It was not so long ago that every residence in the US centered around a wood stove, which provided the heat needed for the household’s warmth, cooking, cleaning, bathing, and doing laundry. These days, there are fewer wood and gas stoves in the home, but the dangers they present still exist. Fires, burns, and other casualties affect many homeowners and their families. Burns and burn-related injuries can be extremely serious and cause significant pain and suffering for the victims. Fortunately, wood and gas stove burns are preventable when family members follow a few simple home fire tips on staying safe.
Wood and Gas Stove Burns Remain a Home Safety Risk
A CBS News report reveals that wood and gas stoves continue to pose a threat to US households. Approximately 5,000 people head to the emergency room every year due to accidents, and the numbers are on the rise. Over 910,000 people were treated in non-emergency hospital centers for stove-related burns and injuries from 1990 – 2010, which amounts to around five incidents every hour and almost 44,000 victims every year.
An Unexpected Source of Burns
It may come as a surprise for some homeowners, but a very serious source of wood and gas stove burns is due to the popularity of units that feature glass-front doors. Within minutes of turning on the gas or lighting wood, the glass can reach up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is several times the temperature that can cause third-degree burns.
According to a US National Institutes of Health report covering the period from 2007 through 2011, there was an increase in the number of burns from contact with the glass. Most of the victims were children, with hands being the number one location of the injuries. Of those kids that were treated at the NIH, 12 percent were hospitalized for an average of 5-6 days.
Avoiding Wood and Gas Stove Burn Injuries
Prevention of wood and gas stove burns starts even before lighting the fire, by having a professional install the unit or contacting an inspector if you do it yourself. In addition:
- Choose the right wood for the specific type of stove. Oak, hickory, and ash are preferred for safety purposes.
- Avoid burning pine and cedar, which have higher moisture content and can cause buildup in the chimney. The residue can ignite and cause a dangerous fire.
- Seasoned hardwood is best, as dryer wood burns with a lower amount of smoke.
- Keep in mind that any wood can spark and jump out of the stove. Make sure the area around the unit is clear of debris, consider flame-resistant carpet underneath, and install a screen to prevent sparks from escaping.
- Since children tend to be at risk, place a gate around a wood or gas stove.
Talk to a Knowledgeable Atlanta Burn Injury Lawyer if You Were Burned at Home
At Walker Morgan, our lawyers have decades of experience advocating for wood and gas stove burn injury victims throughout the U.S. We can tell you more about your options for financial compensation after conducting a review of your medical records and case details. If you would like to know more about how we help burn injury victims, please contact us today.