Drunk men burnt by fuel fires

MORE than one in 10 Wide Bay-Burnett men admit they’ve been burnt by fires fuelled with petrol.

But authorities are hoping to turn that statistic around with a pilot program to increase safety awareness in the region wrapping up this weekend.

The “Flamin’ Fool” campaign, comprising advertisements in daily newspapers and almost 100 television advertisements, was launched by Royal Brisbane Hospital burns specialist Michael Muller.

The TV ads feature the story of Ben, who asked his surname be withheld, who suffered burns to 65 per cent of his body after fuel was thrown on to a fire.

“All I remember is someone threw petrol on a fire and, the next thing I knew was, I was in hospital,” Ben said.

Ben was taken to the RBH, where he went through weeks of treatment.

“I couldn’t believe how uncomfortable I felt in my own skin,” he said.

Professor Muller said the campaign in the Wide Bay-Burnett, where 15 per cent of men admit being burnt by fires that have had fuel thrown on them, was a pilot designed to see how effective it would be.

“We will know the extent to which it will have worked by pre-testing and post-testing 800 people to determine their fire safety,” he said.

“This is a research project and if we can demonstrate this is effective we can roll it out elsewhere.”

Prof. Muller said it was primarily men who suffered burns, which often happened when alcohol was involved.

“Most males we interviewed have used fuel in a fire in some way,” he said.

“Trust me – at the hospital we don’t need the practise.”

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