Illinois – OSFM Raising Awareness During Burn Safety Week

Springfield, IL (STL.News) National Burn Awareness Week February 6-12, is an initiative of the American Burn Association.  Burn Awareness Week, observed the first full week in February, is a window of opportunity for organizations to mobilize burn, fire and life safety educators to unite in sharing a common burn awareness and prevention message in communities.

The theme for National Burn Awareness Week 2022, “Burning Issues in the Kitchen”, where a common risk of injury exists from scald burns, improperly used appliances, and distracted cooking occur.  Annually, in the United States, approximately 400,000 people receive medical care for treatment of burn injuries.  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.

“Every 60 seconds someone in the U.S. sustains a burn injury serious enough to require treatment.  Be on alert! Stay in the kitchen while cooking and create a three-foot kid-free zone around your stove or oven when cooking,” said Illinois State Fire Marshal Matt Perez.  “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.  Following these tips will reduce the risk of an accidental burn or fire from occurring in your home.”

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 and chemicals.  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.

“Building upon the success of last year, the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance is excited to expand on its newest burn survivor support program – the Virtual Burn Survivor Support Program.  With the level of participation seen by adult survivors, this online program will be made more frequently available in an effort to allow for positive conversations to occur nearly each month of the year,” said Illinois Fire Safety Alliance Executive Director, Philip Zaleski.  “The program is available to adult burn survivors as well as caregivers of survivors and creates a safe and accepting environment for everyone participating while providing a comfortable setting for those in attendance to feel comfortable sharing their burn and recovery related experiences to each other and health care professionals.  Each session has a different topic or activity which revolves around burn injuries, whether it be physical or emotional healing.”

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