Arizona residents with children might worry about the potential dangers of the kitchen stove. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission found that 13 fatalities occurred between 2000 and 2006 because of stove instability and tipovers.
Scalds and burns are the most common types of injuries when stove accidents occur. For example, stoves can tip when weight is added to an open oven door. Children may stand on an oven door to get to the stove, and this can cause the stove to move forward. If there are pots and pans on the stove, the contents can spill and burn a child.
All stoves manufactured after 1991 are supposed to be stable enough to support 250 pounds with the oven doors open. Freestanding stoves are also supposed to have anti-tip brackets. In one case, $35 million was awarded in lifetime benefits after a 5-year-old boy from Missouri suffered severe burns from boiling water that spilled from a tipped stove. He stood on the door to reach a pot, and the stove did not have an anti-tip bracket.
Parents can take extra precautions to reduce the likelihood of injuries in the kitchen by turning handles away from a stove's edge, using dry oven mitts and wearing appropriate clothing. One can also inspect a stove for anti-tip brackets and install brackets if necessary.
Dangerous items do not always lead to products liability cases. A stove is just one kind of product that has inherent safety risks. Consumers generally accept a certain level of risk when using these products. However, a defective stove might be classified as unreasonably dangerous. Additionally, manufacturers must provide adequate instructions and safety warnings so that consumers can minimize the risk when using a potentially hazardous product.