent’s knowledge. The presence of a four-sided barrier around a private home pool significantly reduces a child’s risk of drowning.
  • Inability to swim – Swimming is a skill that must be taught through proper training. Research has shown that teaching young children to swim early on greatly reduces their risk of drowning.
  • Absence of close adult supervision – Even with the presence of a life-guard, drowning can still occur. It is important for parents to closely watch their children whenever water is involved.
  • Location – Swimming in the choppy ocean is a much different experience than swimming in a calm pool. It is important for swimmers of all ages to be adequately prepared to swim in different settings.
  • Not wearing a life-jacket – The use of a life-jacket can mean the difference between life and death in many situations. Parents must make sure that their young child is fitted for the appropriate preventative gear.
  • Alcohol use – Alcohol can negatively impact judgment, motor control, and reaction time. Often, it is a factor within a high number of drowning incidents.
  • Seizures – For children with seizure disorders, the most common drowning risk isn’t a pool at all — it’s a bathtub. This is why it is important for parents to closely supervise their children any time water is involved in an activity.

Contact a New York Swimming Pool Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one were hurt or if your child was killed in a drowning accident caused by negligence, call the New York premises liability lawyers atHach & Rose, LLP for help. Our compassionate and knowledgeable attorneys will help you understand your rights and will aggressively advocate for your family during this challenging time. Call us at (212) 779-0057 to schedule a free consultation.

Mt. Morris, NY – Tree Service Worker Killed by Electrocution while on the Job

Mt. Morris, NY – Tree Service Worker Killed by Electrocution while on the Job

Mt. Morris, NY (May 22, 2019) – A fatal workplace accident that occurred at a home is currently under investigation by Livingston County Sheriff’s deputies. The incident took place on Tuesday, May 21st, and tragically resulted in the death of a tree service worker at an unspecified time.


Man sues NY-area Catholic church after heavy statue crushes, amputates leg

A 43 year-old man has filed a lawsuit against St. Patrick’s Church in Newburgh, located 60 miles north of New York City, after its 600 pound crucifix fell on top of his right leg, forcing doctors to amputate it.

The man was cleaning the cross with permission from the church after he says he prayed before it for his wife’s recovery from ovarian cancer. Upon her recovery, he offered to pick up garbage and clean the crucifix.

The man says that he was using a cross beam for balance when the crucifix snapped from its base and fell on top of him. His lawyer says the 600 pound structure was held to the base by a single screw. His client is seeking $3 million.

If you or someone you love was hurt one someone’s unsafe property, contact the premises liability lawyers of Hach & Rose, LLP today at 866-LAWS-USA to learn how you can get the compensation you deserve.

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