The term “chemical fire” refers to situations where certain chemicals combine create hazardous, flammable conditions. In some cases, a spark may be needed to create a fire from the chemical substances (usually liquids). However, some chemical combinations can create explosions that lead to fires.
Are Chemical Fires the Same as Chemical Burns?
No. Chemical fires involve an actual fire created by combustion. In comparison, a “chemical burn” occurs when the skin comes into contact with corrosive or acidic chemical substances or liquids. This causes an injury that is somewhat similar to burns created by fire or heat. You can also fall ill due to being exposed to the chemicals, even if you avoid a burn.
Chemical burns can sometimes be particularly dangerous because the liquid may spread or enter the body in different ways from a fire. On the other hand, chemical fires can often result in greater property damage, especially if combustion or explosion is involved.
What Conditions Do Chemical Fires Occur In?
Chemical fires or explosions can occur in situations such as:
- Lab experiments
- Use of cleaning implements in a non-ventilated space
- People handling flammable substances near heat or sparks such as handling them while smoking
- Handling illicit materials or creating illegal substances without proper safety precautions such as in a meth lab
Chemical fires can also result from defective products, or from use of products that are not properly labeled.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Chemical Fire?
Many chemical fires occur under conditions where the fire breaks out as an accident and no one is really responsible for it. However, in some cases, a person can be held liable for injuries or property damage caused by a chemical fire.
For instance, a hazardous materials manufacturer can be held liable for distributing products that are not up to safety standards, or that are not properly labeled. Similarly, person could be held liable for negligence if they disregard a duty to handle certain chemicals properly. This especially true for employees who have work duties that involve flammable chemicals. If a lawsuit is filed, it could lead to legal consequences such as a monetary damages award.
Should I Hire a Lawyer for Help with Chemical Fire Legal Claims?
Chemical fire injuries and property damage can often involve some complex laws and legal concepts. You may need to hire a personal injury attorney in your area if you need any legal advice or guidance regarding a chemical fire incident. Your lawyer can provide you with legal research on your issue to determine what type of recourse is appropriate for your claim. Also, if you need to make an appearance in court, your attorney can represent you during the process as well.