Mount Prospect, Illinois – National Burn Awareness Week is February 4-10, and this year’s theme is “Handle with Care, Flammable Liquids Beware.” Camp I Am Me by Illinois Fire Safety Alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering children and adults with severe burn injuries, is highlighting the awareness campaign to support its core mission to empower burn survivors and help to prevent fires and burn-related injuries through fire safety education and resources.
Among the awareness campaign’s safety reminders are to never use an accelerant such as gasoline or aerosol sprays to start a fire, fuel snow blowers when the engines are cool and in an open area outdoors, keep all flammable liquid containers in cool, dry locations and stored away from the home, and to be sure when purchasing a gas can that it has a fuel arrestor on the can to prevent flashback.
The 35-year-old nonprofit hosts a week-long Summer Camp for burn survivors ages eight to 20, which is one of 32 programs financially supported by Camp I Am Me.
“Each year, more than 275,000 people received medical care for treatment of unintentional burn injuries. Many survivors we interact with at our camp and through other support programs have been injured due to flammable liquids and scalds,” said Kelly McElligott, Camp I Am Me Board President and Loyola Medical Burn Outreach Coordinator. “Whether it’s igniting a campfire, filling a lawn mower with fuel, or storing gasoline, safety should always be top of mind.”
The camp gives hope to young burn injury survivors, in a safe and non-judgmental environment, which helps to build their self-confidence and self-esteem.
“Our summer camp and other programs support children and adults affected by burn-related injuries, bringing much needed strength and happiness to survivors and their families,” said Philip Zaleski, Executive Director of Camp I Am Me. “I Am Me denotes that no matter what scars are visible on the outside of their bodies, these survivors are still who they are on the inside.” He also noted, “All that we offer wouldn’t be possible without the dedication of hundreds of passionate volunteers and donors.”
In line with this year’s National Burn Awareness Week theme, Camp I Am Me encourages the community to be aware of the following safety tips to prevent burn injuries:
- Cooking oils are highly flammable liquids. Keep your eyes on what you fry.
- Fuel snow blowers, lawn mowers, and leaf blowers when the engines are cool and in an open area outdoors.
- Never use an accelerant such as gasoline, kerosene, or aerosol sprays to start a fire of any kind.
- All flammable liquid containers should be kept in cool, dry locations and stored away from the home.
- when purchasing a gas can, be sure it has a fuel arrestor on the can to prevent flashback.
In addition to the Summer Camp, Camp I Am Me provides other programs and services for young adult and adult burn injury survivors, including family day events, virtual and in-person support groups, and scholarship opportunities. All programs and services are provided at no cost. Visit www.campiamme.org to learn more about how to keep safe from flammable liquids, and how Camp I Am Me helps burn survivors.
About Camp I Am Me by Illinois Fire Safety Alliance:
Camp I Am Me by Illinois Fire Safety Alliance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides safe, non-judgmental environments for children and adults who have experienced severe burn injuries. An overarching goal of the organization is to help build back self-esteem and self-confidence in its participants as they experience the various programs and activities offered. Since 1989, Camp I Am Me has brought support, strength, and happiness to thousands of children, adults, and families. The organization is supported by giving volunteers and generous supporters, including medical and fire service professionals, who donate their time and services.