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Burn Injuries in the Home and How to Prevent Them

Most burn injuries are preventable, but preventing burn injuries requires understanding certain risks. Data from the American Burn Association indicates that 73% of burns during a 10-year time frame occurred inside people’s homes, highlighting the importance of understanding the risks and knowing how to protect not just yourself, but your family and friends.

Burns in the Home

Burn injuries can affect anybody inside the home, but children are much more susceptible to sustaining these injuries than others. In fact, information available from Stanford Medicine Children’s Health indicates that one of the leading causes of accidental injuries in homes is burn injuries. Some of the main burn injury risks at home arise due to the following:

  • Open flames. Open flames can include fires inside a fireplace, BBQ pits, trash fires, cigarette lighters, matches, and more. Anytime there is an open flame, there is a risk of burn injuries occurring.
  • Scalding risks. Individuals can become scalded due to a variety of activities inside the home. This can include in the kitchen from boiling liquids tipping over, but scalding injuries can also occur in bathrooms or even in bathtubs where children are.
  • Electrical exposure. Electrical exposure incidents can occur as a result of faulty or damaged electrical outlets, but these types of injuries often happen because of “dare behaviors” in younger children. For example, climbing on utility poles or antennas or sticking items inside electrical outlets significantly increases the risk of electrical burns occurring.
  • Hot metal or glass. Hot metal or glass often leads to significant burn injuries. It is not uncommon for individuals to work with hot metal or glass for their occupations or hobbies.
  • Chemical burns. Various types of chemicals in or around a home can lead to burn injuries, including gasoline, paint thinners, bleach, strong acids, and others.

Preventing These Injuries

National Burn Awareness Week is in February, and the ABA wants you to know that you can enhance safety in the home when it comes to burn risks. Minimizing the risk of brain injuries at home by adopting effective prevention methods is important, particularly for those with children or vulnerable adults in the household.

  1. Stay vigilant in the kitchen. The majority of burns occur at home, with the kitchen being a common hotspot. Practice safe cooking habits, such as turning pot handles inward to prevent spills and wearing protective clothing.
  2. Regulate water temperature. To prevent scalding, set your home’s water heater to a safe temperature, ideally below 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Always test bath water before allowing children to enter.
  3. Electrical safety. Ensure your home’s electrical systems and appliances are in good condition. Avoid overloading sockets and teach everyone in the household about the dangers of electrical burns.
  4. Chemical safety. Make sure to keep chemicals and cleaning products out of reach of children. Use them according to the manufacturer’s instructions and wear protective gear when handling corrosive substances to avoid chemical burns.
  5. Fire safety. Install smoke alarms in key areas of your home and check them regularly. Have a fire extinguisher accessible and ensure everyone knows how to use it. Establish and practice a fire escape plan with your family.
  6. First aid knowledge. Familiarize yourself with basic burn first aid. For minor burns, cool the area with cool (not cold) water to alleviate pain and prevent further tissue damage. Avoid ice, as it can worsen the injury. For serious burns, seek immediate medical attention.

If you suffer a burn injury while at someone else’s house, consulting a Coweta County personal injury lawyer can be crucial to understand your legal options. They can assess the circumstances surrounding the incident and help determine if you have grounds for a claim against the property owner or other liable parties. Seeking legal guidance promptly can ensure you receive the necessary compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages resulting from the burn injury.