GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV)- Burn injuries continue to be one of the leading causes of accidental death and injury to children and adults in our Nation.
A common risk for injury exists from unprotected electrical outlets, improperly used extension cords, lighting, and workplace electrical injuries.
That’s why the theme from the American Burn Association for National Burn Awareness Week 2021 is “Electrical Safety from Amps to Zap (A to Z)!”
Electrical fires are a leading cause of home and business fires causing injury and even death. Using major appliances safely, charging phones and laptops on hard surfaces, switching to LED lightbulbs, installing outlet covers and storing batteries safely are all easy steps we can take to prevent electrical fires and burns.
Here are some tips to prevent electrical fires and burns:
- Plug major appliances like space heaters and air conditioners directly into wall outlets. Don’t use extension cords or power strips with these and other high-wattage appliances.
- Charge laptops, cellphones and tablets on hard surfaces. Don’t charge them on soft surfaces like beds or upholstered furniture.
- Unplug any device powered by lithium-ion batteries (like a hoverboard) once they are charged-up. Don’t overcharge or leave them charging unattended or overnight.
- Turn heating pads, electric blankets and space heaters off before sleeping.
- Learn how to react to a fire in the microwave oven: keep the door shut and unplug it if safe to do so.
- As a general rule, don’t put metal in the microwave (check your owner’s manual for specific packaging that might be allowed, but don’t gamble if you are not sure.)
- Keep battery terminals (positive and negative ends) from coming in contact with each other or with other metals. Tape the ends if you are storing them loosely in a drawer.
“By taking some simple steps and precautions today, you will prevent a fire or burn injury from occurring tomorrow,” according to Firefighter Michael McLeieer, president of the non-profit fire safety charity E.S.C.A.P.E. Inc. “After all, the best fire is the fire that never happens,” McLeieer stated.
For more information on Burn Prevention Week and other fire safety tips, visit http://ameriburn.org/prevention/burn-awareness-week/ or www.escapeinc.org.