February 9, 2012


February 5-11 is Burn Awareness Week in Massachusetts. According to State Fire Marshall Stephen D. Coan, it gives us an opportunity to be reminded to take simple safety measures to prevent burn injuries.

According to a report by the Massachusetts Burn Injury Reporting System, scalds from cooking liquids, grease, hot liquids, tap water, food and steam account for 41 percent of 535 burns reported in 2010.

Children under the age of 5 are four and a half times more likely to suffer from a burn injury. Hot liquids caused 79 percent of burns in children under the age of 5. Scalds are the leading cause of burn injuries every year.

A recall on Tassimo coffee makers was recently released due to the risk of burns. More than a million Tassimo coffee makers have been recalled after dozens or reports of the brewers spraying hot liquid, coffee grounds and tea leaves.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there have been 140 reports of problems with the single cup brewers. These reports included 37 involving second degree burns.

The Tassimo coffee maker has a plastic disc that holds the coffee or tea called a "T-disc". The T-Disc in the device can burst while brewing.

Consumer Product Safety Commission also announced a recall on 4 million Tassimo espresso T-Discs after having 21 reports of problems with the products.

A 10-year-old girl was hospitalized for second degree burns to her neck and face after her parents coffee maker "exploded" in her face. The machine was bought in 2010 as a gift. A few weeks after the machine was bought the girl was home with her grandmother when the machine started to make "a funny noise" and then exploded in her face.

The girl was taken to the hospital and had to have synthetic skin grafting for her face and neck. After the accident, the girl's mother checked on the Internet and found that other people had similar incidents with the Tassimo coffee maker.

It is important to remember to keep children away from hot kitchen appliances and to always supervise young children in the kitchen. Also parents should not hold babies or toddlers while drinking a hot beverage.

If a burn should accidentally occur, call 9-1-1 then cool the burn area with cold water; never use grease, butter, ointments, lotions or fats. You should not remove any clothing sticking to the burn because this can cause further damage or infection and cover the burn with a clean sheet or towel to protect from infections.

About 835,000 coffee makers have been recalled in the United States and 900,000 in Canada. The recalled products are Tassimo brewers with the Bosch brand name and Tassimo Professional brewers. The products are made in China. The Bosch brand coffee brewers were sold in black, white, anthracite, grey, silver, red, titanium and white/grey colors while the Tassimo Professional brewers were only sold in black. Consumers can contact Tassimo to order a free replacement "T-disc" holder to prevent anymore injuries due to these defective pieces.

If you or someone you love has been injured to a defective product or a product that has been recalled, it is important to contact an experienced products liability attorney to discuss your rights.