Fire Hazards That May Spell Disaster for Your Home

Residential fires are the worst. They put your house at risk of damages and your loved ones at risk of injuries and deaths – all of which have their own financial and personal difficulty equivalents. You may have a sound insurance policy, but according to the website of K2 Consulting & Services, LLC, there are instances where insurance companies don’t really give the full amount you deserve, so you are never fully financially secured by your insurance.

In other words, preventing house fires is still better than being negligent and relying solely on your insurance policy. To prevent house fires, the first things you should know are the hazards that can result into fires.

Appliances

Appliances, especially those that involve fire and heat like kitchenware, are some of the leading causes of house fires. This is especially true when negligence has been involved. For example, a resident can leave the stove open or a manufacturer can put a defective product into the market.

Combustible Materials

Items that may catch fire are particularly dangerous when they are near fire or heat sources, such as the appliances mentioned earlier. In the kitchen, these materials may include mittens and even rags. In other parts of the house, it can range from curtains and mattresses to piles of papers and even leaves from indoor plants.

Equipment

Electronic devices make your house vulnerable to fires, and these electronic devices are not limited to house appliances, as they may also include equipment such as desktops, laptops, tablets, printers, and even mobile phones. Those with power supplies and batteries are particularly hazardous.

Fire Sources

Some of the most obvious causes of fires are direct fire sources, such as candles, stoves, and even lighters and matches. Usually, house fires from direct fire sources occur because of negligence as well, like when candles are left unattended or children are unsupervised and playing with fire.

Wiring Systems

If direct fire sources are the most obvious, wiring problems are perhaps the least. This is because they are not always directly associated with fire, even though in their own ways they can actually be a fire source. Faulty wiring systems, and even overloaded extension cords and defective wires from appliances, can result into the most devastating house fires.

Injuries and Deaths during Car Accidents: Not Just Statistical Data

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm Insurance Companies conducted a study, the result of which shows that teen drivers are four times more likely to be involved in fatal car accidents than adults. The reasons, however, are not due to poor weather condition, drowsy driving, vehicle malfunction or aggressive driving. Of the more than 800 accidents analyzed, three critical teen driver errors were revealed:

  • Not enough road scanning. One very important ability that experienced drivers have developed overtime is keen observation of their vehicle’s surroundings (sides and the road ahead) instead of just the very few meters of road fronting their car’s hood. This is one skill that will help and allow teen drivers to detect and respond to possible hazards up ahead.
  • Driving too fast for road conditions. Rather than driving at controllable speed, many teen drivers prefer faster driving, which greatly reduces their capability to successfully navigate a curve or respond to other motorists.
  • Driving distractions. Though getting distracted while behind the wheel is a common fault among all drivers, teens, obviously, are still the kind of drivers who get distracted more easily. Eating, grooming, adjusting or operating an electronic device, talking with friends, turning the radio’s volume to full blast and, worst, texting or talking with someone using a cell phone, are just some of the very common distractions teens are often guilty of.

Some other errors committed by young drivers include failure to use signal lights, tailgating, not slowing down or stopping when making a turn, improperly overtaking another vehicle, making sudden lane changes, beating the red light (according to the National Safety Council, this is the fourth most common type of driver error that results in accidents), and failure to use the seat belt, a car safety feature that has saved thousands of lives in the past.

Driver error, which includes all forms of distracted driving, is always an act of negligence; thus, it is a totally preventable thing. About 81% of all car accidents, which number to more than five million every year, is due to driver negligence – a fault that legally requires a liable party to compensate his/her victim.

It would seem that many drivers see car accidents, injuries and deaths as mere statistical data. They may probably never really realize the tragic effects of these accidents on victims’ lives until they become the victims themselves. Negligence, no matter who commits it or where it is committed, can always be a source of danger. If one cannot respect others’ lives, then what right does he/she have to ask or demand respect from others?

A webpage with address, www.resminilawoffices.com/practice-areas/car-accidents/, says, “you can only control your own driving behavior; there is not much you can do to control what others do out there on the road. Careless, reckless, and negligent drivers abound. Some fail to keep their attention focused on the road and become distracted, while others get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or drugs, disregard traffic laws, or run red lights and stop signs. Others drive too fast or too aggressively, or fail to adjust their driving for road or weather conditions. As a result, some unlucky drivers and their passengers, in spite of responsible, focused, and skillful driving, find their lives in turmoil, their bodies broken, and their finances in a shambles, all because of another’s wrongdoing.”

How to Prevent Drowning Accidents

Beach resorts and swimming pools are fun places, especially during the summer and people are trying to beat the heat. That includes people who don’t know how to swim, children, elderly people, and others who can be very vulnerable to drowning.

When negligent actions result in harmful consequences, the affected parties can take legal action. But you don’t want the financial and time costs of all the legal stuff, so the best way to avoid them is to prevent drowning accidents outright.

You can do this by first knowing the common causes of drowning accidents and how to prevent them.

Alcohol or drug use

Alcohol and drugs have physical and mental effects to us, particularly in terms of comprehension and coordination. You don’t want to lose these things while on your swimming vacation, as they might be the ones that prevent accidents such as drowning. The easy solution to avoid this problem is by not taking alcohol, drugs, or any substance that may impair you in any way.

Lack of barriers

Barriers, fences, and other obstructions are necessary to make pools not very accessible, especially to those who cannot help themselves. Attorney Ali Mokaram advises that children and other vulnerable members of society may be victims of drowning if they do not have supervision and fall into swimming pools without barriers.

Lack of supervision

Water, especially if it is deeper than the person’s height, may be very dangerous, especially to those who do not know how to swim. That is why there should always be eyes on the pool. You never know when someone is going to be a victim of a drowning accident. Having lifeguards and adults with swimming skills in the swimming area is a good idea.

Lack of swimming skills

The best way to counter drowning is knowing how to swim. It doesn’t completely eliminate the risk of drowning, but it significantly reduces the risk. If you are a parent of a young child, having swimming and other life-saving skills such as CPR can be very helpful.

Unexpected circumstances

Even though you know how to swim, there may be unexpected events that may put you and your love ones at risk of drowning, like boat accidents and seizures. Some of these events may be preventable by following safety procedures, but in unavoidable circumstances, it is important not to panic, wear safety gear such as life jackets, and get help as fast as possible.

Swimming and other recreational activities in the water are supposed to be fun, not tragic. So make sure that you know all the risks involved and how you can counter or prevent them before going all in.

Child Car Seat Defects

When buying a new car, it is advised that a customer asks what safety features his/her choice car is equipped with, besides the mandated seat belt, airbag and child safety seat. These three are crash-safety devices and manufacturers have long been required by the federal government to make sure that cars are equipped with these features which are meant to keep vehicle occupants from sustaining serious or fatal injuries during crashes.

A car that has a defective design or part is always a threat, first to the safety of its driver and occupants and, second to everyone else on the road. Unfortunately, despite the minimum performance requirements for car parts that are laid down by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA’s) duty to ensure that car manufacturers comply with federal standards on vehicle safety and excellence, and car manufacturers’ legal duty to make sure that every unit of vehicle that leaves their plant is safe and can keep drivers and occupants safe, so many cars with defects continue to be sold and purchased by unsuspecting buyers. Due to the threats presented by these defects, recalls have been ordered by the NHTSA since 1966 which affected more than 390 million mopeds, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, buses, trucks and cars; 66 million pieces of motor vehicle parts; 46 million tires; and, 42 million child safety seats.

In 2013 alone, NHTSA records show 22 million vehicles recalled by more than 10 car manufacturers due to defective parts; these specifically included seat belts, tires, steering wheel, brake pads, wipers, child seats and air bags that deploy despite the vehicle not crashing; there was also a case in which gas leaked from the engine, increasing risk of fire. These 22 million vehicle recalls in 2013 was still lower, however, compared to 30.8 million recalls made by NHTSA in 2004.

One specific car part that can probably cause the worst harm, if defective, is child car-seat. In 2003, after receiving 2,700 reports of malfunctioning car seats and more than 200 reports of related injuries, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) decided on recalling four million infant car seats/carriers: the defect was on the product’s handles, which could fail to properly lock or break during ordinary use. In 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 602 children aged 12 or below died as occupants in motor vehicle crashes,while more than 121,350 were injured.

While child car seats have generally saved millions of infants from injury or death, some have actually been causes of injuries and/or death too. This, according to Chicago auto accident attorneys, is because car defects aren’t detected until the time of a crash, allowing for a greater risk of an unanticipated, life-threatening injury. The presence of defects, however, only means that a manufacturer has failed to uphold the safety regulations aimed at protecting consumers. This renders him/her liable for the harm that results from his/her defective product.

The family of a child, who is injured because of a defective child safety seat, may grounds for a product liability claim. Filing a claim, however, more so, proving that the injury was due to a defective part is not easy. This will definitely require expert opinion from forensics scientists, mechanical experts and a highly-skilled attorney to prove that the family has a valid product liability claim.

Sexual Crimes through the Web

The Internet: no doubt it has made every bit of information readily available and messaging in an instant, no matter in which part of the globe a person may be located. Simple clicks of buttons will enable anyone to gather any type of information or, connect with a friend or a kin; these are a couple of the web’s positive uses. On the downside, however, the Internet has made it fast and too easy to execute offensive or criminal activities; hack into private government or personal records; and commit cyber fraud, cyber-based terrorism, computer intrusions, espionage, and even Internet sex crimes.

These may be less serious offenses compared to the other sexual criminal acts, but Internet sex crimes, nonetheless, have become an alarming concern to governments around the globe due to the very damaging effects these cause in those affected plus the ease with which perpetrators accomplish their offensive and destructive wrongdoings.

Through wired or wireless access to networks, sexual offenders are able to quickly create and disseminate different forms of sexually offensive and abusive materials and sexually-tainted messages, such as photos depicting child pornography and solicitation efforts, which often lead to contact offenses, like sexual assault or rape.

A global, multi-disciplinary organization, called the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA), which is committed to helping stop sexual abuse, says that the most common forms of Internet sex offenses include trading and posting on-line of child pornography and sexual chats with children, adolescents or any vulnerable persons. The offender, who is an adult, first convinces their victim to produce or view pornographic images and then convinces them to meet face-to-face (for the committance of the crime). What is alarming about the whole thing is the fact that many teenagers do meet with their future offender more than once, describing such meetings as romantic occasions even.

Equally disturbing are data from the US Department of Justice’s National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW), which says that:

– Many teenagers and young adults have willingly shared online with others their naked pictures, some have sent their naked photos through text messaging or through “sexting”;

– Many of those who end up as victims of Internet sex crimes openly talk about sexual topics even with people they do not know while displaying sexually provocative photos/videos online;

– A large number of teenagers and young adults are open to, and have actually participated in, sexting (or the sending of sexually explicit messages, usually with images, from one mobile phone to another).

As explained by the Nashville sexual offense attorneys at Horst Law, the state defines indecent exposure as the intentional exposure of a person’s genitalia or butt to another person or exposing unwilling bystanders to any manner of sexual contact occurring between two or more participants. However, in order for this law to come into effect, the alleged incident must have occurred in a public place, the private property of a non-participant, or must have been easily visible from a private premise. Furthermore, the prosecution will need to demonstrate that a suspect could have reasonably expected that one of the above actions would be seen by another person, and that these actions would either offend any reasonable person or were for the sole purpose of gratifying the defendant’s sexual appetite.