Fires and burns cause 4,000 deaths and injuries a year. Furthermore, about 60,000 people are treated at hospitals for burn related injuries and approximately 25,000 people are severely injured and admitted to burn centers. By taking these three steps to burn-proof your home, you can limit or prevent burn injuries to yourself and others.
Step 1: Check Your Wall Switches and Electrical Outlets
Wall switched and electrical outlets cause over 5,300 household fires and 3,900 injuries a year. Always look for hot, sparking, or smoking switches throughout your house. To avoid child injuries, childproof your home with socket covers.
Step 2: Invest in a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI)
A GFCI is used for devices that may come into contact with water or metal, such as bathroom and kitchen appliances. If metal or water comes into contact with a circuit, the device prevents shock and electrocution by cutting off power to the circuit.
Step 3: Don’t Overload Your Outlets
If you need additional power strips, make sure they have built-in surge protectors. Each outlet should be evaluated to see if it can handle multiple appliances. If you experience multiple or reoccurring blown fuses, you may have overloaded your outlets.
These steps will not completely prevent electrical shocks and burns from occurring, but will limit the possibility. If you experience an electrical fire, if available use a fire extinguisher to put out the fire. If one is not available, make sure the power source is off before trying to put out the fire with water, because water conducts electricity. Finally, if you or someone you know suffers an electrical burn, seek medical treatment immediately, either with your primary care physician or in to Emergency Room.
To read more on National Burn Awareness Week, Click Here.