Burn Awareness: Tips To Prevent Fires At Home, In The Kitchen
Burn injuries are one of the leading causes of accidental death and injury throughout the United States. In fact, more than 400,000 people in our country suffer burn injuries that require medical attention every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Burn Awareness Week is observed each February and provides us all an opportunity to learn about ways to prevent burns. This year’s focus is on injuries suffered while cooking at home — nearly half of all home fires are caused by cooking, and many of those fires are preventable.
“If we come together and do everything we can to prevent fires and burn injuries from ever happening, we can prevent pain, suffering and trauma from thousands of our friends and family members,” said David Cohn, managing partner at Chain | Cohn | Clark.
Here are a few tips to prevent injuries and deaths caused by burns in the kitchen, courtesy of the American Burn Association:
- Prevent splatter burns. When frying, use a pan lid to prevent splatter burns.
- Keep your stovetop clear. Always wipe clean the stove, oven and exhaust fan to prevent grease buildup.
- Dress appropriately. Wear short or close-fitting sleeves when cooking to avoid a burn.
- Stay alert. The best time to cook is when you are wide awake and not drowsy from medications or alcohol.
- Never leave the stove unattended. Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling or broiling food. If you leave, turn off the stove.
- Keep children safe in the kitchen. Have a “kid-free-zone” of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
- Monitor your appliances. After cooking, check the kitchen to make sure all burners and other appliances are turned off.
- 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.
- Check water heater temperature and make sure to set your water heater’s thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.
In the unfortunate circumstance you or your loved ones experience a burn injury, here’s what you should do:
- Remove victims from danger and call 911.
- Run burns under cool water. Do not put butter, grease, or ointment on a burn.
- Flush chemical burns continuously.
- Remove watches or jewelry from a burned area.
- If possible, remove clothing from a burned area. If the clothing sticks to the skin, leave it in place and cut away the rest of the fabric.
- Cover a burn with a clean sheet or towel.
CHAIN | COHN | CLARK BURN INJURY CASES
Over the years, the attorneys at Chain | Cohn | Clark have helped numerous burn injury victims, as well as given back in an effort to raise awareness and make sure victims are properly cared for. In fact, when San Joaquin Community Hospital (now Adventist Health) established a burn center to help Bakersfield and Kern County residents in need of specialized burn care, the law firm’s partners donated $200,000 toward the center and it was named the Chain | Cohn | Clark Burn Center.
Here are a few recent notable cases:
- Lawyer David K. Cohn helped resolve a lawsuit for $10 million after a man was burned over 80 percent of his body in an oilfield accident.
- Attorney David Cohn represented two men who suffered from severe injuries caused in a fireworks accident while attending a party on Fourth of July in west Bakersfield. The two men arrived at the party where party-goers were allegedly setting off illegal fireworks and explosives. A blast injured two people, and the case settled in 2018 for $2.3 million.
- In June 2012, David was watering his yard in Ridgecrest when he heard a sizzle and a pop sound. A raven had landed on a power line, which then failed and caused the electrical wire to fall on a fence three houses away. As the fence caught fire, David ran to try to put it out, not knowing a power line was down in the area. While focused on fighting the fire, David didn’t notice that his son, 3 years old at the time, followed close behind. When he noticed his boy, David ran to move him away, but it was too late. The boy tripped over the electrical wire, which caused an electric jolt that burned both of his legs. Attorney Matt Clark helped settle the family’s lawsuit, which argued that a connector on the power line failed when the raven landed near it. The failure caused the wire to fall to the ground, putting residents there in danger.
- The law firm was involved in several cases of exploding e-cigarettes where the victims suffered major burn injuries when electronic cigarettes, or “vapes,” they were using failed and exploded spontaneously.
For more on these types of cases, see the “Results” page on chainlaw.com.