National Burn Awareness Month: Fire Safety and Burn Prevention
While it is good to know how to identify and treat burns, the best defense against burn injuries is to prevent them from occurring in the first place. Below are some proactive steps you can take to prevent fires, burns, and scalding injuries.
Fire Prevention and Safety Tips for Your Home
- Install at least one smoke detector on every level of your home and check them monthly to ensure they are functioning. Generally, it is best to replace batteries at least every six months.
- Get the wiring checked in your home at least once every 10 years.
- Get a professional to inspect and clean of your chimney once a year.
- Have a fire extinguisher handy in your home and know how to properly use it.
- Create a fire escape plan for your home. Perform regular fire drills and designate a meeting place outside in case of a fire.
- Do not leave lit candles unattended.
- Do not smoke in bed and discard all used cigarettes. Fires caused by smoking materials are the leading cause of deaths in house fires.
- Cooking fires are the leading cause of house fires. Put out a small fire on a stove by sliding a lid over the flames.
Burn Prevention and Safety Tips for Your Home
- Wear gloves and other protective clothing when handling chemicals. Store chemicals and gasoline out of the reach of children in order to prevent chemical burns.
- Cover all electrical outlets that are within a child’s reach and throw away electrical cords that are frayed and damaged in order to prevent electrical burns.
- Use space heaters carefully and teach children to stay away from them.
- Store matches and lighters in a locked cabinet or where children can’t reach them.
- Cover car seats with a towel when parking in the sun. If you have children under the age of one, always check the car seat to see how hot it is. Hot seat-belt straps or buckles can cause second-degree burns on small children.
- Don’t let small children play near the stove or help you cook at the stove.
- Don’t wear clothing with long, loose sleeves when you are cooking.
- Do not use a microwave oven to warm baby bottles. The liquid may heat up unevenly and scald your baby’s mouth.
- Unplug hot irons, such as clothes irons or curling irons, and keep them out of reach of children.
How to Prevent Scalding Injuries in Your Home
- Test the water temperature before you or your children bathe. Don’t let young children touch the faucet handles during a bath.
- Set the temperature on your water heater to 120º F, or use the “low-medium” setting. Water that is hotter than this can cause burns in 2 to 3 seconds.
- Turn the handles of pots and pans toward the side of the stove, or use the back burners of the stove.
- Use cool-water humidifiers or vaporizers. If you use hot-steam vaporizers, keep them out of the reach of children.
What to Do if There Is a Fire in Your Home
- Use your family escape plan and meet at your designated meeting place immediately.
- Smoke and heat rise, so it’s best to stay as close to the ground as possible.
- Before opening doors, check to see if the door is hot or cool. If the door is hot, do not open it – this means that the fire is nearby. When a door is cool, open the door cautiously and slowly.
- Close doors in order to separate yourself from the fire.
- If you or your clothing catch on fire, stop, drop, and roll.
Contact an Experienced Burn Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one have been the victim of a severe burn injury, contact Thomas J. Henry immediately. Our experience burn injury lawyers are available to assist you. If you sustained your burn injury due to the negligence of an individual or company, you may be entitled to collect damages for medical costs, lost wages from missing work, future earnings, and more. We will handle your case with care and ensure that you are in the best position to achieve the real results you deserve.
Our firm has offices in Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Austin, and Houston, serving clients across Texas and nationwide. Contact us today for a free case review.