Many cases of severe burns could be prevented, but for the fact that the clothing the burn survivor was wearing was extremely flammable and quickly ignited. The U.S. Congress has passed the Flammable Fabrics Act to take dangerous clothes out of the market and the Act is now administered by the Consumer Products Safety Commission. Unfortunately, although the Act has been in place for sixty years, the textile industry has worked hard to prevent the standards from being from being strengthened. Even so, large amounts of clothing are recalled for excessive flammability every year to the present.
While there is a mandatory standard to reduce the risk of burns from children’s nightwear, there are no compulsory safety requirements for other children’s clothing or for any adult clothing. Burns from clothing fires are a significant cause of serious injury and death – particularly in older age groups, where incidents are mainly related to robes, pajamas and nightgowns. While most fabrics used in clothing are susceptible to burning, some materials are much more flammable than others.
Dangers Associated with Flammable Clothing
Fabric – Cotton, cotton/polyester blends, rayon and acrylic are generally more combustible than fabrics such as 100% polyester, wool, silk and nylon. The weave and wight of the thread are also a factor in flammability. For example, fine threads with open weaves are generally more combustible than heavy, closed weaves of the same material.
Loose Clothing – The fit and design of clothing is a critical element in being a fire hazard. Loose-fitting clothes with long, flowing design and billowing sleeves such as robes, dresses, blouses, oversized shirts and pants, and pajamas are hazardous anywhere near open flames.
Burning Cigarettes – As if smoking needed another reason to be hazardous to your health, burning cigarettes, cigarette ash, matches or lighters are one of the major cause of clothing fires.
Other Open Flame Sources – Burning candles, fireplaces, incense, or gas cooktops also contribute heavily to clothing fires.
In order to prevail in an Arizona flammable clothing case, the party bringing suit must show that the clothing was highly or unusually flammable, that this was a cause of the burn injuries and that the defendant sold the clothes and is in the business of selling the clothes professionally. In Squillaro v. Kellwood, the burn survivor received a $1,300,000 settlement after the robe she was wearing rapidly ignited, causing severe burns.
If you or a loved one have suffered a serious burn anywhere in the state of Arizona, call our burn injury attorneys today at 602-52-BURNS.