State Fire Marshal releases 2013 Annual Report of Mass. Burn Injury Reporting System

State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan announced the release of the 2013 Annual Report of the Massachusetts Burn Injury Reporting System (M-BIRS) today. "Scalds or hot liquid burns were the leading cause of reported burn injuries last year, causing nearly half (47%)," said Coan. "While scalds were the leading type of burn injury for almost every age group, children under five were at the greatest risk," he added.

2013 M-BIRS Annual Report Highlights

Some additional highlights of the report are:

· Scalds were the leading cause of burn injuries to children aged 0-14, adults between the ages of 35 and 74, as well as to older adults over the age of 85.

· Flame burn injuries were the second highest cause of burn injuries.

· Flame burns were the leading cause of burn injuries to older adults between the ages of 75 to 84.

· 66% of all reported burn injuries occurred at home.

· 10% of burns were work-related.

Need to Educate Parents and Caregivers of Young Children about Scald Burns

Children under five were at the greatest risk for scald burns; they were five times more likely than any other age group to suffer a scald burn. The majority of these burns were caused by hot beverages such as coffee and tea, or hot cooking liquids on the stove. Some of these children were burned by hot tap water, most often in the tub.


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The Department of Fire

Services has a factsheet Hot Liquids Burn Like Fire with quick and easy safety tips to avoid scald burns. The most important are:

· Put coffee and tea down and out of their reach when holding a baby.

· Set your hot water heater to 125 degrees F or less.

· Always supervise young children every second they are in the bath and face them away from the faucets.

· Turn pot handles inward over the stove.

· Establish a 3-foot circle of safety around the stove or barbecue where children cannot go.

To Read the Report

This report is the result of the cooperation and hard work of the professionals of the acute care facilities and the staff in the DFS Division of Fire Safety and the Department of Public Health. For a copy of the 2013 Annual Report of the Massachusetts Burn Injury Reporting System, go to http://www.mass.gov/dfs and look under Publications.