National Burn Awareness Week raises awareness and prevents burn injuries

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In recognition of 2021 National Burn Awareness Week, which runs Feb. 7-13, Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey reminds North Carolinians of the causes of burn injuries and the resources of burn care available.

Since families are spending more time at home, National Burn Awareness Week presents an opportunity to review some simple safety steps to prevent burn injuries at home, at work, and outdoors.

This year’s theme from the American Burn Association is Electrical Safety from Amps to Zap (A to Z).

Commissioner Causey, who is also the State Fire Marshal, reminds all North Carolinians to stay focused on electrical safety because unprotected electrical outlets and improperly used extension cords are often the cause of a fire.

“Every year, about 400,000 people receive medical care for a burn-related injury,” said Commissioner Causey. “With people spending more time at home, it’s important to stay focused on burn prevention, raise awareness of potential electrical hazards in our homes and make sure our children know the importance of electrical fire safety.”

In this broadcast quality video, State Fire Marshal Causey shows the dangers of space heaters and improperly used extension cords.

To prevent electrical burns, State Fire Marshal Causey offers these safety tips:

  • Do not overload power outlets.
  • If you have a major appliance, like a refrigerator, a stove, a microwave or a dishwasher, plug it directly into a wall outlet, not a power strip.
  • Make sure extension cords are not worn, broken or frayed.
  • Do not run extension cords under carpeting.
  • Perform routine maintenance on your heating and ventilation systems.
  • Do not pull on the end of the cord that’s plugged into an outlet.

Burn injuries continue to be one of the leading causes of accidental death and injury throughout the country.

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, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

According to the American Burn Association, burn injuries continue to be one of the leading causes of accidental death and injury in the United States with approximately 486,000 people receiving treatment of burn injuries annually. Almost one-third of all burn injuries occur in children under the age of 15.

To prevent burns from fires and scalding, State Fire Marshal Causey offers these safety tips:

  • Install and maintain smoke alarms in your home — on every floor and near all rooms where family members sleep. Test your smoke alarms once a month to make sure they are working properly.
  • Create and practice a family fire escape plan and involve kids in the planning. Make sure everyone knows at least two ways out of every room and identify a central meeting place outside.
  • Use safe cooking practices, such as never leaving food on the stove unattended. Also, supervise or restrict children’s use of stoves, ovens and microwaves.
  • Check water heater temperature and make sure to set your water heater’s thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.

For more information and safety tips, visit the Fire Prevention and Education section of the Office of State Fire Marshal website.

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Angela Brown
Angela Brown is the author of our Business & Economy section.