Safe Families

Jan 5, 2011 6:38 AM by Jenise Fernandez

Trash Burning Causing Severe Injuries

It's something you don't really think about, but burning trash the wrong way could lead to serious injuries.
"It's very scary and very dangerous," said Alton Trahan, Lafayette Fire Department Investigator.
This past year, Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center saw an increase in the number of patients who were severely burned by trash burning. It was the second most common cause of burns seen in their one-year-old burn unit.
"The majority are second degree burns and we see them from head to toe,"said Dr. Joey Barrios of Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center.
So why is it causing some much injury?
The problem is when you use gasoline for burning trash. No matter how far away you may be from the fire, you are still in a very dangerous situation.
"When the wind is blowing towards you the fumes and vapor linger. Once igniting, it's going to flash and often catch the clothes on fire," said Trahan.
The proper way to burn trash is to first, find a safe area to do it that isn't very windy. Then, make sure everything is piled together and use paper to start the fire.
"Be careful what you're burning. Certain products like plastics,can actually get airborne and perhaps stick to the skin and create some serious burns as well," said Trahan.
The reason why some people use gasoline to burn their trash is because they want to speed up the burning process. The Fire Department does say, however, that it is better to burn trash slowly, then to be caught in a dangerous situation.

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