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A Burning Topic: Thermal Injury Prevention - March 2023 Trauma Talk

Trauma Talk

A Burning Topic: Thermal Injury Prevention

Home Oxygen Safety

  • Keep your oxygen, including the tubing and the oxygen source, away from heat and flame. Do not wear oxygen while cooking with gas or using electrical appliances such as heating pads, electric razors, or hair dryers.
  • Avoid smoking or allowing others to do so near you. 83% of people who suffered burns while on home oxygen were because of smoking.
  • If you wear oxygen while sleeping, consider using 100% cotton bedding which is less likely to cause static electricity.
  • Avoid using aerosols, vapor rubs, or oils. This includes some air fresheners, hairspray, petroleum jelly, along with oil-based lotions as they may ignite.
  • As oxygen is extremely flammable, store your oxygen safely per manufacturer instructions

Campfire/Ditch Burning Safety

  • Avoid starting a campfire or burn when it’s windy or when vegetation is very dry. 87% of wildfires are caused by humans.
  • Do you need a permit? Check local regulations on where, what, and when you can burn!
  • The burn site should be surrounded by gravel or dirt at least 15 feet in all directions. This includes tent walls, shrubs, trees, and other flammable objects. Keep the surroundings watered down during the burn and have a shovel close by.
  • You need at least three times the height of the pile of vertical clearance, including overhanging limbs, equipment, vehicles, and buildings.
  • Keep your campfire or burn site small and manageable.
  • If it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave! Always stay with your fire until it is completely out. Drown the fire with water, turn over the ashes with a shovel, and drown it again. Repeat several times. If water is not available, stir dirt or sand into the embers with a shovel.