In early July in upstate New York, a 48-year-old Yates County man was seriously burned when a tractor-trailer caught fire while he was fueling it. The local newspaper reported that James Moore of Dundee was flown to the Kessler Burn and Trauma Center at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester after the accident in the town of Benton. The hospital listed him in satisfactory condition hours after he was admitted, which was lucky for Moore.
Sheriff’s deputies say Moore was pumping fuel into the big truck when the passenger side he was standing on caught fire. Moore suffered severe burns to his head, face, neck, chest and arms. Firefighters from two departments quickly extinguished the fire.
While the cause of the fire was not immediately determined, this incident provides a memorable lesson for everyone: Some of the most routine things we must do each day can pose a fire hazard, or cause a second-degree or even a life-threatening third-degree burn. Here are just a few examples:
–Using a charcoal or gas grill in areas that have an uneven floor, or are too small to move around easily, or which are enclosed. Also, using too much lighter fluid to start the grill.
–Leaving food unattended on a stove, even for a minute or two
–Placing clothes in a dryer without making sure the lint trap is cleaned out
–Not checking the temperature of faucet or bath water before you allow a child near the water
–Leaving kids in a car for any length of time during a hot day while you run into a store
–Allowing children to run barefoot on pavement or even beach sand on a summer day
–Pumping gas into your car while smoking (or simply being too rough with the fuel nozzle, which can cause a spark and ignite the gas fumes too)
–Smoking a cigarette during dry times of the year; even a small ember can ignite a fast-moving grass or leaf fire that can spread to nearby buildings
These are just a few of many, many possibilities we face in everyday life where a fire can occur. But if you give just a little thought before you do anything involving a fire or heat source, you will greatly lessen the chances of getting burned, or of anyone around you getting burned or suffering smoke inhalation.