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News for August 8, 2022

Campfire Burn Incidents Become Major Concern in Australia


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A Melbourne hospital reports that pouring petrol on a campfire is a leading cause of burns in Australia. Record numbers of burns from accidents related to campfires have authorities urging campers to exercise greater caution around fires.

Alfred Hospital Burns Surgeon Dane Holden said the number of patients admitted to the Victorian Adult Burns service due to campfire incidents hit a record high of 46 in 2021, a worrying trend that continues to be a major concern, according to a report.

“Despite the lockdowns we had last year, we still had a record number of people come through for these really nasty, yet entirely preventable injuries,” Dr. Holden said.

“These types of burns also tend to be much deeper than the average burn because they’re from direct impact with a flame, meaning surgical intervention in the form of painful skin grafts is often required.

He said the incidents typically result in longer hospital stays and concerningly impact the upper body, face, and neck.

Alfred Health said in the six years from Jan 2016 to Dec 2021; there were 215 burn injuries – all of which followed a similar pattern.

“Of those cases, 118 involved accelerant use – people pouring flammables over a fire. Significantly, 71 cases had petrol involvement and 13 aerosol cans,” Dr. Holden said.

“Further to that, 107 involved alcohol and drugs – which is a recipe for disaster around fires.”

Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic) Chief Fire Officer Chris Hardman said it didn’t take much for fires to spark and sparks to travel.

“Keep yourselves, and others safe by ensuring your campfire is at least 3m away from your tent and stores,” he said.

“At this time of year, wood is likely to be wet, so if you are using briquettes or gas barbecues, make sure there is nothing that can catch fire within 1.5m or use a designated fireplace.”

Hardman said campers should stay cautious and never leave a campfire unattended.

CFA Acting Chief Officer Garry Cook said accelerants should never be used to light fires.

“The horrible injuries seen in the Alfred Burns Unit are evidence of what can happen when things go wrong around a campfire,” said Cook.

“Petrol or other accelerants should never be used to light a fire, while aerosol cans and flammable or potentially explosive material should also be kept well away from the fire.

Cook also said making sure children stay at a safe distance from the campfire and remain under adult supervision.

“Campfires should be extinguished with water, not with dirt, as embers can still be hot underneath dirt, which can lead to kids and adults unknowingly stepping on hot coals,” he said.

This article originally appeared on Caravan Camping Sales.


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Hi, you might find this article from Modern Campground interesting: Campfire Burn Incidents Become Major Concern in Australia! This is the link: https://moderncampground.com/australia/campfire-burn-incidents-become-major-concern-in-australia/