Smoking-Related Fires: A Threat to Nursing Home Patients

The U.S. Fire Administration, based on data coming from several sources, has indicated that the leading cause of residential fires that result in fatalities in older adults is smoking. The U.S. Surgeon General stated that the older adult population represents the highest fire risk group and the risk of fire injury or death increases with age.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is advocating a policy to eliminate smoking and fires caused by smoking in all nursing home environments. This would mandate that all nursing homes be smoke-free environments for residents. Smoking would be eliminated from all the enclosed areas of a nursing home, but nursing homes could choose to establish an enclosed, well-ventilated area where smoking would be allowed during certain hours. There would be a smoke free environment outdoors as well, but again, a designated place could be provided where smoking was permitted during certain hours. Because a nursing home may have combustible materials such as oxygen tanks, access to matches and lighters by residents would be limited depending upon assessment by nursing home staff as to the resident’s ability to abide by residential smoking regulations.

Age, physical and mental health issues can prevent nursing home residents from acting quickly if something unexpected happens suddenly. Safety is the most important feature in any nursing home environment, and smoking related fires puts everyone’s safety in jeopardy.

Smoking related fire injuries in nursing homes are tragic and difficult for all parties involved, so seeking excellent legal counsel is key. If you or someone you love has been injured in a smoking related nursing home accident, contact the personal injury attorneys at Jacoby and Meyers, LLP NY today. Our team of personal injury professionals has the knowledge and experience to offer you quality legal representation while fighting for the compensation you need and deserve. Call us today at 1-877-504-5562 . You may also contact us by email at [email protected].

Dear friends and clients,

In furtherance of our firms culture of commitment to always act with compassion, concern and commitment to our clients, community and colleagues, we have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligations while prioritizing health, wellness and safety of all we can. 

As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced changes to many lives and businesses in our communities, and around the world. We, much like our neighbors and friends, have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligation to our clients, while also prioritizing the health, wellness and safety of our employees.

Until further notice, our offices will be closed to the public to encourage social distancing and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our team is still hard at work, many from home, and you may still call, email, live chat or video conference us if you or a loved one is seeking legal assistance. As the first law firm to offer our clients secure online access to their case file more than a decade ago, we have always been believers in using technology to make life easier and information more accessible. In these present times it has been a smooth transition for us to continue to offer our clients the same seamless and thorough service that you deserve and are accustomed to.

This pandemic is unlike anything any of us have faced in our lifetimes, and while we can continue to emotionally support one another through it all, staying home and keeping your distance is vital to the health and wellness of our communities. It does not feel good to break routines, cancel events and retreat from our normal, day-to-day socializing, but let us remember that, in times of strife, prior generations were asked to go to war and we are simply being asked to stay home. Your isolation equals more lives saved, and more time for medical providers to prepare for the treatment of patients battling COVID-19.

When the dust settles, we will join together with a greater appreciation for our lives, local businesses, loved ones and health. Until then, we will continue to offer guidance from a safe distance.

Very truly yours,

Andrew G. Finkelstein and the staff of Jacoby & Meyers, LLP