In 2015, burn injuries were the fifth leading cause of unintentional death and injury in the U.S. Although nearly 97 percent of victims treated in burn centers survive, many are left with permanent scarring or a life-long disability, according to the American Burn Association (ABA).
For this reason, it is imperative that you are familiar with certain safety tips that may prevent you or your loved ones from suffering a serious burn injury or scald.
However, if you have been injured or lost someone you love in a fire caused by another’s negligence, you may have legal options to obtain compensation. Do not hesitate to contact the West Palm Beach burn injury lawyers of Gordon & Partners for assistance with your claim.
Our award-winning personal injury attorneys in West Palm Beach will provide you with a free, no obligation consultation to review your claim and determine if you have a case against the at-fault party.
In 2015, U.S. fire departments were called to approximately 365,500 home fires that resulted in 2,560 deaths, 11,075 injuries and $7 billion in damages.
Below, are some additional facts about fire injuries in the U.S.:
- Of all burn injuries treated by burn centers, 73 percent occurred at home, while eight percent occurred at work.
- The leading causes of burn injuries include exposure to fire or flames, scalds, contact with hot objects, electrical burns and chemical burns.
- Compared to the general population, children under the age of five are more than twice as likely to suffer burn injuries that require medical care.
- Young adults between the ages of 20 and 29 are one-and-one-half times more likely to sustain burn injuries compared to the general population.
- The lifetime odds of someone in the U.S. dying from exposure to fire, flame or smoke are one in 1,498.
- A civilian fire-related death happens once every 2 hours and 35 minutes in the U.S.
- Cooking and heating equipment are the most common causes of home fires.
- The top cause of residential fire deaths are smoking materials.
Tips to Prevent Fires and Burns
In 2016, there were 3,390 deaths caused by fires, including 2,800 fatalities attributed to residential fires. To keep yourself and others safe from burn injuries or scalds, consider practicing these safety tips:
- Wear snug-fitting clothing when near fires or other heating elements.
- Ensure your home has working smoke detectors in place. One should be installed on each floor of the home and near bedrooms where all family members can hear alarms while sleeping. Test smoke detectors monthly to ensure they are functioning properly.
- Make sure all lightbulbs are the appropriate size for fixtures. Extra wattage can lead to overheating that may cause the lightbulb to explode.
- Keep dryer vents clear of lint build-up and clear away lint before and after each use.
- Have your electrical system inspected for safety. Faulty or outdated wiring hidden behind walls is a major fire hazard and can easily become overloaded by the high electrical demands of modern appliances.
- Do not leave heat-producing appliances like hair dryers or irons unattended. Unplug them immediately after use and safely store them away when you are finished using them.
Tips for Keeping Children Safe from Burns and Scalds
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two children between the ages of newborn and 19 die each day from burn injuries, while more than 300 children receive emergency room treatment.
Furthermore, the ABA estimates that children under the age of 15 account for nearly 25 percent of all burn injuries.
To keep children safe and prevent burn or scald injuries, consider:
- Creating a family fire escape plan and practicing it together so that everyone knows how to exit the home and where to meet in case of a fire. Try to include children when making the plan and identify a meeting point and at least two exit paths from every room in your home.
- Setting your water heater to a safe temperature to prevent scalds, preferably at 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Testing the temperature of water in a bath tub before putting an infant or small child in the bath. When filling the tub, use cold water first and add warmer water as needed to reach a safe temperature.
- Never leaving a stove unattended and monitoring or restricting your child’s use of the microwave, oven or stove. Use back burners to cook and turn pot handles to the rear of the stove.
- Maintaining a child-free zone of at least three feet surrounding your oven and stovetop.
- Storing matches, gasoline, lighters and other flammable materials out of the reach of children.
Get Legal Help for Your Burn Injury
If you or someone you love has suffered a burn injury or scald, do not hesitate to contact a skilled attorney to discuss your legal options.
The team at Gordon & Partners has experience fighting for the rights of personal injury victims. We will investigate your case and work to recover the compensation you deserve for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Schedule a free, no obligation consultation with our legal team to learn what options you have for pursuing compensation. We charge no upfront fees and only receive payment if we help recover compensation for your case.