Eskenazi Health Provides Helpful Safety Tips for Operating Campfires

Negligence is the main catalyst for campfire burn injuries 
Indianapolis, August 15, 2019 – Many people enjoy campfires throughout the year for a variety of purposes including roasting hot dogs and marshmallows, creating memories by telling campfire stories and providing warmth during a cool evening. 
Although campfires are recognized for creating a bond among those who enjoy sitting around them, they can also be very dangerous if not handled with the proper safety precautions. 
“Everyone should do everything possible to treat campfires and fire pits with the utmost respect and caution,” said Dr. Rajiv Sood, medical director of the Richard M. Fairbanks Burn Center at Eskenazi Health. “Many injuries are from campfires believed to be extinguished when smoldering coals, ash and embers can stay hot enough to cause burns for up to 24 hours.”
Additional helpful hints include: When camping, choose a campfire site at least 15 feet from tent walls, shrubs, trees or other flammable objects, and be acutely aware of low-hanging branches. Also make sure automobiles, tents, campers and other items are situated at a considerable distance from any and all fires. Use only designated fire rings or pits to build a fire and clear the area of any dry leaves or sticks.
Keep your campfire small and contained and never allow children and pets to play or stand too close to the fire. Also, never use flammable liquid to ignite a campfire and refrain from ever leaving a fire unattended. Start building your fire with small sticks and twigs before building your way up to larger pieces of wood. Always stack extra wood upwind and away from the fire. 
If high winds are expected, do not start a fire or burning debris or sparks may land on a flammable surface or one of your campfire guests. 
When extinguishing a fire, make sure to drown it completely with water. Pour water and stir the ashes and embers until it’s obvious that the whole fire had been doused. Always keep a bucket of water and a fire extinguisher nearby in case of sudden emergencies. Make sure everyone knows to stop, drop and roll, if their clothing catches on fire. 
If burn injuries occur, remove all clothing and jewelry from the burned area and apply cool (not cold) water. Do not apply ice directly to the area as this could cause further damage.  Cover the burn with a dry, loose bandage or sheet and seek medical attention immediately as even minor appearing burns could be serious.  
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.


 For 160 years, Eskenazi Health has provided high-quality, cost-effective, patient-centered health care to Central Indiana. Accredited by The Joint Commission, nationally recognized programs include a Level I trauma center, regional burn center, comprehensive senior care program, women’s and children’s services, teen and adolescent care programs, Lifestyle Health & Wellness Center, Sandra Eskenazi Mental Health Center, and a network of primary care sites located throughout the neighborhoods of Indianapolis known as Eskenazi Health Center. In partnership with the Regenstrief Institute, Eskenazi Health conducts groundbreaking work that informs health information technology around the globe. Eskenazi Health also serves as the sponsoring hospital for Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services. As the public hospital division of the Health & Hospital Corporation of Marion County (HHC), Eskenazi Health partners with the Indiana University School of Medicine whose physicians provide a comprehensive range of primary and specialty care services. In 2013, the Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital opened, providing a new modern and efficient facility and becoming Central Indiana’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Gold health care campus. Eskenazi Health has been named one of Becker’s Hospital Review’s “150 Top Places to Work in Healthcare” for the past four consecutive years.

Phone: 317.880.4793
Cell: 317.402.9327
Pager: 317.310.5972 

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