Outdoor heaters and backyard fire pits are very popular these days in Louisiana and nationwide. It is relaxing to watch the sun set next to a fire, and children enjoy roasting marshmallows. People may think that fire pits are safe, as the fire is contained in the pit. However, The Consumer Products Safety Commission reports that in 2017, at least 5,3000 people were sent to the emergency room with injuries caused by outdoor heaters or fire pits. In 2008 that number sat at just 1,900 injuries.
Young children are especially at risk for fire pit burn injuries. Around 25 percent of those sent to the emergency room with burns caused by outdoor heaters or fire pits were less than five-years-old. Also, the danger exists long after the fire is burned, as the resulting coals can still be hot the next day.
Of course, parents must supervise their children around fire pits. However, if a child is burned by a fire pit while at another person’s property, it is important to determine whether that person was negligent. For example, depending on the weather, sometimes cities or counties will issue “burn bans” that prohibit people from using a fire pit. Or, a person may have used their fire pit the night before, and failed to warn their visitors the next day that the pit could still be hot. Also, people should not use extreme or unsafe measures to create a large fire in a fire pit.
Burn injuries suffered in a fire pit can be incredibly debilitating, and they can take a long time to recover from. Those who own fire pits need to ensure that they are using them safely when they have guests over. If they fail to do so, and a guest is injured, the injured party may want to pursue compensation for the injuries they suffered.