How to prevent Electrical Fires and burns

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (WDEF) – In 2020, the Chattanooga Fire Department worked 47 structure fires that were caused by electrical issues

Now, The Chattanooga Fire Department and Erlanger Health System are working together to put a spotlight on National Burn Awareness Week.

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Over the last year Erlanger has treated nearly 400 patients for burns in varying severities. Officials say more than 370 burn patients came in through the health system’s seven emergency departments.

“With electrical burns you have an entrance and an exit wound both of which can bleed. Also can cause your heart to stop, if the voltage is high enough. You will need to cover the patient to make sure they maintain body heat. You would treat it with a cool wet cloth of some kind. Always avoid butter. Always avoid petroleum, those things just worsen a burn,” says Regena Young, Erlanger Injury Prevention. 

Officials suggest that you check power cords for wear and tear, buy extension cords that have a UL or other third-party testing lab approval, Never substitute extension cords for permanent wiring and always Plug appliances into their own outlets.

“Electrical cords will heat up because the wire size is designed to carry a certain amperage. The further you get from an electrical outlet, it will create heat inside that cord which will cause it to melt and end up shorting out. Plugging it directly in, it will get the draw so it’s not overdrawing,” says Chief Rick Boatwright, Chattanooga Fire Department. 

If you experience an electrical shock of any kind, no matter how big or small, please seek medical attention immediately.