Can You Seek Compensation for Injuries From a Space Heater Fire?

woman warming herself next to a personal space heater

People use personal space heaters to keep warm in bed, in their office space or while lounging around at home. It is easy to fall asleep and forget to turn the heater off or leave it unattended. This can be extremely dangerous, as there is a risk of a fire.

However, some personal space heaters, like those manufactured and sold by Mr. Heater, have been the subject of controversy because of alleged defects and insufficient warnings, especially when these heaters are used indoors. The Arnold Law Firm is investigating alleged defects with the Mr. Heater products, including whether Mr. Heater space heaters could malfunction even when used properly and whether they lack sufficient warnings to allow users to avoid hidden dangers. These alleged defects have resulted in serious injuries to users.

If you were burned or suffered some other injury due to a defective product, such as a defective personal space heater, contact our Sacramento defective product lawyers. The consultation is free and there are no upfront fees.

Below, we discuss some of the common dangers of personal space heaters.

Space Heater Products Recalled for Defects

Products are sometimes recalled because of poor design or malfunctioning parts. Personal space heaters have had recalls issued since at least 2004. However, propane-powered personal space heaters have raised additional concerns due to the nature of their design and how they operate.

In 2005, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Mr. Heater, Inc. announced a recall of the Mr. Heater “Big Buddy/Tough Buddy” propane heaters. According to the CPSC, the recall was issued due to a faulty valve on the propane that caused a leak, posing a serious fire hazard.

Harbor Freight Tools also issued a recall in 2021 for its One Stop Gardens 15,000 and 30,000 BTU Tank Top Propane Heaters.

Electrical, gas-powered and oil-filled personal space heaters have also been recalled in the past. Some of the other recalled space heaters in the last year include the following:

  • Sienhua Group WarmWave and Hunter Oscillating Ceramic Tower Heaters
  • Shop LC Personal Electric Space Heaters
  • Home Easy Personal Electric Heaters

What Are Some Common Personal Heater Defects?

A personal space heater, like any product, can be defective for multiple reasons. However, the most common reasons personal heaters could be defective is because of the following:

  • Faulty design– This is the case if there is a flaw in the design of a space heater that makes it difficult to safely operate the product. For example, if there is no on and off switch and the heater is only turned off by disconnecting it from an outlet. This could result in electrical wiring issues that may start a fire or electrocute a user.
  • Made of inferior materials– If the product is made up of flammable material or has parts that cannot withstand certain high temperatures, parts may melt while the product is in use.
  • Lack appropriate guards and gates– If the product does not have adequate valves to ensure certain fumes and other dangerous chemicals do not leak out, as in the case reported by the CPSC of the recalled Mr. Heater propane personal heaters, there can be a high risk of a severe injury or death.
  • Lack safety mechanisms – If the product does not have an automatic shutoff mechanism or some way to warn the user if overheating occurs, people may get injured.
  • Lack of adequate warnings or instructions – Some of these personal space heaters may work as designed but are unsafe because they lack adequate warnings or instructions. If a person is unaware of how the product works, and unaware of the hidden dangers of personal space heaters, he or she may get injured.

What Types of Injuries May be Caused by Defective Personal Heaters?

There are a variety of injuries someone can suffer due to a faulty personal heater. It may depend on what the defect is and how the person was using it. Some of the most common injuries associated with personal heaters are:

  • Thermal burns
  • Superficial burns
  • Partial-thickness burns
  • Full-thickness burns
  • Smoke inhalation
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Injury or death caused by carbon monoxide poisoning

Exposure to toxic materials could also cause chemical burns, not just on the body but in the lungs or throat if these materials are inhaled.

Who May Be Liable if I am Injured by a Personal Heater?

If you suffer a burn injury or some other fire-related injury due to a defective personal space heater, the company that sold or manufactured the product may be liable.

Some of these products have different parts that are manufactured by other companies that are then used by the seller. These third-party companies may also be liable if you can prove a defective part is what caused your injuries.

Filing a claim against a manufacturer can be complicated because there are so many things to consider. You must be able to prove the product’s defective design, lack of warnings, manufacturing defect, or the company’s negligent actions directly resulted in your injuries. This can be difficult, especially with a large corporation that has vast resources to fight these types of claims.

That is why you should strongly consider working with a knowledgeable product liability attorney who can determine your legal options. Our lawyers have held negligent parties liable for decades, and we are prepared to help.

Burned By a Personal Heater? Call Us Today

If you or a family member were injured by a defective personal space heater like the Mr. Buddy Heater, you have the right to pursue compensation for your damages.

Our lawyers are prepared to discuss your claim during a free consultation to determine your legal options. If we validate your claim, there is no obligation to take legal action.

Call 916-777-7777 to schedule your free consultation.