Staying Safe

An important part of West Penn Burn Center’s mission is to help prevent burn injuries through education. Learn more about:

Another great way to help prevent burns is to contact the West Penn Burn Center's Burn Outreach Coordinator to bring a burn education/prevention program to your school, group, or event.

Who gets burned?

According to the American Burn Association (ABA), each year:

  • About 500,000 people suffer burn injuries serious enough to seek medical treatment.
  • About 4,000 people died from fire* and burn injuries. Of those about 1,000 are age 65 years or older and about 1,000 are children.
  • About 40,000 people are admitted to hospitals for burn injuries. Of those, about 25,000 are admitted to hospitals with specialized burn centers.
  • Most (70%) of burn injury victims who seek treatment are men.

*Fire injuries include respiratory injuries caused by fire as well as burns.

What causes burns?

  • About 1/2 of burns are caused by fire or flame.
  • About 1/3 of burns are due to scalding.
  • Other causes include electricity and chemicals.

Where do burns occur?

  • About 1/2 of burns occur in the home.
  • About 1/5 occur on streets or highways.
  • About 1/10 occur at a workplace or job site.

Why try to prevent burns?

Serious burn injuries are excruciatingly painful. They can cause lifelong disabilities and leave physical and emotional scars. The cost of these injuries is far more than the hefty price tag for hospital treatment — the cost in suffering, stress, lost productivity and significantly reduced quality of life for both the burn victim and the victim’s family is enormous.

Perhaps the saddest thing of all is that many burn injuries are preventable. The information on this site is a start in understanding how to prevent burn injuries, and you’re encouraged to check out our education programs if you would like to know how you can schedule presentations for your school or community.

To learn more, visit the American Burn Association website at

Contact us

To schedule a presentation for your community event or organization, or for more information about education services, please contact us.