In 2021, U.S. emergency rooms treated more than 193,000 burn injuries caused by an array of products, ranging from cooking devices to fireworks and space heaters.
Most of these burns were preventable, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Children under age 10 are especially vulnerable, accounting for 26% of all burn injuries in 2021, according to a commission news release.
Here, the CPSC offers some tips for staying safe from burns:
Keep children away from the cooking area. Keep flammable items, such as potholders and bags, away from the stove and oven.
Keep clothing away from flames or ignition sources. Loose clothing can catch fire easily.
Leave at least 3 feet between a space heater and a person. Keep hands and fingers away from it. Don’t leave loose flammable items near it.
Don’t smoke while drowsy, and use flashlights instead of candles. If you do use candles, don’t burn them near anything that can catch fire and never leave them unattended. Always extinguish candles before leaving the room or going to sleep.
If your clothing does catch fire, immediately stop. Don’t run. Drop to the ground and roll. Cover your face. Roll until the fire is out, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Fire Prevention Association advised.
If you’re not able to drop, use something like a blanket to put out the flames. Run cool water on your burn until emergency responders arrive.
Unintentional residential fires cause nearly 2,400 deaths and about 10,900 injuries yearly, according to CPSC data. Black Americans have the highest rate of deaths from fire, nearly twice the overall rate across the population.
The CPSC also offers some tips on being fire-safe. These include having working smoke detectors on every floor outside sleeping areas and inside bedrooms. Have a fire extinguisher handy.
Always be present when charging devices using lithium ion batteries, using the charger that came with your device. Unplug the device after batteries are properly charged. Never charge batteries while sleeping.
Create an escape plan in case of fire and make sure everyone practices it. Once outside, stay out.
Sleep with bedroom doors closed. This can slow the spread of fire and allow extra moments to get to safety.
Check for recalled products at www.cpsc.gov/recalls.
The National Safety Council has more on fire safety.
SOURCE: Consumer Product Safety Commission, news release, Feb. 6, 2023
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