During the month of October, fire departments nationwide take the time to remind the public about the importance of preventing fire hazards and preparing for emergencies. October is observed in the United States as Fire Safety Month. The National Fire Prevention Association observes Oct. 9 and the week in which it falls as Fire Prevention Week. This time was established to commemorate the catastrophic Chicago and Peshtigo fires of October 1871. You can avoid burn injuries and burn injury lawsuits with knowledge and by exercising caution.
How Common Are Burn Injuries?
According to the American Burn Association, about 450,000 patients get hospital and emergency room treatment for burn injuries each year in the United States. This statistic does not account for burn injuries treated in hospital clinics, private medical offices or community health centers. There are about 3,400 burn injury fatalities that occur each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that burns and fires are the third leading cause of death in the home.
About 44 percent of all admissions to burn centers result from fire or flame burns. Nearly 33 percent of all burn center admissions result from scalding injuries caused by wet or moist heat. Electrical burns account for 4 percent of burn center admissions and chemical burns account for 3 percent. Scalding is the most common burn injury in children under 4. Each year, about 250,000 children under age 17 require medical attention for burn injuries and about 15,000 children require hospitalization.
Importance of Fire Escape Plans
Fires can spread pretty quickly leaving the occupants of a structure one or two minutes to get out safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Each year in the United States, there are more than 350,000 home fires resulting in 2,500 fatalities. A safe escape plan can be the difference between life and death.
Children, in particular, tend to panic in a fire. A common reaction for kids is to hide from the flames. Children who know how to escape won’t get trapped inside and lose their lives in a fire. Elderly and disabled family members may need help or special accommodations to escape a fire. With a good plan, a person can help them escape, or other preventative measures can be taken to help them escape on their own.
Do Smoke and Fire Alarms Really Help?
The importance of smoke and fire alarms cannot be minimized when it comes to burn injury prevention. It is important to remember that smoke inhalation causes more fatalities than burn injuries in fires.
About two-thirds of home fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or broken smoke alarms. Properly installed and maintained smoke alarms are considered to be one of the best and least expensive means of providing an early warning of a potentially deadly fire. Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of the home, outside sleeping areas, and inside bedrooms. A smoke alarm should be installed and maintained according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Call Us For Help Today!
If you or a loved one has been injured in a fire, the experienced Rhode Island personal injury lawyers at d’Oliveira & Associates can help you better understand your legal rights and options. You may be eligible to receive compensation for medical expenses, lost income, emotional and physical pain and suffering, among other losses. Call our toll-free number at 1-800-992-6878 or fill out a contact form online for a free and comprehensive case consultation.