This is a retrospective, epidemiological study of 19,157 acute burn patients admitted to the Hallym Burn Centre, Hangang Sacred Heart Hospital, Seoul, Korea, during the period 1986-2003. The study was conducted to identify characteristics of burn patients that could lead to development of preventive programs to reduce both the frequency and mortality of burn injury. The majority of patients admitted had relatively minor burns, which were treated conservatively. Males predominated in all age groups with a summer peak seasonal variation. Typical burn in the children <5 years of age was a scald injury, occurring at home, affecting upper limbs and resulting in a relatively short hospital stay. Electrical burns due to steel chopsticks and steam burns due to electric rice cookers were also found in this age group. Adult burns, affecting upper and lower limbs, were caused by flames, hot liquids or electricity. Burns were sustained at the workplace and outdoors. Flame accidents in males were the leading cause of death with overall mortality of 8.2%. 13.9% of admissions needed intensive care and average length of hospital stay was 32.6 days. The annual number of patients undergoing burn related surgery has continuously increased reflecting a more aggressive surgical management. Our ongoing efforts are to promote prevention program and look for changes in the incidence of burn injury based on these epidemiologic features. Further study for implications of changes in management protocols and policies on treatment outcomes would improve the provision of appropriate care for the patients.