National Burn Awareness Day takes place on Wednesday 17th October this year. Run in partnership by the Children’s Burns Trust (CBT) and the British Burn Association, it aims to encourage people to think about what they can do to prevent people suffering burns. It’s an event that’s being actively supported by the fire industry. Organisations like the National Fire Chiefs’ Council are involved as are fire and rescue services around the UK as well as the Government’s National Fire Safety Campaign. Many other relevant charities and bodies are supporting the day too such as Electrical Safety First and the Child Accident Prevention Trust. Burns can be caused in several ways; fire is an obvious one but scalding from hot fluids is an incredibly common reason for many severe burns, particularly for children. Burns can happen in other ways too such as from chemicals or high temperature fats. While the most common place to sustain a burn injury is in the home for children and the elderly, the majority of adult burn incidents occur in the workplace. The cost of burns NHS burns services treated more than 15,000 patients for burns and scalds in 2017 at a cost of over £20 million. 8,168 adults were severely burned or scalded. 4,867 children under the age of 5 were admitted to an NHS specialist burns service. On average, 625 children a month required admission to an NHS burns service following a burn or scald injury. Remember these figures only include patients treated in burns centres, burns units and burns facilities across England and Wales. They don’t include the thousands of other patients who were seen for less severe burns in emergency departments or who were admitted to hospitals that weren’t specialised burn units. But of course the principle reason for National Burns Awareness Day is not a financial one.  First and foremost, the day is an opportunity to encourage people to reflect on the impact a burn can have and to think about what they can do to prevent them because the cost to an individual that suffers one can be appalling, creating lifelong challenges both for them and for those close to them. The effects of a burn injury can be with a person for life. It can lead to years of painful treatments and numerous operations. The scars are not only physical but psychological too. As well as raising awareness about the number of people suffering burns every day, and the importance of prevention,  the day is also stressing the role of rapid and effective first aid with the ‘Cool, cover, call’ message. Cool the burn with running cold tap water for 20 minutes, removing all clothing and jewellery in the area affected (unless it’s melted or stuck to the wound). Cover the wound with cling film or a sterile, non-fluffy dressing or cloth and call for help. Raising awareness in your workplace If you’d like to use the day as an opportunity to raise awareness in your own workplace, you’ll find plenty of resources available on both the Children’s Burns Trust and the British Burn Association’s websites that are suitable for use in all kinds of settings. There’s also a database on the CBT’s website which allows you to see how many burn injuries occurred in your area which might provide some thought-provoking insights. There’s plenty of food for thought for all of us about preventing burns at home too. We’ve all got a part to play in this. It might be ensuring we have the right fire prevention measures in place in our premises. It might be thinking about where to safely leave a hot cup of coffee if there are children in the room. We should all be thinking about the contribution we can make to ensure the risk of injury from burns is as low as possible. For more ideas about what you can do, follow and join in with the conversations on social media using the hashtag #BeBurnsAware.