As the 2017 summer begins, record-breaking temperatures are expected to be felt all across the country. In response to the scorching forecasts, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and other safety groups have taken to warning people about the potential fire risks inherent in air conditioning units. When overworked, an AC unit can overheat and burst into flames without much warning.
According to NFPA data, fires started by air conditioners cause about 20 deaths, nearly 150 injuries, and more than $80 million in property damage costs every year in America. The number of blazes started by air conditioning equipment predictably spikes in June, July, and August, when air conditioners are used the most. In fact, between 2006 and 2010, 20% of all house fires in July were caused by a defective air conditioning unit, based on the NFPA’s numbers.
The Association implores people to have their air conditioning units serviced at least twice a year, especially in the weeks before summertime. Many fires can be prevented with minimal repairs and maintenance. It is also important to keep a small circle of empty space around an air conditioning unit, being sure to keep combustibles well away.
LG Recalls Defective Portable AC Unit
Not all air conditioners pose a fire risk due to a lack of regular maintenance. Some are defective off the manufacturing line.
LG Electronics recalled a portable air conditioning unit late last year due to its tendency to overheat. The products – 7000 and 8000 BTU LG portable air conditioners – have been linked to at least four fires but no injuries. People using LG portable AC units can click here to visit the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission website, which describes the defective units in more detail, how to find the serial number, and what to do if a product has been recalled.
San Francisco product liability lawyers from Rouda Feder Tietjen & McGuinn can assist you with filing a claim if you have been hurt or your property has been damaged due to a defective air conditioning unit, portable or otherwise. Contact our team for a free case evaluation, during which you can learn if you have a valid injury claim.