When we are in our homes, we usually feel safe. We don’t often think about the dangers lurking where we live and relax with our loved ones; however, many different items in a residence can cause a burn injury. It’s important to be aware of the common household products that cause burns so you can avoid purchasing them, store them safely if you need them, and teach everyone in your home how to coexist with products that can cause burns in a safe manner. Everything from a kitchen appliance to cleaning chemicals has the potential to cause a burn injury to an unsuspecting resident or visitor to your home; and, burns are one of the leading causes of injury and death in the United States. In fact, The American Burn Association reported that the injuries for which people were admitted to burn centers most commonly occurred in the home – for over 72 percent of victims.
While most people only think of burns as resulting from severe heat or fire, many burns also occur as the result of chemical exposure. While many of us have accidentally brushed up against a hot stove or gotten a drop of hot oil or boiling water on us, the spectrum of burn injuries can be wide – with many causing life-altering damages. Whether a burn injury causes a first-, second-, third-, or fourth-degree burn depends on several factors, including the duration and the strength of the heat or chemical exposure.
- First Degree Burns: Superficial or minor burns that affect only the outer layer of skin (epidermis). Cause pain, swelling, redness, and blanched skin.
- Second Degree Burns: More serious burns that affect both the outer layer and second layer of skin (dermis), often distinguishable by blisters and/or wet or shiny-looking skin. Cause swelling, blistering, intense redness, and severe pain.
- Third Degree Burns: Reach the fat layer under your skin and can destroy nerves (causing numbness), affect blood circulation, and require immediate medical care. Cause charring, a leathery appearance, and numbness.
- Fourth Degree Burns: Go through both layers of skin, underlying tissue, and deeper tissue, possibly even involving muscles and bones. The feeling in the affected area will be gone as nerve endings are destroyed. Skin grafts and amputation may be necessary.
Severe burn injuries can be devastating, as they cause intense pain and scarring, and often involve lengthy treatment and rehabilitation, including multiple surgeries. In addition to the burn severity scale measured in degrees above, there are also many types of burns – thermal, electrical, chemical, flash, inhalation, friction, and radiation.
Chemical burns are injuries to the eyes, skin, mouth, or internal organs due to coming in contact with a corrosive substance. Most chemical burns result from the misuse of products in the home or workplace, with the following products commonly involved:
- Car Battery Acid
- Paint Thinner
- Swimming Pool Cleaner and Chlorine
- Oven Cleaner
- Toilet Cleaner
- Drain Cleaner
- Floor Polish
- Furniture Polish
- Teeth Whitening Products
- Tile Cleaner
- Denture Cleaners
Chemical burns occur more commonly in young children and people whose jobs put them in contact with these types of chemicals. All chemical burns are medical emergencies that require immediate medical treatment.
Defective Consumer Products That Commonly Cause Burns
Serious burn injuries can happen when using defective household products. Many burns are caused by defective consumer products in the home, with the following products commonly involved:
- Kitchen appliances, including washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators, blenders, and toasters
- Heaters and space heaters
- Electric blankets
- Vaping devices / electronic cigarettes
- Flammable clothing
- Heating pads
- Power tools
- Lawnmowers and other yard equipment
- Curling irons and hair dryers
The defects involved can include faulty wiring, defective manufacturing, batteries that overheat and catch fire, defective gas tanks, and malfunctioning heating elements. Burns are commonly caused by flame injuries, scalding injuries, contact with hot objects, electricity, and chemicals.
Texas Burn Injury Lawyers
Every year, more than half a million people are treated for burn injuries, and of those, about 8,000 die. Defective products can cause serious harm to consumers, including life-changing burn injuries. Burn injuries are serious and require aggressive legal representation to hold the responsible party accountable. If you or a family member is suffering the consequences of a burn injury, speak with our experienced product liability attorneys today.
If the legal deadline for filing expires, you’ll lose your right to recover the financial compensation you so desperately need to help you and your loved ones.
Our consultations are free and confidential; and, because we accept cases on a contingency fee basis, you’ll owe us nothing unless we obtain a recovery on your behalf. Our lawyers pride ourselves on being available and responsive to our clients and we would be honored to discuss your situation with you and help guide you in the right direction.