Specialists encourage the public to be careful when using space heaters this winter
Indianapolis, Jan. 27, 2017 – With the drop in temperatures, the Richard M. Fairbanks Burn Center at Eskenazi Health is sending a warning to the public about proper burn prevention procedures this winter season, especially when it comes to space heaters.
More than 25,000 residential fires and 6,000 trips to the emergency room each year in the United States are associated with space heaters. In addition, more than 300 deaths are linked annually to the improper use of space heaters.
As the only adult burn center that serves Central and Southern Indiana, Eskenazi Health often sees injuries that could be prevented if safety procedures are followed. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission space heaters should be placed at least three feet away from objects such as bedding, furniture and drapes, and should never be left on overnight or when unattended.
As the coldest time of the year fast approaches, many people turn to space heaters for extra warmth. The Richard M. Fairbanks Burn Center at Eskenazi Health encourages the public to always give space heaters extra space and be sure the unit has an automatic off switch. In addition, before using a space heater read the warnings and instructions carefully.
“With the appropriate education, 30 to 40 percent of the burns we treat are preventable,” said Dr. Rajiv Sood, medical director of the Richard M. Fairbanks Burn Center at Eskenazi Health. “While space heaters are a quick and effective way to heat up a room, if used improperly they can initiate house fires that may cause preventable burns for unsuspecting users and their families.”
Other helpful tips relating to space heater use include never overloading an outlet, refrain from putting appliances or furniture over electrical cords, using approved extension cords and making sure the space heater is approved by a certified testing organization.
Verified by the American College of Surgeons and the American Burn Association, the Richard M. Fairbanks Burn Center at Eskenazi Health treats more than 350 inpatients each year in addition to more than 3,700 outpatient visits with patients from across the country. The Richard M. Fairbanks Burn Center is regarded as one of the finest and most progressive burn centers in the United States. For more information on burn prevention, please call the Richard M. Fairbanks Burn Center’s burn prevention hotline at 1.866.339.BURN.
1 According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
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CONTACT: Tom Surber