As Burn Awareness Week approaches from February 4-10, 2024, the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund is launching a campaign to draw attention to the critical issue of burn safety and prevention, with this year’s theme centered around Flammable Liquid Burns.
The Burn Fund aims to shed light on the heightened risks associated with the use of flammable liquids and accelerants such as gasoline, acetone, paint thinners, and alcohol. Incidents involving these substances can escalate rapidly and unexpectedly, leading to severe injuries and traumatic experiences for burn survivors.
Burn injuries are not only exquisitely painful but also entail extensive medical procedures and care. Burn survivors often face challenges such as dressing changes, fluid loss, and a heightened risk of severe infections due to their compromised immune systems. Inhalation injuries, common in indoor fires, are also prevalent in flammable liquid fires, even outdoors, owing to the size of flames and exposure to toxic chemicals.
In the context of the rising trend of TikTok challenges encouraging the use of accelerants in videos, the Burn Fund underscores the importance of parental intervention. Parents are urged to emphasize fire safety with their children, as the misuse of flammable liquids can lead to serious injuries and, in extreme cases, loss of life.
Join us in spreading the message of caution and safety during Burn Awareness Week 2024. Together, we can prevent burn injuries and create a safer environment for all.
Campfire Safety Tips:
Build your fire in a designated ring/pit at least 15 feet away (preferably downwind from tent, brush and other flammable objects).
Keep children at a safe distance with a “circle of safety” at least 3 feet from the fire edge.
Completely extinguish the fire and coals by pouring water, stirring, and pouring water again until it is cool. Never bury a fire.
Fire pits retain heat up to 12 hours after being extinguished – hot enough to cause a severe burn.
Don’t use an accelerant such as gasoline, kerosene or aerosol sprays to start a fire.
Gasoline Safety Tips:
Use gasoline outdoors only, and store in cool, well-ventilated areas.
Keep gasoline in a secure location, out of the reach of children.
Use containers that have been listed, labeled, or approved for gasoline.
Fill equipment with gas when engines are cool.
In the event of a burn injury:
If you have burning flammable liquids on your body or clothes, STOP, DROP, AND ROLL until the flames have been extinguished. Then Call 911.
Cool the burn with COOL (not cold) water to stop the burning process.
Remove all clothing from the injured area.
Cover the area with a clean dry sheet or bandage.
Seek medical attention.
Why burn awareness is important:
Each year at BC Children’s Hospital there are more than 1,000 burn-related visits for both treatment and follow-up appointments. Approximately 150 patients with new burn injuries are treated at BC Children’s Hospital each year alone.
Scald burns account for 70 per cent of all burns in children in B.C. Scalds are most often caused by hot liquids, steam or hot bath water. 78 percent of burn injuries in children in B.C. happen to children under five. Toddlers are at a developmental stage where they need to explore and experiment, often lacking awareness of danger in certain situations.