INDIANAPOLIS — People are being urged to be extra vigilant to prevent burn injuries from common household sources.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission said in 2021, more than 193,000 people were treated at an emergency room for burn injuries. Many of these injuries involved consumer products ranging from fireworks to space heaters.
The CPSC said children under 10 years old are especially vulnerable. That age group accounted for more than 1 out of every 4 burn injuries treated in 2021.
Data from the CPSC shows nearly half of the injuries in children were to the upper extremities, from shoulders to fingers and more than a third specifically to the hands and figures. However, the vast majority of the incidents are preventable. The CPSC provided the following tips to keep safe:
- Candles: Use flashlights instead of candles. If using candles, do not burn them on or near anything that can catch fire, never leave them burning unattended and extinguish candles when leaving the room and before sleeping.
- Cooking Care: Keep children away from the cooking area, and keep flammable items, like potholders and paper or plastic bags, away from the stove and oven.
- All Clothing Burns: Keep all clothing away from flames and ignition sources. Loose clothing can catch fire easily.
- Space Heater Safety: Keep hands and fingers away and give the space heater some space – at least three feet. Loose flammable items in close proximity to a space heater can catch fire.
- If You Smoke: Smoking materials can ignite clothing. Don’t smoke while drowsy; safely extinguish smoking material.
The National Fire Prevention Association says if clothing catches fire, people should stop, drop and roll. While rolling, they should cover their face and roll until the fire is out.
If they are unable to drop, they should use something like a blanket to put out the flames. The NFPA says after the fire is out, people should run cool water over the burn until emergency responders arrive.
The CPSC encourages people to check regularly to see if a product they use has been recalled. If it has, they should stop using it immediately and contact the recalling company for the remedy. This may include a refund, repair or replacement.
Beyond burn incidents involving consumer products, the CPSC says unintentional residential fires cause nearly 2,400 deaths and about 10,900 injuries every year.
The CPSC said seconds matter when safety is on the line. Here are a few tips they provided for people to be fire safe:
- Fire Extinguisher: Have a fire extinguisher nearby, and place working smoke alarms on every floor outside sleeping areas and inside bedrooms.
- Charging Batteries: Always be present when charging devices using lithium-ion batteries, using the charger that came with your device. Unplug the device when properly charged and never charge them while sleeping.
- Fire Escape Plan: Create an escape plan and make sure everyone practices it.
- Make sure there are two ways out of each room, as well as a path to the outside from each exit. Once out, stay out of the house.
- Close bedroom doors: During a fire, closed bedroom doors can slow the spread and allow extra moments to get to safety.