Fire Pit Injuries

Fire Pit Injuries

Fire pits have quickly become a popular feature in American backyards. But with the growing popularity of backyard fire pits comes an increase in accidents and injuries. Most fire pit injuries are burns from contact with the contents of a fire pit. But other injuries result from smoke inhalation, damage to the upper airway, and burns to the throat, lungs, and windpipe.

According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CSPC), injuries from fire pits have increased three-fold in the past 10 years. About 25% of people injured in fire pit accidents are children under 5. Many of these injuries come the next day, when the fire appears to be out, but coals are still hot.

Common Injuries Caused by a Fire Pit Accident

The most common type of injury caused by a fire pit accident is, of course, a burn injury. The severity of a burn injury is classified based on the extent of tissue damage in a particular area of the body. Higher degree burns mean a more severe injury.

  • First Degree Burns are characterized by redness, pain, swelling, inflammation, and dry, peeling skin. First degree burns only affect the top layer of skin and are commonly caused by prolonged exposure to the sun or contact with hot water.
  • Second Degree Burns affect deeper layers of skin. Symptoms of second degree burns include blisters and redness on burnt skin. A second degree burn is more painful than a first degree burn and may be caused by limited contact with flames or boiling liquids. A second degree burn is susceptible to infection that can cause permanent scarring.
  • Third Degree Burns are the most severe form of non-lethal burn. They destroy all three layers of skin and require hospitalization. Muscles, ligaments, and tendons may be affected. Symptoms of third degree burns include charring and catastrophic damage to the skin and subcutaneous tissue.

Children are particularly vulnerable to fire pit injuries. According to a report by the American Burn Association, in 2015, burn injuries were the fifth-leading cause of injury-related deaths for American children ages 1 to 4, and the third-leading cause of injury-related deaths for children ages 5 to 9.

Smoke inhalation is another injury that can be caused by a fire pit accident. Smoke inhalation can injure the upper airway and cause burns to the lungs, windpipe, and throat.

Homeowner Liability for Fire Pit Injuries

In most cases, injuries caused by fire pit accidents are covered by a Homeowners’ Insurance policy. The fire pit was on the property of the homeowner and the person who was injured or killed had a right to anticipate that they would be free from danger. This is known as premises liability and means that the owner of the property is responsible for injuries that occurred on their property, even if they took all reasonable precautions to keep people safe.

But in some cases, especially if the fire pit was installed after the insurance policy was created, fire pit injuries may not be covered by a Homeowners’ Insurance policy.

If you or someone you love was injured in a fire pit accident, it is important that you speak to an Ohio fire pit injury attorney as quickly as possible. A knowledgeable and experienced fire pit injury lawyer can evaluate the specific nature of your claim, and contact the homeowner’s insurance carrier to determine whether injuries sustained in a fire pit accident are covered by insurance. An experienced fire pit injury lawyer will also help you and your family recover compensation for injuries suffered as a result of a fire pit accident.

Tips to Avoid Fire Pit Accidents and Injuries

There are common-sense steps you can take to avoid a fire pit injury.

  • Build your fire pit on a level surface, and place raised fire pits on brick, tile, or concrete blocks, not directly on the grass
  • Keep fire at least 10 feet away from flammable materials like homes, sheds and other outbuildings, fences, and tree branches
  • Do not use river stones to build a fire pit. The moisture in river stones can heat rapidly and cause the rock to explode
  • Avoid using a fire pit during windy conditions, which can spread the embers
  • Make sure the fire is put completely out by using water and gently stirring the ashes. Only leave the area when the ashes are cool to the touch
  • Have water (such as a bucket or in a hose) readily available in case of an emergency

Despite taking precautions, fire pit accidents still happen. Burns can cause catastrophic, life-altering injuries. If you were hurt in a fire pit accident, you and your family may be entitled to compensation.

Hurt in a Fire Pit Injury? Brian Balser Can Help.

If you or someone you love was injured in a fire pit accident, you may be entitled to compensation for past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, disability or disfigurement, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.

Personal injury attorney Brian Balser proudly represents injured people in Ohio and throughout the country. He has the experience, resources, and expertise to thoroughly investigate your case, and fight for the compensation you and your family need.

Learn more about attorney Brian K. Balser, read reviews from other clients, and schedule a confidential, free consultation to discuss your case.

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