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Burn Incidence and Treatment in the United States: 2015

The following estimates were derived from sample and registry statistics compiled by ongoing national health care and fire casualty surveys, selected state health data systems, and the National Burn Repository (NBR) of the American Burn Association (ABA). ABA NBR reports describe admissions to hospitals with specialized services provided by “burn centers.”

Fire/smoke inhalation deaths: 3,240

This total includes 2,855 deaths from residential fires, 300 from vehicle crash fires, and 85 from other sources. One civilian fire death occurs every 2 hours and 42 minutes. The odds of a U.S. resident dying from exposure to fire, flames or smoke is 1 in 1418. Fire and inhalation deaths are combined because deaths from thermal burns in fires cannot always be distinguished from deaths from inhalation of toxins in smoke.

Sources: National Fire Protection Association: Fire Loss in the U.S. during 2013 (accessed on January 22, 2015). National Safety Council Injury Facts Sheet 2014 (accessed on January 22, 2015).

Hospitalizations related to burn injury: 40,000, including 30,000 at hospital burn centers

Over 60% of the estimated U.S. acute hospitalizations related to burn injury were admitted to 128 burn centers. Such centers now average over 200 annual admissions for burn injury and skin disorders requiring similar treatment. The other 4,500 U.S. acute care hospitals average less than 3 burn admissions per year.

Sources: National Inpatient Sample (HCUP-NIS: 2010 data); National Hospital Discharge Survey (2010 data); recent 100% hospitalization data from several states.

Selected statistics: 2003 – 2012 burn admissions to burn centers

(ABA National Burn Repository, 2014)

Survival Rate: 96.7% 
Gender: 69% Male, 31% Female
Ethnicity: 59% Caucasian, 20% African-American, 14% Hispanic, 7% Other
Admission Cause: 43% Fire/Flame, 34% Scald, 9% Contact, 4% Electrical, 3% Chemical, 7% Other
Place of Occurrence: 73% Home, 8% Occupational, 5% Street/Highway, 5% Recreational/Sport, 9% Other

Vehicle fires can cause catastrophic burn injuries and potentially death. When vehicles are involved in accidents, crashes, or collisions, the gas tank may rupture or emit flammable gases. This combination of noxious fumes, flammable gases, and metal on metal friction is a recipe for disaster. Your whole life may go up in flames along with your vehicle. Have you, a family member, loved one or someone you know ever had their car, truck, or van catch on fire? Was someone injured as a result of that fire? If you or someone you know has experienced this and would like to seek compensation for the injuries, call the law firm of Wiener, Spivey & Miller. When vehicles malfunction, resulting in a fire or explosion, usually something has gone wrong. Let our team of attorneys investigate your case and determine whether you are deserving of compensation for your injuries.

Almost one out of every four fires involves a motor vehicle. Vehicle fires do not just impact the driver or passengers of the enflamed vehicle. If your vehicle has caught fire, anyone else near the vehicle is in danger. If the fire spreads it can cause significant property damage to people’s homes or businesses.

When most people think about the dangerousness of fires, the first thing that comes to mind are burns. However, there is another, more silent danger. Noxious fumes, gases, and carbon monoxide are extremely harmful. Being in close proximity to a fire may result in significant injury from the inhalation of these poisonous gases. Persistent health problems can occur as a result. Sometimes these injuries can be very subtle and may eventually evolve into more serious health conditions.


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