Fires caused by carelessness pose a grave risk of death. Between one and two million Americans need medical attention for burn injuries every year. Many hazards can cause fatal burn injuries. In an industrial setting, hot or molten liquids are often the most frequent culprit. In the home setting, frayed or defective electrical wiring, defective electrical appliances water heaters, furnaces or natural gas leaks may cause fires or explosions that take the live of home occupants.
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While burn injuries can come from a large variety of sources, fires are the general cause behind them all. When it comes to fire, however, there are up to six different types, classified by what it is that is burning to produce the fire. According to CPD Online, these are the different types fires:
Class A: The first class covers the most common types of fires: those started by wood or paper products.
Class B: This is primarily flammable liquids, such as those possessing oil or petroleum. This would include things such as paint or gasoline.
Class C: This class specifically applies to gas fires. These types of fires can potentially cause explosions, and as such make flammable gas leakage even more dangerous.
Class D: Certain metals are considered flammable, and as such, have their own class of fires. These can include metals such as sodium or titanium (https://fireprevention.utexas.edu/firesafety/abcs-fire-extinguishers).
Class E (Electrical): Fires that involve any sort of electricity or electrical equipment. These cannot be put out by normal means such as water, as the electricity will spread through any conductible material.
Class F: Fires caused by fat and certain cooking oils.
In addition to the different kinds of fires, there are also multiple degrees of burns, depending on the intensity of the heat and how long one is exposed. According to MedlinePlus.gov, there are three different kinds of burns that are most common:
First Degree: The least dangerous burn. This one just affects the outer layers of skin and can cause redness and swelling. Due to the sensitivity of the burned nerves, this burn can cause some pain.
Second Degree: Like the First Degree, but going even deeper into the underlying layers of skin and tissue. In addition to redness, pain, and swelling, this can also cause blisters from burning the blood vessels in the lower layers of skin.
Third Degree: A burn that extends through the upper layers of skin, down through the lower layers and blood vessels, and into the tissue and possibly even the bone within the arm. According to MedlinePlus.gov, this type of burn can cause the skin to go black or white instead of red and, due to the complete deadening of the nerves, and can even go numb.
Fourth Degree: In addition to the three normal types of burns, several sources including WebMD.com state that there is another degree of severity for burns. The Fourth Degree burn penetrates not only all layers of skin and tissue, but also down into the bones, muscles, and tendons.