If You Own a Kia or Hyundai, Read This

Certain Kias and Hyundais from model years 2011 through 2014 are vulnerable to spontaneous fires. Vehicles affected include the Kia Sorento SUV and Kia Optima sedan, as well as the Hyundai Santa Fe SUV and Hyundai Sonata sedan. While the fires have not been associated with any crashes, it’s estimated that six persons have suffered injuries from the fires. Petition Submitted to NHTSA The Center for Auto Safety (CAS) has petitioned Deputy Administrator Heidi King of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) because of the fires. The petition, submitted June 11, 2018, noted that the NHTSA has on file 120 complaints of fires where no crash occurred, as well as 229 filed complaints that mention melted wires, smoke, and odors indicating something was burning. When the number of Hyundai and Kia reports was compared with other competing makes and models, the CAS discovered only 22 reports on file that mentioned fires without collisions for all other competing vehicles. The Hyundai Sonata had the most complaints at 47, with 10 for the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport. Sixty-three fires were reported to the NHTSA for the two Kia models. Dangerous Fires The CAS petition mentioned several fires, including the following ones:[…..]

The Hidden Dangers of Gas Cans

Can of Gasoline

Gasoline engines have been with us for over a century, so it’s not unusual to keep a can of gas around for lawn mowers and other items we need to take care of our properties. Your gas can could be metal, or it could be plastic—both types are in use. Gas cans are so commonplace that you might not realize that they can be dangerous, especially the plastic type. Simply pouring gas from the can under certain conditions can create an explosive fire. From 1998 through 2015, more than 1,200 visits to the ER and at least 11 deaths were due to explosions that occurred while pouring gasoline out of a plastic can. Flame Arrestors: An Ignored Solution Any gas can, when stored or handled improperly, can burst and cause an explosion and fire; but plastic gas cans have special dangers metal ones do not that arise from static electricity. Plastic rubbing on plastic (such as your truck bed’s liner) or on carpeting (such as in the trunk of your car) easily creates the right conditions for a static electricity spark. When the volatile gasoline vapors inside the can combine with the static electricity spark, the resulting flame can travel[…..]

The Costs of Treating Burns

The pain and suffering from a burn injury is terrible—no question. The financial costs, however, can also cause you and your family pain. Part of the reason is that serious burn injuries require a lot of care, often in a hospital, and these days the care does not come cheap. Recent numbers that lay out the costs of burn injuries can be difficult to find. The lack of studies at a time when we need information about healthcare costs more than ever is a bit baffling. What we do know is that the annual costs of burn injuries in 2010 dollars are approximately $10.4 billion, with burn hospitalizations representing around 1 percent of all U.S. injuries. Complications of injuries can rapidly escalate costs; a severe burn with many complications can cost more than $10 million to treat effectively. Hospital stays for burns average 8.1 days, compared to 4.5 days for non-burn hospital stays. On average, hospital stays for burns are often twice the length and more than twice the cost of non-burn-related hospital stays. Something that illustrates how long a hospital stay can be for a burn patient is related to the percentage of the body that was burned. The[…..]

New Developments in Treating Serious Burns

Burn treatments, like many other areas of medical care, have undergone some technological improvements over recent years. While none of us really want to contemplate burns and burn injuries, the treatments are worth reading about. They range from sprayed-on human skin to topical treatments to fish skin used as a bandage. Burn Statistics and Facts Burns usually occur at home and in the workplace. At home, the culprit will likely be a cooking accident or a heating source; at work, it could be anything from scalding (by water or steam) to caustic chemicals to an electrical source. Almost half a million folks seek burn treatment in hospitals and ERs every year—the actual number is around 450,000—and that figure does not include those who go to health clinics and doctors’ offices. The reasons for burns are fires or flames 43 percent of the time, and scalding agents 34 percent of the time. Burn “degrees” classify severity, with first being the least severe (a reddening of the skin and limited to the outermost layer, or epidermis) to fourth, the most severe (affecting bone). Second-degree burns, the ones that blister, can penetrate into the dermis and require specialized treatment to prevent scarring and[…..]

The Dangers Of Space Heaters

As cold weather settles in again, a tragic accident in Westminster, Maryland, reminds us that space heaters, when improperly used, can be the cause of serious injuries, property damage and death. Early in the morning on November 9, Bernie Toporzycki opened the door of a backyard shed and was met with a huge explosion. Mr. Toporzycki received second and third degree burns and died two days later at the Johns Hopkins Burn Center in Baltimore. The Toporzycki home and those on either side were so severely damaged that they were condemned. As many as 11 homes in the neighborhood were harmed by the blast. The Maryland State Fire Marshal is investigating the cause of the explosion. Officials said the explosion may have happened because of a space heater that was placed too close to propane tanks. Senior Deputy State Fire Marshal Bruce Bouch told WUSA 9, “We’re always reaching out to the public, ‘Please make sure you have a 3 feet area around any portable space heater, wood stove or fireplace.” Space heaters cause 25,000 home fires a year and 6,000 emergency room visits, according to the Harvard University Environmental Health & Safety group. Statistics from Nationwide Insurance indicate that[…..]

Amusement Park Accidents Aren’t Amusing

On Sunday, August 10, two dozen roller coaster fans got more than they bargained for at Six Flags America, 30 miles southwest of Baltimore. They had purchased tickets to ride the Joker’s Jinx, a roller coaster that propels riders from zero to 60 mph in a little more than three seconds. But a computerized system stopped the ride while some were almost at its highest point, nearly 80 feet in the air. The Prince George’s County Fire and EMS worked for four hours to rescue the riders, using a tower ladder and rescue bucket. Fortunately, no one was injured in this amusement park incident. Earlier this summer, on July 7, a tree branch fell on the tracks at Six Flags Magic Mountain north of Los Angeles, derailing the Ninja roller coaster, leaving it dangling and stranding occupants for hours. Four passengers were injured. Last summer, Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington shut down its Texas Giant roller coaster after a woman was thrown from her seat and plunged to her death. Do these incidents mean you’re taking an unreasonable risk if you take your family to an amusement park? No, but there is a risk. In 2012, 30,342 people visited[…..]

Woman’s Death in Southwest Baltimore Fire Shows Dangers of Smoke Inhalation

According to The Baltimore Sun, an apartment fire recently claimed a woman’s life due to smoke inhalation, becoming the eleventh of 13 fire-related deaths in the city this year. The fire was contained to one apartment, but heavy smoke filled the building, requiring evacuations. Firefighters discovered the woman in an apartment on the second floor that had filled with smoke, but she died shortly after being taken to the hospital. Smoke inhalation has been determined to be the top cause of death in interior fires, rather than burn injuries or other types of trauma caused by the fire itself. During an indoor fire, smoke can quickly fill the building, spread to rooms and floors far away from the fire itself. By spreading through air ducts, under doors, and via all other connections within a building, smoke can quickly fill the area. In the event of a fire, it is vital that everyone within a burning building get out as quickly as possible, even if the fire is nowhere near them.

Connecticut Power Plant Workers Suing Over Injuries Sustained During Explosion

According to a recent report, workers injured in a Connecticut power plant explosion have filed a lawsuit against the owners of the facility for failing to provide adequate safety measures that could have prevented the explosion from taking place. The incident occurred when workers were purging a natural gas pipeline, and a buildup of natural gas ignited as it was released. The workers filing the claim sustained head and other injuries. The injured workers’ attorneys claim that their earning potential has been greatly diminished as a result of the accident. A total of six workers lost their lives during the explosion, and dozens more were injured. The suit alleges that Kleen Energy Systems, the power plant owner, and O&G Industries Inc., the facility’s primary contractor, disregarded implementing certain safety measures in order for completion of the 620-megawatt gas-fired power plant to be sped up. Specifically, it is being argued that Kleen and O&G failed to supervise the purging process and that there was no safety engineer on site on the day of the explosion. When employees are injured on the job, the circumstances surrounding the work accident need to be carefully examined to determine whether or not negligent action played[…..]