National Burn Awareness Week: Understanding, Preventing, and Treating Burns

Each year the American Burn Association hosts National Burn Awareness Week in February to raise awareness for burn hazards and victims. This year, National Burn Awareness Week takes place from February 4-10 with the theme “Flammable Liquids Burn.” We encounter flammable liquids like hand sanitizer, rubbing alcohol, and nail polish remover every day, so it is vital that we understand how to protect ourselves from them. In honor of their theme, the American Burn Association presents fact sheets to help prepare you for hazardous situations surrounding flammable liquids. Click on these links to view fact sheets about Cooking Safety for All, Cooking Safety for Older Adults, Gasoline Safety, and Non-Fire Cooking Burns.

The ABA reports that according to the CDC, 276,086 people in 2020 had to receive medical treatment for unintentional burn injuries, and there were 3,028 deaths from fire and smoke inhalation. Understanding the types of burns and what to do in the event of a burn injury are the first steps to keeping yourself and others burn-free in the future.  

Types of Burns

There are three types of burns: first, second, and third-degree, each covering different levels of severity.

First-Degree Burns: First-degree burns are considered minor burns and only reach the outer layer of the skin. Symptoms include redness, swelling, and dry, peeling skin. First-degree burns are typically painful for 2-3 days, after which the pain either lessens or goes away entirely.

Second-Degree Burns: Second-degree burns (also known as partial thickness burns) that are 2-3 inches wide are considered minor burns. Burns any larger are considered to be major. Second-degree burns go past the outer layer of skin and affect the surface of the underlying layer of skin. Symptoms of second-degree burns are blisters, pain, and discoloration. Healing for second-degree burns can take anywhere from 7 to 21 days.

Third-Degree Burns: Third-degree burns (also known as full-thickness burns) are considered the most severe level of major burns. These burns reach through both the first and second layer of skin. Symptoms of third-degree burns numbness, blackened or white, burned skin, and skin that is dry or leathery. The healing process for third-degree burns can take anywhere from three weeks to upwards of two years, depending on the severity of the burn.


What to Do in the Event of a Burn

One of the key components of helping burns heal properly and in a timely manner is proper treatment. Let’s look at some methods of treating both major and minor burns.

Minor Burns: In the event of a minor burn, cooling the burn by running cool water over it followed by a cool, wet cloth is a good method for helping pain subside. Apply lotion once the burn is cooled. After you apply lotion, bandage the affected area and avoid breaking blisters. Continue to clean the burn with water and add antibiotic ointments until the burn is healed.

Major Burns: If you see someone suffering from a major burn, immediately call emergency services. While you wait for emergency services to arrive, first remove them from the source of the burn to prevent further harm. Once safe, check to see if the person is breathing and remove any tight items, such as jewelry and belts, but do not remove any clothing that may be stuck to the burn. After that, cover the burn with a cool cloth and raise the burned area above heart level while also looking for signs of shock.


Emergency services should be called in case of any electrical or major chemical burns. Minor burns might also need the attention of EMS if the burn site is near the eyes, mouth, hands, or genital areas. Understanding these steps for treating burn victims can be pivotal for your safety and the safety of those around you. One major way to help prevent burns is by wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) that is AR/FR rated.


Pyramex PPE That Protects You From Burns 

We offer PPE that is a part of the Arc-Rated/Flame Resistant garment program and is helpful in protecting you from potential burn hazards and injuries. Arc-rated PPE has been tested and approved for exposure to an arc flash, which is the rapid release of energy stemming from an electrical fault. Arc flashes happen incredibly fast and are extremely dangerous. They are most likely to occur from power lines or other live wires. The tested garment is then given a score based on how it performs. Flame-Resistant PPE is made with materials that are less likely to ignite and will be able to self-extinguish once removed from the source of ignition. Let’s take a look at our AR/FR PPE options:

Work Wear: We offer four AR/FR vest options. The RVHL50FR Series and the RVHL51FR Series are both made with a solid material with a hook and loop attachment. Alternatively, the RVZ52FR Series and the RVZ53FR Series are made with a mesh material with a zipper closure. All four of these options are made from high-quality modacrylic flame-resistant material, and they feature two interior pockets, flame-resistant mic tabs, reflective striping, and D-ring access for added functionality. They also fulfill the requirements for high-visibility work wear, ensuring workers will remain visible at all job sites. We also have a flame-resistant neck gaiter. The MPBFR Series is a flame-resistant, moisture-wicking multi-purpose band designed to protect you from fire hazards and rated UPF 50+.

Gloves: Arc flash-resistant gloves are designed to minimize burn injuries in the event of an arc flash or other flame exposure. We offer two arc flash-resistant gloves made up of a premium goatskin leather: the GL3009CKB and the GL3010CK. Both glove options feature cut, puncture, and abrasion protection as well as being oil and water-resistant. The GL3009CKB also has hi-vis padding on the outside of the hand, offering additional impact protection.  

Eyewear: While our eyewear options are not flame-resistant, we do have a variety of dielectric safety glasses and goggles, meaning they do not contain any metal parts and are non-conductive, which is a crucial feature when working around electrical wiring. Click here to view our entire line of dielectric eyewear products.


Protecting yourself from sudden and dangerous incidents like arc flash and flash fire is crucial. Our flame-resistant PPE options are integral to an effective AR/FR garment program, offering reliable protection against clothing ignition and flame spread without melting or dripping. Any AR/FR garment is not fully protective on its own and must be worn with other AR/FR garments to ensure full body protection.

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