5 Facts and Statistics About Burn Injuries at Home
Homes are one of the most common places for burn injuries. Here are some notable facts and statistics regarding burn injuries in the home:
According to the American Burn Association (ABA), around 400,000 people are treated for burn injuries yearly in the United States. Young children are especially vulnerable to this type of injury. A recent report by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) found that fire departments responded to a fire every 23 seconds in the United States one recent year. A civilian suffered non-fatal burn injuries every 36 minutes that year. Every two hours and 18 minutes, a civilian sustained fatal burn injuries. There were nearly 1.5 million fires in the United States, 25 percent of which occurred in homes. Home fires led to 11,100 civilian injuries and 2,840 civilian deaths that year. Over 75 percent of all fire-related civilian deaths resulted from home fires.
Holiday Burn Hazards & Burn Injury Prevention
Many burn injuries in the home occur due to holiday-related fire hazards. Whether you are celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Diwali, Thanksgiving, New Year’s, the Fourth of July, or another holiday altogether, here are some common hazards to watch out for and steps you can take to avoid them:
The kitchen is a common place for burn injuries to occur. If you are planning on cooking a holiday meal, remember these safety tips:
Make sure an adult is supervising any children cooking with hot liquids, oils, grease, and other substances. Use oven mitts to handle hot pots and pans. Don’t pour water on a cooking fire. Instead, use a fire extinguisher or cover the fire with a lid. Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove so children can’t touch the handles. Don’t let electrical cords dangle from countertops. If possible, don’t use tablecloths that drape over your table. A young child could pull on the cloth, causing hot foods or liquids to fall off the table. Never carry a child while you are moving hot food and liquids.
Many people put up trees to celebrate Christmas and other winter holidays. Consider following these recommendations to prevent fires and burn injuries related to your holiday tree:
Never use frayed electrical cords. If you decide to purchase a fresh tree, keep it watered. Dry trees are a fire risk. Unplug tree lights if you plan to be out of the house. Ensure that any lighting you use is safety-rated. Do not use candles or old holiday light strings that could cause a fire. Make sure any holiday decorations aren’t blocking fire exits.
If you plan on building a fire during the holidays, keep these safety tips in mind to prevent the risk of burns:
Don’t use gasoline, alcohol, or other fuels as an accelerant. Have your chimney inspected before the holidays. You should get a chimney inspection every autumn. Open the flue damper to prevent smoke and carbon monoxide from entering your home. Don’t try to cook over an indoor fireplace. Always keep a three-foot distance between yourself and any fireplace or heater you’re using.
Holidays such as New Year’s Eve and Independence Day often involve setting off fireworks. If misused, fireworks can lead to serious burn injuries. Follow these tips to stay safe while using fireworks:
Don’t allow young children to set off or play with any fireworks. Even hand-held fireworks like sparklers can reach extremely high temperatures when burning. Keep a water source close by in case of an accident. Step away from fireworks after lighting them. Never relight a firework that failed to ignite. Don’t point fireworks at anyone. Don’t set off fireworks if you have been consuming alcohol.