IL urges safety and care during National Burn Awareness Week

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Information provided by the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (February 8, 2021) – National Burn Awareness Week is an initiative of the American Burn Association and is a coming together of burn, fire, and life safety educators to make the public aware of the frequency, devastation, and causes of burn injuries. The week introduces measures to prevent these injuries and how to best care for those that are injured.

The theme for National Burn Awareness Week 2021 is “Electrical Safety from Amps to Zap!” and highlights a common risk of injury that exists from unprotected electrical outlets, improperly used extension cords, lightning, and workplace electrical injuries. In the United States, approximately 400,000 people receive medical care for treatment of burn injuries annually. In 2018 alone, there were 3,655 deaths from fire and smoke inhalation and another 40,000 people were treated in hospitals for burn-related injuries.

“It’s important to do a risk assessment around your home and cover all electrical outlets reducing the risk of accidental electrocution. Create a three-foot kid-free zone around your stove or oven when cooking, turn pot/pan handles around when cooking, use rear burners if possible, place hot liquids in the middle of a table and out of the reach of children and make sure to wear shoes when walking on pavement during hot summer months. Taking a few simple steps can help to reduce the risk for injury or burn injuries from occurring, along with the physical and mental scares the come from those burn injuries,” said Illinois State Fire Marshal Matt Perez.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), most “fire-related injuries” are burns. In fact, approximately every 60 seconds someone in the U.S. sustains a burn injury serious enough to require treatment. The primary causes of injury include fire-flame, scalds, contact with hot objects, electrical incidents, and chemical incidents. Most of the injuries occur in the home. Today, 96.8% of those who suffer burn injuries will survive. Unfortunately, many of those survivors will sustain serious scarring, life-long physical disabilities, and adjustment difficulties.

Virtual Burn Survivor Support Program

“The Illinois Fire Safety Alliance is excited to announce the launch of its newest program to assist burn survivors across the state—the Virtual Burn Survivor Support Program. The online program will be made available monthly and will be provided to both younger and older burn survivors, as well as caregivers. Each session will have a different topic or activity which revolves around burn injuries, whether it be physical or emotional healing. The program will create a safe and accepting environment for everyone participating while providing a comfortable setting for participants to feel comfortable in sharing their burn and recovery related experiences,” said Executive Director Philip Zaleski.

To learn more about this program visit: www.IFSA.org