Burn injuries can be caused by fires, chemicals, hot water, electrical faults, vehicle accidents and gas cylinder explosions. Burns are the third largest category of accidental deaths in some of the largest countries in the world. There are three different categories of burns depending on the severity, first degree burns which are superficial, second degree burns and third degree burns which are the most severe and painful type of injuries, with recovery a slow and painful process. Over eighty percent of the burn injuries are first degree burns.
Though most vehicles, homes and commercial facilities have safety features which prevent the spreading of flames like fire extinguishers, it is often difficult to minimize or eliminate the use of fire completely at home. Most homes have fireplaces to keep the house warm during winter in temperate climates. Since some homes use inflammable material like carpets and wooden flooring, if the fire spreads from the fireplace, it can be very difficult to contain the fire. Also many festivals are celebrated using fireworks, and these fireworks can cause burn injuries if they are not handled properly or there is a manufacturing defect in the firework. Candles and lamps used for illumination especially in areas where there is no electricity can cause fires at night, if they are kept near inflammable material or a cat, dog or rat knocks the candle and lamp down. In certain cultures like India, women are second class citizens, so they are doused with highly inflammable liquids such as kerosene, petrol or oil and set on fire to create the illusion of an accident, so that the husband can marry again for more dowry. In a few cases, the victim survives this ordeal with burn injuries, but it is difficult to lead a normal life.
Motor vehicle accidents are a major cause of burn injuries since the vehicle fuel, either petrol or diesel is highly combustible and will burst into flames, at high temperature. The victim is trapped inside the cabin which is on fire, and cannot leave it till the fire is extinguished or rescuers pull out the accident victim from the vehicle debris. These burns are very severe and many victims do not survive. If the accident has been caused due to negligence, it is advisable to contact a lawyer specializing in personal injury, auto accidents and burn injuries to maximize the compensation received.
Burns caused by boiling or overheated water are common in industrial premises, especially if there is little maintenance and boilers or geysers used for heating water burst.
Unless the volume of boiling fluid is very large , these burn injuries are comparatively superficial, and should heal easily. However, the injured person can demand compensation for having to work in hazardous conditions and not complying to relevant safety standards. Highly corrosive acids like hydrochloric acid, sulphuric acid and nitric acid and other chemicals can be even more dangerous and cause deep burns and scars in the skin. While accidents may occur due to the mishandling or leakages in industrial premises, at times, enemies especially women are attacked with chemicals, causing burn injuries.