National Burn Awareness Week
By EMS Captain Liz Murphy
February 4, 2024

National Burn Awareness Week is the initiative of the American Burn Association held annually during the first week of February, with this year’s being observed February 4 -10. The 2024 Burn Awareness Week Campaign focuses on Flammable Liquid Burns.

Each year, an estimated 400,000 people, in the U.S,, sustain burn injuries requiring medical treatment. Approximately 73% of those burns occur in the home but nearly 10% of all burn injuries occur in the workplace. The majority of these injuries are preventable.

Burn injuries continue to be one of the leading causes of death and injury in our Nation. Tragically, children, the elderly, and the disabled are especially vulnerable to burn injuries. Almost one-third of all burn injuries occur in children under the age of 15.

Flammable Liquids are extremely hazardous due to their ability to produce vapors. Due to most flammable liquid vapors being heavier than air, they can travel distances and have the potential to encounter an ignition source such as an open flame (i.e: matches, cigarettes, lighters, flames, gas appliance and heaters), causing the vapor to easily and rapidly ignite.

The average American household contains numerous Flammable or Combustible products with labels alerting consumers of dangers/hazards of fire or explosion if not properly stored, used, or cleaned up if spilled.

Examples of Flammable Liquids which may be around your home:
• Nail Polish Remover
• Rubbing Alcohol
• Lighter Fluid
• Paint Thinner
• Aerosol Cans
• Linseed Oil
• Gasoline
• Turpentine
Most of this items are harmless, but if not properly stored they could ignite and cause a fire.

The following are some reminders on proper storage:
• Avoid storing flammable liquids on high shelves.
• Store items in dark and cool spaces, avoid direct sunlight.
• Store liquids in well-ventilated area.
• Use the correct containers for liquids; such as gasoline or kerosene.

For more information on flammable liquids and flammable liquid burns, visit the American Burn Association, the U.S. Fire Administration, and the National Fire Protection Association.

Hyperlinks: American Burn Association
U.S. Fire Administration
National Fire Protection Association
Attachment aba119_burnprevention-gasoline_120423.pdf  (395k)
Attachment flame-fires.pdf  (102k)
Attachment safety-in-the-home-children.pdf  (101k)