Statistics Show 3,400 People Die From Fires, Burns & Smoke Inhalation Every Year


Burn injuries can be the result of construction accidents, car accidents, hunting and firearm accidents, faulty fire detection equipment and much more.  While that’s probably not surprising, most people would likely be surprised to learn that approximately 3,400 people die from fires, burns and smoke inhalation every year in the United States.

2013 American Burn Association Statistics

The American Burn Association’s 2013 National Burn Repository Report provides a rather frightening look at burn injury statistics – both in terms of the number of deaths and injuries and how and where burn injuries occur.

Deaths & Injuries

  • Deaths.  More than 3,400 people die from fires, burns and smoke inhalation every year.  This number represents 2,550 deaths from residential fires, 300 deaths from motor vehicle crash fires, and 550 deaths from other sources (150 from flame burns or smoke inhalation in non-residential fires and another 400 from contact with scalding liquids, electricity or hot objects).
  • Injuries.  More than 450,000 people receive medical treatment for burn injuries every year.  This includes treatment in emergency rooms, hospitals, burn centers and clinics.  Of those, approximately 40,000 people require hospitalization and 75% of those need to seek additional treatment at one of the over 125 burn centers located throughout the United States.

How & Where Burn Injuries Occur

  • How burn injuries occur.  Approximately 43% of burn injury victims received medical care due to some degree of fire and flame contact.  Another 34% of people received medical care for scalding injuries, 9% for direct fire or flame contact, 4% for electrical burns and 3% for chemical burns.
  • Where burn injuries occur.  Surprisingly, the reports shows that the majority of burn injuries (72%) occur at home.  While others occur at work, on roadways and at sporting events, all of the latter are under 10%.  

The American Burn Association reports that burn injury victims generally have a good survival rate – 96.6%.  However, recovering from a burn injury accident is not easy.  In fact, depending on the degree of burn suffered, it could take months of treatment – which equates to costly medical bills, lost income and physical pain.

New York Burn Injury Victims May Be Entitled To Compensation

New York burn injury victims may be entitled to compensation if their injury was due to the negligence of another or a defective product.  That compensation will depend on the facts and circumstances of the situation and the degree of the burn (severity of the tissue damage) suffered.  Here’s a quick look at the four degrees of burns:

  • 1st degree.  These burns usually only affect the epidermis (outer layer of the skin) and may cause pain and redness.  As long as an infection doesn’t develop, most heal on their own in one to three weeks.
  • 2nd degree.  These burns expose the dermis (second layer of skin) and may cause pain, redness, and oozing blisters.  They often take up to a month to heal, but often develop into 3rd degree burns.
  • 3rd degree.  These burns expose both layers of skin.  They can also destroy nerve endings, damage underlying bones, muscles and tendons and take several months to heal – especially if skin grafts are required.
  • 4th degree.  These burns are the most severe, as they generally extend through the skin and into the underlying muscle and bone.  Unfortunately, they may never heal.

If you have suffered a serious burn injury, it important to understand your legal options. Make sure that you get the compensation you deserve.

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