The most serious injury risks for firefighters
Firefighters provide a vital service for California residents. Every year, they save thousands of lives, not only in fires but in car accidents and other emergencies.
Unfortunately, firefighters do this at the risk of their own safety, and many people in this occupation suffer serious injuries in the course of their duties. Outlined below are some of the most serious injury risks that firefighters face.
While firefighters utilize the latest technology and safety equipment, this doesn’t make them immune from severe burns. The average house fire reaches 600 degrees at eye level and it gets even hotter near the ceiling. This means that firefighters are literally stepping into temperatures that exceed those of the average oven.
While safety equipment can limit some of the damage at these temperatures, it can be compromised. Fires can penetrate through the material, causing life-changing and, potentially, even life-threatening burns.
One often overlooked fire safety risk is smoke inhalation. Fires produce toxic fumes, particularly those that are in areas where chemicals are stored. Even regular household cleaning materials can become chemically hazardous when they are set alight.
Inhaling the smoke from these fumes can result in lung damage. Sometimes, this lung damage may clear in a matter of weeks but it is often permanent. Breathing apparatus shields firefighters from this risk somewhat, but again, safety equipment is not foolproof.
Firefighters injured in the line of duty may be entitled to workers’ compensation. This cannot undo any injuries, but it can help alleviate some of the financial pressure of being unable to work. Seek legal guidance to find out more about your options.