The following data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows the prevalence of injury and death in the United States from fires and burns:
- On average in the United States in 2009, someone died in a fire every 175 minutes, and someone was injured every 31 minutes.
- Deaths from fires and burns are the third leading cause of fatal home injury.
- Fatal fire and burn injuries cost $3 billion, representing 2% of the total costs of all fatal injuries.
- Hospitalized fire and burn injuries total $1 billion, or 1% of the total cost of all hospitalized injuries.
- Non-hospitalized fire and burn injuries cost $3 billion, or 2% of the total cost of all non-hospitalized injuries.
What can you do to protect your family from fire and burn injuries? The data compiled by the CDC is compelling:
- Approximately 4 out of 10 home fire deaths occur in homes without smoke alarms.
- Smoking is the leading cause of fire-related deaths.
- Cooking is the primary cause of residential fires.
- Alcohol use contributes to an estimated 40% of residential fire deaths.
- Most victims of fires die from smoke or toxic gases and not from burns.
The answers are obvious, aren’t they? If you do not have smoke detectors, get them – TODAY. If you have smoke detectors, when did you last change the batteries? If you do not know the answer, change them – TODAY. Quit smoking, but if you insist on smoking, never smoke in bed or while sleepy. Never leave the kitchen unattended while cooking – even “for a minute.” The statistics show that alcohol contributes to nearly half of all residential fire deaths, so know your limits and do not make a bad situation worse. If you find yourself in a building that is on fire, remember to crawl low in the smoke to the nearest exit; the freshest air is near the floor.
Burn injuries are notoriously painful and can cause systemic injury throughout the body. Death resulting from fire and burn injuries can truly be described as horrific. If you or your family are confronted with burn injury or wrongful death caused by the negligence of another, contact Lesser, Lesser, Landy & Smith for a free consultation. We have decades of experience.