Construction Site Fires in Texas
Call Our Houston Construction Site Fire Attorneys Today at (888) 493-1629
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are more than 4,800 construction site fires every year, causing approximately $35 million in property loss. That's why federal regulations dictate that fire extinguishers must be located within a short distance at every point on a construction site. At minimum, there ought to be 1 fire extinguisher for every 3,000-foot area on a single floor (even more for multilevel projects or projects involving certain types of flammable material). Regulations stipulate that there should be no point on a construction site where someone is further than 100 feet from a fire extinguisher.
Construction fires are likely to cause more damage than residential fires because they tend to have little protection from fire in the form of working smoke detectors or sprinklers. As a result of these fires, workers, firefighters, and even the general public can be put in danger. Common injuries sustained during a construction fire include smoke inhalation, burns, broken bones, and even death.
What causes fires on construction sites?
- Vandalism and Other Criminal Activity – Construction sites without proper fencing, cameras, and other security measures are more likely to be the target of vandalism resulting in a fire.
- Smoking – Many employees smoke on the job, including construction workers. With lots of heavy equipment and fuel in the construction area, a cigarette can easily trigger a fire.
- Heaters – Workers often use space heaters when working in colder temperatures. Unattended heaters or those placed near combustible items can also result in a fire.
- Cooking – Construction workers often prepare meals right on the job site using items such as hot plates, coffee machines, and even power tools, which can all lead to fires.
- Electrical – Fires caused by shoddy, exposed, or faulty wiring.
Construction site fires are ultimately the responsibility of the property owner or the employer. Property owners and construction companies are legally obligated to mitigate fire hazards. Because the causes of fires are largely known, almost any construction site fire is preventable. If you suffered burns, lung damage, or other injuries as a result of a fire on the job, call our Houston construction site fire attorneys to hear your legal and financial options.
Construction Site Safety Facts
Here are a few facts to help you better understand construction fires:
- Firefighters injured in construction fires are twice as likely to be hit or struck by falling debris and other objects.
- The risk for construction site fires increases throughout the workday.
- 71% of construction site fires are caused by open flames and arson.
Construction Site Fire FAQ
Why are construction site fires so dangerous?
Fires at construction sites can be more dangerous than fires in completed buildings for various reasons. Sprinkler systems may not be fully installed, parts of the structure may already be weak and prone to collapse, and combustible materials may be present. Another risk is a wind tunnel effect that can intensify the flames, caused by incomplete or missing walls in the structure. When firefighters respond to a construction site fire, it will be more difficult for them to enter the building and contain the fire. If any construction workers are inside, a quick rescue may be nearly impossible.
What should I do if I was injured in a fire?
If you suffered burns or other injuries in a construction site fire, you should seek medical attention as quickly as possible. After that, your next steps will depend on whether you were injured as a construction worker, passerby, or visitor. If you were working, inform your supervisor in writing. Your injuries may be covered by workers’ compensation. If you were passing by or were visiting the site, you may have grounds for a lawsuit against the site operator or another party who was responsible for the fire. No matter what, you deserve the support you need for full medical treatment, lost earnings, and every physical and emotional injury you’ve endured.
What types of damages are available?
Depending on the case, a person who was injured in a construction site fire may be able to recover money for medical care, ongoing treatment, lost wages, loss of future earnings, emotional trauma, and possibly punitive damages. The family of a person who lost his or her life in a fire may be entitled to compensation for funeral and burial costs, their loved one’s lost earnings, and loss of companionship, consortium, and support. Such recoveries cannot erase the damage caused by a construction site fire, but they can help victims and their families begin to rebuild and move on.
Injured? Talk to Our Experienced & Dedicated Legal Team.
If you've suffered from an injury during a construction site fire, it's time to hold responsible parties accountable for failing to protect your safety. Employers must maintain proper fire prevention and warning systems and protect employees when a fire breaks out at a construction site. You should not be expected to suffer financially because of the medical cost of your injuries, and Arnold & Itkin will fight to help you recover your monetary losses. We've won billions for clients, much of it due to our fierce advocacy for workers.
Call our Houston construction site fire lawyers today at (888) 493-1629. Your consultation is free and you only pay if we win results in your case!