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What to do in mass fire situations

Denver residents might be interested in learning what to do if a mass fire occurs. It is helpful to understand the correct steps to take in a mass casualty situation so that one can respond appropriately and render necessary first aid as needed. Moreover, prompt care may make the difference between life and death for some individuals who have suffered burns in such a situation.

Statistics indicate that a fire-related death occurred approximately every two hours in the U.S. in 2004. Burn injuries occurred as often as twice per hour. Additionally, more than 1 million of such injuries result in the need for medical assistance each year, and approximately 50,000 burn injuries result in the need for a hospital stay. Infection can be a serious result of a burn injury, which cause approximately 10,000 deaths annually.

In a household setting, a smoke alarm improves one's ability to get out of a fire-related situation safely. Additionally, an escape plan in the residential setting can improve the ability of one's family to get out safely in case of a fire. In a hotel or work environment, it is important to be familiar with exits and evacuation plans to improve one's ability to get out in an emergency. If an alarm sounds in such an environment, it should be treated as a real emergency. A group traveling or working together should establish a meeting location in case of such emergencies.

An individual affected by a fire-related incident at work or in a hotel might find that the emotional stress of such a situation is just as serious as physical burns. In some cases, personal injury litigation might be warranted if an incident can be attributed to neglect by a property manager or employee. Legal counsel may be important in evaluating the possibilities.

Source: CDC, "Mass Casualties: Burns", October 28, 2014

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