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California Burn Injury Statistics

California residents of all ages face plenty of threats to their wellbeing each day. Fire dangers are just one way you or a family member could be seriously injured.

You or a loved one may be exposed to flames in a fiery car accident on Interstate 5 or Highway 99. You could suffer burns in a house fire started by a faulty appliance or heater in your home. Burn injuries are also possible in accidents that don’t even involve flames.

Fire safety may be the last thing on your mind, but a closer look at California fire and burn injury statistics can help highlight the life-threatening hazards that arise each day across our state.

Maison Law examined burn injury data released for California and the United States in recent years. It’s hoped that a look at the statistics showing the damage and physical harm fires cause can help us avoid the careless mistakes that spark these hazards.

United States and California Fire and Burn Injury Dangers

California is a big, beautiful state with a lot going on. Unfortunately, all that activity can lead to unique risks for residents and visitors. The threat of a burn injury is present in the home, along boulevards, at work, and in any local store or restaurant. And, unfortunately, these hazards far surpass the fire risks in other states in most years.

Seeing is believing and that’s why placing California fire and burn injury statistics against the nation’s numbers can be the best way to emphasize the risks California families face. In 2019, the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) recorded 1,291,500 incidents of fire across the nation. Those cases led to a tragic 3,704 deaths and 16,600 injuries.

Research into the fatalities blamed on fires over the past half-decade shows the types of negative trends Americans must work to correct. The USFA uses media reports on fatal fires to collect data on attributable deaths across the U.S. and California each year.

The numbers show there was a fall in fire deaths in 2019 and 2020. And yet in 2021, the numbers rise dramatically again.

The U.S. recorded 2,265 tragic fire fatalities in 2021.

Source: USFA

California’s tragic fire death rates remained steady over the past few years. However, these figures prove that far too many people die due to burn injuries and inhalation injuries in our state. And the risks to California families do not appear to be going down.

California recorded 125 tragic fire deaths in 2021.

Source: USFA

Researchers also concluded that at least 72 fatalities reported in California fires occurred in house fires.

The USFA finds California, New York, and Texas always rank near the top in lists cataloging the states with the most fatalities cause by fires each year. In fact, California has ranked 2nd in the nation for fire-related deaths for at least the past 3 years.

California placed second among U.S. States for fire deaths in 2021.

Source: USFA

Burn Injury Statistics

A California house fire, a car fire, or even a wildfire can do serious harm to someone’s skin, eyes, and the delicate tissue in the airways and lungs.

The CDC found that on average each year…

  • 1 million Americans suffer burn injuries that require medical attention.
  • Around 50,000 of these victims must be hospitalized.
  • Around 20,000 patients suffer major burns, meaning the injury involves at least 25% of the total body surface.
  • Around 10,000 burn patients lose their lives to infection.

Of course, there are ways to suffer burns other than exposure to fire and smoke. A harsh chemical left out in a store or in the workplace can cause chemical burns to the skin and damage to the lungs if fumes are inhaled. A faulty electrical cord can inflict electrical burns on victims. Steam released from a home appliance or machinery on a job site can also cause severe burns.

The American Burn Association (ABA) looked at figures from burn cases in California and across the nation over a 10-year span. They determined that burns from flames and steam were responsible for the most trips to the hospital.

Fires and scalding hazards cause the most burn injuries in the U.S.

Source: ABA

The ABA also combed over data to determine where these injuries were occurring the most. Over ten years of data demonstrated that burn victims are far more likely to be hurt while at home than in any other location.

By far, the most burn injuries occur in the home.

Source: ABA

California Burn Center Patients

Sadly, children and the elderly can be some of the most vulnerable to severe burn injuries. Children don’t always have the judgment to avoid fire hazards and they can also create their own danger when they are allowed to play with matches or with electrical sockets.

The elderly can have less skin sensitivity and may not immediately notice flames nearby. They could also be slower to escape a burning house.

The USFA reports that 16 victims who lost their lives in California in 2021 were 14 years old and under. 17 victims were documented as being 65 or older. These sad facts only make it all the more important to remove fire hazards in our California homes and work towards faster response times when our loved ones suffer burns.

The American Burn Association (ABA) lists at least 13 Burn Centers serving burn patients across California. Most of these specialized units serve all ages, but some focus on care for children who have been burned.

The burn units in California include UC San Diego Health Regional Burn Center. Their staff treats approximately 450 patients a year, plus hundreds more as outpatients.  The Bothin Burn Center at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital in San Francisco treats more than 500 patients a year.

For more information on what burn centers like the Southern California Regional Burn Center in Los Angeles do and where you can find them please visit our informational page here.

A Safer 2022 for California Residents at Risk of Burn Injuries

Burn injury safety must be a priority everywhere you go. There’s a chance to make the rest of 2022 and 2023 safer for our loved ones and drastically lower our risks of burns across California.

Business owners, landlords, and employers are all legally responsible for keeping you protected from fires and harsh chemical exposure. A manufacturer who puts a faulty tool or appliance in your home must also be held fully liable for burn injuries and their costly physical, emotional, and financial toll.   When you suffer burns and face a challenging recovery, you shouldn’t have to worry about how those enormous hospital bills will get paid.

If you or a loved one are ever burned by a fire, chemical, or electrical hazard due to an individual’s or a business’s negligence, please explore your legal options. Maison Law offers a free consultation to all victims so they can better understand the benefits available to them.

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