Treating Burns (First Aid ONLY)

In the HVAC industry, burns can be caused by many different things and can vary on degree.  Know that the best treatment for burns is prevention, and if someone else is burned don’t be a “hero” if you don’t know how to properly administrate help.  After all, without proper education you could end up being the victim.  Note that the information below is only FIRST aid for a burn.  For more serious burns and/or situations you will need additional aid.

Here are the recommended process for first aid for burns:

1. Assess the Situation: Put on proper protection equipment, determine the cause of the burn and dispose of any threats that may affect the victim, do not move the victim unless they are in danger, treat life extinguishing situations first, and don’t become the victim.

2. Identify the degree of the burn:

  • 1st Degree – Displayed by redness of skin and are uncomfortable and painful, but typically heal on their own with minimal treatment such as aloe vera.  This type of burn is not severe.
  • 2nd Degree – Are very painful and are displayed by extreme redness of skin and blistering.
  • 3rd Degree – This is the most dangerous and could be life threatening.  They are displayed by whiteness, charring (black), and  discoloration of skin.  There may be no pain present due to nerve damage.

3. Identify what caused the burn:

  • Fire (usually a 2nd or 3rd degree burn and if it is treat as follows) – Cover the burned skin with a dry sterile dressing or cloth, elevate the burn, do NOT remove any clothing or jewelry that could stick to the skin, seek immediate emergency medical attention.
  • Electricity (commonly 2nd or 3rd degree and if it is treat as follows) – make sure all electrical currents are off!, check for breathing (Do CPR if necessary, unless you do not have the knowledge), cover burned skin with a dry sterile dressing or cloth, elevate the burn.
  • Chemicals (treat as follows) – if the eyes have been hit with a chemical, flush the eyes with water for 15-20 minutes or until medical personnel arrive, seek medical attention if necessary for additional treatment

Important note: For 2nd degree burns do not cover with ice or it could make the burn worse and do not immerse the burn in cold water for 3rd degree burns.

Here is some additional burn information from a reputable source.

Source: Mayo Clinic