A fire tearing through your home is one of the most distressing situations you may ever find yourself in. A serious blaze can rob you of your possessions, leave you traumatized, and in the worst cases, cause you or your family lasting physical injuries. The good news is there are ways to prevent fires from starting in the first place.
This week is Burn Awareness Week, so it’s time to focus on how you can respond to burns and fires in your home.
Many complications can result from a burn, and some require significant treatment. With that in mind, preventing a fire or treating a burn as soon as it happens is ideal. But stopping fires isn’t always possible, especially when you aren’t provided with properly working cooking appliances or safety instruments by your landlord.
Have the Right Tools
The first step to keeping fires from starting in your home is having the proper fire safety equipment. This includes common items, like fire extinguishers and functioning smoke detectors. However, the fire safety equipment your home is required to have will differ significantly based on your city's fire code.
In some cities, landlords may be required to provide you with fire safety equipment and make sure that it’s in working order. In other places they may only have to provide the equipment, but you have to maintain it. In some places, they aren’t required to to give you anything, and you could be on your own.
The Jackson fire authorities can help you determine if your home or apartment is up to standards, and who is responsible for furnishing and maintaining fire safety equipment.
Making sure your home is equipped with the recommended number of smoke alarms — one in general and one for each bedroom, according to the National Fire Protection Association — and that you know how to use a fire extinguisher or smother a fire with other methods is excellent way to as a prevent a fire.
Practice Your Fire Safety
Before a fire breaks out, you can take steps to guarantee the safety of your family, according to the NFPA:
- Rehearse your fire safety with your family, particularly your children
- Help children associate the smoke alarm with a fire, or danger, so that they wake up
- Establish an escape plan and do periodic walkthroughs of your home, and include a meeting place outside
- Make sure your household members know how to recognize the safest paths of escape
- Use a buddy system to make sure everyone will get out
Maintaining your home’s firefighting tools and building a plan in case of a fire are great starts, but communicating fire safety to your children is equally as important. Teaching them not to play with matches or lighters, and setting a good example by staying in the kitchen during cooking, and isolating flammable materials can help cut down on fires or other dangerous situations like scalds.
Taking these precautions can protect you and your family from the effects of fire. But dealing with the effects of a blaze — what Burn Awareness Week is all about — can be daunting.
Determining a Burn’s Seriousness
Minor burns typically involve redness, swelling, and some pain. These are typically first-degree burns. Second-degree burns involve red, white, or splotchy skin, and more significant swelling and pain, in addition to blisters. Small second-degree burns are also treatable and do not require medical attention unless it is on highly sensitive part of the body or a large wound.
If someone received a minor burn, you can take steps to treat it, and it may not require medical attention. Cooling the area, removing jewelry, applying moisturizer, and taking pain medication are recommended, according to the National Library of Medicine.
A major burn requires immediate medical attention. Third-degree burns involve entire layers of skin burnt off, and muscle and bone may be affected. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to treat such severe damage.
After ensuring the individual is safe from further harm, you should immediately contact emergency services for treatment.
Understand Your Landlord’s Obligations
People living as tenants in public or Section 8 housing have certain rights afforded to them by the United States government, which are complemented by Mississippi and [Jackson])(/jackson/) fire codes.
Safety in your home is a right. This means safe electrical wiring, an emergency exit in case of danger, and functioning appliances, among other things. At Morgan & Morgan, our attorneys know what to look for when investigating landlord negligence, and may be able to help you.
If you believe your landlord has neglected your property and that failure resulted or could result in fire damage to your property, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of established Jackson fire and burn injury attorneys. Fill out our free, no-risk case evaluation form today to find out if one of our attorneys can help you.