Burn Awareness Week tips

Burn Awareness Week February 1-7, 2009

For more than 20 years, the first week in February has been recognized as Burn Awareness Week.  Each year in the United States, 1.1 million burn injuries require medical attention.  Fire departments, medical organizations and hospitals support this campaign in an attempt to reduce the number of burn injuries that all to often involve children.

The theme this year is "Preventing Gasoline Burns".  Fires caused by gasoline are a major factor in burn injuries. In one year there were 4,700 gasoline fires in U.S. homes. According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, approximately 1,270 children under age 5 are treated in emergency rooms for injuries resulting from the misuse of gasoline and unsecured gasoline cans. Children ages 10-14 are almost four times more likely to get in trouble with gasoline.

The following safety tips are provided by Richmond Fire and Emergency Services and the Shriners Hospitals for Children.  Please share them with all family members.

Gasoline Use:

DO remember that gasoline should only be used to fill the gasoline tank of a car, motorcycle, lawn mower, etc. Gasoline's only use is to fuel an engine!

DO keep in mind that a spark, flame or other source of heat can ignite gasoline vapors, even from many feet away.

DON'T use gasolines to light a barbecue grill or use it anywhere near a barbecue grill.

DON'T use gasoline to start or accelerate any kind of fire.

DON'T use gasoline as a solvent or cleaner.

DON'T experiment with gasoline in any way. A few minutes of experimentation could result in a lifetime of painful surgeries, disfiguring scars, or even death.

DON'T sniff or huff gasoline; it can cause brain damage or death.

Handling Gasoline:

DO handle gasoline responsibly at all times and only under adult supervision.

DO remember that an engine that is still warm can ignite gasoline vapors. Gasoline should only be added when an engine is completely cool.

DON'T allow younger children to touch gasoline or a gasoline container under any circumstances.

DON'T handle gasoline near a flame source, such as matches, lighters or pilot lights on stoves and water heaters.

DON'T handle gasoline indoors.

DON'T siphon gasoline by mouth. It is harmful or fatal if swallowed.

DON'T induce vomiting if gasoline is swallowed. Instead, seek immediate medical attention.