Gas Fireplace Glass Hot Enough to Melt Skin
Posted on February 8th, 2012 by Zane Cagle
As gas fire places become more common, so too do the severe burns associated with their glass coverings. Unlike traditional wood burning fireplaces, gas fireplaces burn constantly. This means that there is a constant source of heat on the glass, greatly increasing their temperature. These glass coverings can reach temperatures of 500°F, hot enough to melt skin to glass. These glass coverings often create inviting surfaces for curious toddlers to touch, create an extremely unsafe hazard right in the family living room.
One story illustrates just how damaging these glass coverings can be. Just before Christmas, as her mother sat wrapping presents, a young toddler was playing on the living room floor. Not quite one, the toddler was just learning to walk and made her way towards the fireplace when she suddenly stumbled and fell into the glass. She suffered severe 3rd degree burns on her arms and face from the 400°F glass. She was rushed to the hospital, where skin was grafted from her groin to her left hand.
This young child’s story is not uncommon. From 1999-2009, estimates suggest that over 2000 children ages 0-5 were injured from touching this superheated glass. Because of this, there is a new push for legislation that would prevent these injuries. Right now, companies regulate themselves as far as safe temperature goes. The current 500°F temperature maximum is in place not because it is a safe temperature, but because temperatures higher than that can cause the glass to crack.
Makers of these fireplaces say they are taking steps to warn the public of this superheated glass, including brochures sent to retailers and provided on their respective websites. Most consumers, however, are unaware such a problem even buy paroxetine no prescription exists, so very few actively seek out such brochures and information. One retailer has begun making its glass with an attached mesh safety screen. This provides some defense against the extremely hot glass, and prevents skin from melting to the surface. Child safety advocates agree that this is a good first step, but feel more measures need to be taken.
Currently, there is a class action lawsuit against the manufacturers filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. As a proposed settlement, the manufacturer has agreed to provide mesh screens to their consumers free of charge, as well as a sticker which can be placed on the glass warning of the heat. Doctors who treat these young burn victims, however, feel this is not enough. They argue that anything short of regulating the temperature of the glass will be insufficient. These doctors compare these fireplaces to “having an oven on with the door open in the middle of your living room.” Such dangers need to be removed from the household.
As part of National Burn Prevention Week, Zane T. Cagle and Missouri personal injury attorneys at The Cagle Law Firm urge everyone to be cautious of hazards, especially when young children are involved. As children are naturally curious and naturally seek to touch things, they are uniquely susceptible to burns. At The Cagle Law Firm, we feel that manufacturers have a duty to warn customers about dangerous products, and support any legislation that would make homes safer for children. If you or your child has been injured due to a dangerous product, call the Missouri product liability attorneys at The Cagle Law Firm at 1.800.685.3302 for a free consultation today.