It sounds like a scene out of Maximum Overdrive. You hear noise in the kitchen, and when you go to investigate, the microwave has turned on all on its own, electricity arcing inside until it cracks the turntable and scorches the bottom of the oven. But it’s not fiction. According to Consumer Reports, that is exactly what happened to a Texas couple, in 2010, when their microwave malfunctioned. And they were among the lucky ones who caught the problem before it could cause a devastating house fire.
Appliances and House Fires
According to a 2012 Consumer Reports article, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says that there are 150,000 residential fires caused by appliances each year, resulting in 3,670 injuries and 150 deaths. When Consumer Reports reviewed 69,000 cases of house fires blamed on appliances, it found that many involved human error, but about 23 percent were definitely caused by an appliance defect, and the magazine says the actual number may be much higher.
The appliances that caused the most fires, due to human error or defects, are as follows:
- Toasters and toaster ovens
- Washing machines
All of the fires in the study that were caused by refrigerators, dishwashers, and washing machines were the result of a defect, not human error.
While some defective appliances are recalled, many are not. One reason that companies do not recall defective appliances when they know about the problem, is to minimize their exposure to lawsuits. If you have suffered a fire in your home, injuries, or the death of a loved one due to a defective appliance, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation, even if the appliance has not been recalled.
An experienced and highly skilled product liability attorney knows how to investigate your accident and maximize your claim. AccidentAttorneys.org only works with highly credentialed attorneys with the highest peer-review ratings. We would be happy to connect you with a product liability attorney in your area today.