Fire Safety is Important

Fire safety is no laughing matter.  As Indiana Serious Injury Lawyers we have seen the devastation fire can wreak.  Burns are life threatening. Basic first aid divides burns into three categories or degrees.  First degree burns cause the skin to turn red and warm.  The skin becomes sensitive to heat and the burns are painful.  A sunburn is a good example of a first degree burn.  A second degree burn usually causes blistering of the skin, pain and sensitivity to heat.  A third degree burn destroys the top layers of the skin. In so doing, the burns interfere with the skins natural ability to fight off contamination and or infection.  The burns cause sensory nerve damage and are excruciatingly painful.  Rehabilitation for third degree burns is long and difficult.  Skin grafts are often necessary.  Unfortunately, burns cause severe scarring to the skin.  Scar tissue is not nearly as flexible as healthy skin and it does not grow like healthy skin. If the burn victim is a child, multiple surgeries are necessary, as the child grows, to “let out” the skin.  Wrongful death is always  a risk from infection. This short description of the problems associated with burns and fire make it clear that fire safety is key because avoiding burns is the best way to treat burns.

Fire safety suggestions, in no particular order include:  Make sure your smoke detectors work and the battery is fresh and working. Do not maintain open flames in your home.  If you must use open flame, make sure that no combustible materials are near the flame.  Also make sure that the flame source, such as a candle, is anchored properly and will not fall over.  Do not over load circuits with too many electrical appliances.  If you use space heaters, never leave them running while you are away, make sure they are away from any burnable items and are on a level and solid surface.  If you are unsure about the safety of the device do not use it  until you have had it checked out for safety. Do not put extension cords under rugs or carpeting. Do not place flammable liquids in an area where the fumes may come into contact with an open flame, such as a water heater.  As a family perform a fire safety inspection of your home.  If you are not sure how to do such an inspection, contact your local fire department and ask for advice.  Have a safety plan for exiting your home in case of a fire.  Have a meeting place where you can be sure all family members are accounted for.  Do not reenter a burning home. Nothing is more valuable than your life, leave objects behind.

Recently, a wonderful example of fire safety has occurred. A fire broke out at Regina’s Child Care Ministry in Indianapolis, IN. Twenty four children ages 6 months to 9 years and four adults were alerted to the fire by smoke detectors and the smell of smoke.  Although we do not know the specifics of the Ministry’s fire safety plan, it was executed well as all children and adults were able to get out of the building to safety.  We applaud all those persons who took the time to prepare their fire safety plan and to practice the plan so that when an emergency did occur they were able to put the plan into effect and save 24 children from burns and burn treatments.

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