Smoke Detector Defects

Smoke detectors are required by law or ordinance in many municipalities around the Chicago area, including Chicago. The purpose of a smoke detector in working order is to give advance warning of the onset of a fire in a home, apartment, commercial space, retail store, manufacturing plant or warehouse facility. Too often the smoke detector device itself is defective. In order to prove that the defective smoke alarm was a cause of the injuries or deaths to the occupants, it must be shown to a preponderance of evidence that:

  • There was a legal duty to provide a working smoke alarm for the landlord, the landowner, the manufacturer.
  • That the individual or company, landowner or landlord breached the duty to provide a safe place to live or work.
  • That the breach of the duty of the landlord or company owner was the cause of the injuries or death because of the lack of the presence of a properly working smoke alarm detector or of its failure to operate because of a manufacturer’s defect.
  • Damages that resulted in loss of life or injury.

In cases where the smoke alarm is defective, there could be many party defendants that have a duty to provide and distribute a safe product. Depending on the facts of each case, the responsible party for selling, distributing and installing a defective smoke alarm would include the manufacturer, a part manufacturer or contractor, the property owner, the management company and the installation contractor.

Smoke alarms should be installed in working order in all apartment buildings, housing dwellings, nursing homes, manufacturing facilities, businesses, office buildings, court houses and other public places. In the event that a smoke alarm is absent or doesn’t operate properly, loss of life injuries, loss of earnings, burn injuries resulting in disfigurement, emotional distress and loss of normal life are likely. In Illinois and Chicago particularly, there are laws in place that mandate that landlords, companies and buildings of all kinds come equipped with approved smoke and fire detection systems. Should these mechanisms not be in place, the landlord, landowner company owner will be held accountable for injuries and loss of life not to mention the criminal penalty as a possibility.

In an apartment fire that Kreisman Law Offices is handling, the fire erupted in another part of a 24 unit apartment building, but went unnoticed because the smoke detectors were inoperable. One of the tenants and a client suffered serious injuries as a result.

In many smoke alarm defect cases, individuals could be seriously injured, burned and lose their life. The seriously injured include severe burns, smoke inhalation, organ failures and brain damage because of smoke exposure or death. The results of injuries suffered in a fire are devastating. One manufacturer of hardwired smoke alarm systems, Kidde recalled its smoke alarm system in one instance where it was discovered that in the event of a power outage the smoke alarm would malfunction. The company in this case discovered the defect in a routine quality check. In that case, the company was proactive in recalling the device in advance of any report of injury or death as a result of the defect.

If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of a defective smoke detector or the failure to install a smoke detector, you need experienced attorneys to investigate each and every facet of the fire, the incident and who is responsible for injury and/or death. Please call us for an immediate free consultation.

Robert Kreisman of Kreisman Law Offices has been handling medical device defect injury cases. Kreisman Law Offices has prevailed in trials and settlements in Chicago, Illinois and surrounding communities and has successfully resolved cases for those injured in medical device defect cases.

With our 40 years of experience in trying and settling product defect cases, Kreisman Law Offices provides the best possible services to our clients and have achieved unsurpassed results. Our service is unmatched. Please call us 24 hours a day at 312.346.0045 or toll free 800.583.8002 for a free and immediate consultation, or complete a contact form online. There is no charge for a consultation that will include an evaluation of your case, assessment of damages such as lost income, lost wages, medical and hospital bills, past and future pain and suffering, loss of normal life and wrongful death.

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