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Prevent flammable liquid burns

SAN DIEGO – There is a growing concern among first responders and the medical community over the increased occurrences of flammable liquid burns. Flammable liquid burns occur when liquids that can easily catch fire come into contact with the skin and ignite. These burns can be particularly dangerous due to the rapid spread of flames and the severity of injuries they can cause.

Flammable liquid burns commonly result from accidents involving gasoline, alcohol, kerosene or other volatile substances. These accidents might occur in industrial settings, at home or during transportation. They may result in lifelong scarring and in some extreme cases, even death. Prevention of flammable liquid burns is always preferable to treatment and can be accomplished through simple changes in behavior and small adjustments in the work and home environment.

In conjunction with Burn Awareness Week, Feb. 4-10, the American Burn Association and the Burn Institute are providing information to eliminate flammable liquid burns in the community.

Each year, over 450,000 injuries occur in the United States due to severe skin burns, with young children, older adults and disabled individuals most at-risk.

“We are dedicated to protecting the most vulnerable in our community by using education and raising community awareness to help reduce the risk of these types of burn injuries. Taking a few extra seconds to move a liquid away from a flame or clear a space of dry material that can ignite could mean the difference between safety and a burn,” Tessa Haviland, executive director for the Burn Institute, said. “By using education and community awareness, we hope to empower our communities to take simple steps to reduce the risk of burn injury and protect those most vulnerable, young children, older adults and those with mobility issues.”

Flammable liquid burns are easy to prevent. Some things you can do to make your home and workplace safer include when purchasing a gas can, make sure it has a fuel arrestor on the can to prevent flashback; never use an accelerant such as gasoline, kerosene or aerosol sprays to start a fire and refuel lawnmowers, leaf blowers and string trimmers when the engines are cool and are in an open area outdoors.

The Burn Institute offers an onsite Fire Safety in the Workplace program to teach employees fire safety including how to use fire extinguishers, smoke alarm placement, as well as safe handling of flammable materials. Classes of all sizes are welcome and can be reserved at

Submitted by The Burn Institute.


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