State fire marshal speaks about burn awareness week

Published 4:41 pm Monday, February 4, 2019

In recognition of National Burn Awareness Week, which runs Feb. 3-9, State Fire Marshal Mike Causey reminds residents of the causes of burn injuries and the resources of burn care available.

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.

“We’ve all suffered minor burns from either grabbing a hot pan or spilling steaming coffee — and that’s painful — but imagine surviving a large second-, third- or fourth-degree burn,” said Causey. “This type of injury is so severe you are left with physical and emotional trauma. That’s why this week is so important to bring awareness to the different causes of burn injuries and provide resources to help keep our residents safe.”

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.

The focus of National Burn Awareness Week is on preventing burn injuries in the home. The majority of preventable burn injuries that occur in residences including scalds, fire-related injuries and electrical burns.

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

• Be “alarmed.” Install and maintain smoke alarms in your home — on every floor and near all rooms that family members sleep in. Test your smoke alarms once a month to make sure they are working properly. Use long life batteries when possible.

• Have an escape plan. 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.

• Cook with care. 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. Set your water heater’s thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Infants and small children may not be able to get away from water that may be too hot. Maintaining a constant thermostat setting can help control the water temperature throughout your home. Test the water at the tap if possible.

For more information and safety tips, visit the fire and burn prevention section of the Safe Kids North Carolina website or contact Safe Kids North Carolina Director Shannon Bullock at