In December, ESPN Anchor Hannah Storm was cooking dinner on a propane gas grill in her home when she noticed that the grill had gone out. Storm went to relight the grill, triggering an explosion so loud her neighbor thought a tree had fallen on the house. The grill doors blew off and a ball of fire exploded in Storm’s face, causing her to suffer first and second degree burns on the face and neck. She lost her eyebrows and half of her hair. Yahoo Sports has published pictures of the burn injuries.

Fortunately, Hannah Storm was able to get the treatment that she needed and was able to return to work, hosting the Rose Parade on New Year’s. The serious accident, however, highlights the risks associated with propane grills in particular, and the issue of burn injuries generally. Propane gas grills are one of many common causes of burn accidents that occur in the United States each year. Our New York City burn injury attorneys urge everyone to understand the risks and to take the precautions necessary to protect themselves.

Burn Injury Dangers

While Hannah Storm’s case is a high profile one that has drawn attention to propane gas grill accidents, the reality is that these types of accidents happen regularly. Gas grills are one of many common causes of serious burns, responsible for 6,900 home fires between 2005 and 2009 according to the National Fire Protection Association. They are, however, far from the only cause of serious burn injuries.

Some other common causes of burn injuries include:

  • Car accidents. The U.S. Fire Administration released a report in 2008 indicating that there were 258,500 highway vehicle fires between 2004 and 2006.
  • Fires at work. According to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, three percent of the 4,609 workplace deaths in the U.S. were caused by fires or explosions in 2011.
  • Scalding accidents. The Electrical Safety Foundation International reports that more than 100,000 hospital emergency room visits each year occur because people have suffered a scalding injury.
  • Chemical burns. Chemical burns aren’t just a workplace problem. As WebMD indicates, bleach, cleaning products, pool chlorine and other household products can all cause chemical burns to occur.
  • Fires in apartments. According to the National Fire Protection Association, there were 95,500 structure fires in apartments in 2011. These fires caused 4,425 injuries and 415 deaths. Unfortunately, those living in New York City may be especially susceptible to injuries in apartments, condo buildings and high rises.

These are just some of the many common causes of burns. Tragically, a huge number of people are hurt each year as a result of some type of burn. In fact, according to the American Burn Association, 450,000 people throughout the U.S. sought medical assistance because of a burn in 2010. The American Burn Association also indicates that every 30 minutes, someone is hurt in a fire and every 169 minutes, someone is killed as a result of a fire.

While you may not hear about many of these fires, the incident with Hannah Storm makes clear that burn injuries can happen to anyone and that they can happen anywhere. Remember to have a fire extinguisher in your home and to be cautious of the dangers of burn injuries to help keep you and your family from falling victim to an accident.

If you or a loved one has suffered a burn injury or other catastrophic injury in the greater New York area, contact Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool at 212-406-1700.

Posted in: Burn Injury