Flammable Furniture Fires
Few people consider that their favorite piece of furniture could turn their home into a blazing inferno. Unfortunately, more and more innocent people are discovering that the potential for this danger is far closer than they realize. When exposed to flame under the right conditions, the polyurethane foam that makes up a great deal of the padding in most upholstered furniture can cause serious injury and even death.
Polyurethane foam has a number of practical uses, but as a petroleum product it must be carefully handled to ensure safety. In fact, polyurethane foam shares the flammable characteristics of both kerosene and gasoline, and some in the scientific community refer to it as "solid gasoline," owing to its propensity to burn hot and fast when exposed to flame. Although polyurethane foam can be treated with fire-retardant in order to make it less likely to suffer a devastating mishap, many furniture companies simply skip this step in order to limit production costs.
A furniture fire is a devastating event. Within two minutes of ignition, the polyurethane cushoning can create an event know as a flashover; or the point at which all consumable material is engfulfed by flame. Temperatures at flashover commonly reach almost 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. Intense heat and flame are not the only dangers from a furniture fire, however. When burned, polyurethane emits dense, thick, and toxic smoke and gas that can poison and burn the lungs of anyone unfortunate enough to be trapped near the source of ignition. The speed at which this material burns frequently contribute to serious injuries suffered by the victims of these disasters.
There is no reason that furniture manufacturers should not take every precaution necessary to prevent undue harm befalling their customers. Simple procedures such as spraying fire-retardant on these highly flammable cushions and seat fillers could prevent dozens of deaths and injuries each year, but many manufacturers would rather risk the safety of a few people than take actions that could save untold lives.
If you or someone you know was a victim of a furniture fire, you may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering. You need to act quickly, for if you wait too long the statute of limitation laws in your state can prevent you from taking the steps necessary to get the justice you deserve. Let our dedicated and experienced defective product lawyers help you. Contact us today.