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Format: 04/20/2014
Format: 04/20/2014

News

West Penn Burn Center: Avoid accelerants to keep your holiday campfire, grill safe

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

PITTSBURGH - Accelerant-related injuries accounted for nearly 20 percent of admissions to the West Penn Burn Center in 2009. Most often these injuries involved gasoline thrown on a fire to make it bigger, but injuries also happen when cans of gasoline or other accelerants are left near an open fire.

If your plans for Memorial Day weekend include time around a campfire with family and friends, West Penn Burn Center reminds you that use of any type of accelerant to ignite or stoke the fire is never safe.

“We have one simple rule regarding accelerants: Don’t use them,” said Larry Jones, MD, Director, West Penn Burn Center at West Penn Hospital. “When it comes to fire, bigger is never better. Campfires should always be kept small and controlled”

Besides gasoline, other dangerous accelerants include kerosene, diesel, lighter fluid or fireworks. Also be aware that canisters of such fuel, or even extra wood, should be kept a safe distance away from the flames.

Keep a bucket of water nearby and a shovel if needed to douse the flames. Make sure everybody stays a safe distance from the fire, and of course never leave children unattended near a campfire.

It should go without saying, but bears repeating, Dr. Jones said, that grillers should never use gasoline or any type of accelerant to get the grill going or nudge the fire along. Always use an approved lighter/starter fluid for charcoal grills.

Adding lighter fluid to hot or warm coals can easily cause an explosion. Also, be careful not to spill lighter fluid on your clothing, or in any area surrounding the grill. Make sure the can of lighter fluid is left well away from the grill.

“Use common sense around fire and enjoy a safe Memorial Day holiday with your family and friends,” Dr. Jones said.

 

 

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