What Are the Most Common Causes of Burn Injuries?

October 28, 2020

Fire Prevention Week was October 4-10. Residents of Arizona should, however, be aware of fire hazards and how to prevent burn injury risks year-round. Fires are a significant cause of property damages, serious personal injuries and deaths in the US each year. The US Fire Administration reported 1,318,500 fires, 3,655 deaths and 15,200 injuries in 2018 alone related to fires. Fires are not the only cause of burns in Arizona. Decrease your chances of a burn injury by recognizing all the most common causes.

Kitchen Accidents

Thousands of burn injuries – many of which require emergency care – each year stem from accidents right at home, often in the kitchen. The US Fire Administration found that in 2018, half of all residential building fires were related to cooking. Cooking also accounted for the largest percentage of nonresidential building fires in 2018 (30.6%). Burns in the kitchen can stem from many common hazards.

  • Steam
  • Open flames
  • Hot burners and ovens
  • Hot objects
  • Hot liquids
  • Appliance fires or malfunctions
  • Pressure cookers
  • Tea kettles
  • Gas grills

Burn injury risks in the kitchen and throughout the home often place small children in danger. Children may not understand the risks of hot objects, foods or liquids in the kitchen. For this reason, it is important to create a barrier that prevents children from entering the kitchen while you are cooking. Teach your children not to yank on cords or wires that hang down as well. An incident or fire in the kitchen could lead to severe burn injuries.

Heating Elements

Heating elements, appliances and products meant to keep consumers warm can cause burn injuries if they malfunction. Common culprits include furnaces, water heaters, kerosene heaters, space heaters, floor heaters, electric blankets and electric fireplaces. Keep an eye on product recalls, especially during fall and winter, to make sure you do not have an item in your home that may put you at risk of a burn injury due to a defect. Have your heating appliances inspected by a professional at least once per year. Replace any heaters or equipment with worn or frayed wires. Be careful around open fires, bonfires and fireplaces as well.

Chemical Spills

Although the majority of burn injuries each year are thermal burns, which come from contact with sources of heat or fire, these are not the only possible type of burns. You could also suffer a chemical burn from contact with a base or acidic chemical. Some common household cleaners can be potent enough to cause chemical burns if touched, especially if the product is old, expired or defective. Chemical spills are also common in workplaces that deal with caustic chemicals, such as manufacturing facilities and labs.

Electrical Elements

Electric burns are another type of burn injury. In Arizona, an electric burn could happen at home, at work or somewhere else if you come into contact with a faulty electrical element. Many different types of electrical products and elements at home could lead to electric burns, electrocutions or electric shocks.

  • Curling irons
  • Blow dryers
  • Heating pads
  • Hot plates
  • Portable burners
  • Laptops
  • Electric children’s toys
  • Holiday lights

Dangerous electrical products should contain warnings for consumers regarding possible electric shock risks. It is a marketing defect if a dangerous product does not contain this type of consumer warning.

Obtaining Compensation for a Burn Injury in Phoenix, Arizona

If one of these common causes of burn injuries injured you in Phoenix, Arizona, contact a burn injury lawyer for assistance. A lawyer can help you go up against a negligent or at-fault party, such as a product manufacturer or your employer. If something at work gave you a burn injury, you may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim. A successful lawsuit could pay for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. Contact Begam Marks & Traulsen, P.A. today for a free consultation.