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Burns Are a Major Contributor to Home Injuries and Fatalities

Posted on in Personal Injury

According to the American Burn Association, about 3,500 Americans are killed in fire-related incidents every year - 3,000 from residential fires and the remaining 500 from electrical, chemical or hot liquid sources or from vehicle or airplane fires following a crash. Altogether, about 45,000 people are hospitalized for burn injuries every year.

Although fatalities and injuries caused by residential fires have gradually declined in recent decades, fires and burns are still the third leading cause of home injury deaths, ranking the U.S. in eighth place among the 25 developed countries that track burn statistics, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Hundreds Injured Annually in California Residential Fires

In 2008, more than 10,000 residential fires were reported in California, resulting in 319 injures and 59 deaths, according to the state fire marshal's report on CA.gov. Groups at high risk for fire or burn-related injuries include:

  • Children age 4 and under
  • Adults age 65 and older
  • Low-income residents
  • Rural residents
  • Residents living in manufactured or substandard housing

Reducing Risk Factors and Improving Fire Safety

Although cooking is the number one cause of residential fires, according to experts, smoking is the leading cause of fire-related death. To reduce the risk of fire and burn-related injuries:

  • Don't smoke at home and don't allow others to smoke. If you must, take it outside.
  • Limit alcohol intake when cooking or working with fire. Alcohol use contributes to 40 percent of residential fire deaths.
  • Install smoke alarms and keep them in good working order. An estimated 37 percent of fire-related deaths happen in homes without smoke alarms.

If you or a loved one has been seriously burned or otherwise injured in a fire-related incident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your case and review your options.

Source: Fontana Herald News, "Here are safety tips to help protect children from burns," 02/13/2012.

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