Burn Awareness Week: Fire Safety and Burn Injury 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 tips to prevent fires, burns, and scalding injuries.
Precautions to Prevent Fires and Burns
- Put smoke alarms in your home and check the monthly. For spoke detector that are powered by batteries, be sure change the batteries every 6 months.
- Create a fire escape plan for your home. Perform regular fore drills and designate a meeting place outside in case of a fire.
- Get your wiring checked in your home at the minimum every 10 years.
- Get a professional inspection and cleaning of your chimney once a year.
- Have a fire extinguisher handy in your home and know how to properly operate it.
What to Do if There is a Fire in Your Home
- Use your family escape plan and meet at your 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 catches on fire, stop, drop, and roll.
How to Prevent Fires and Burns in the 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.
- 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.
- Cover car seats with a towel when parking in the sun and when children are 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.
- Cooking fires are the leading cause of house fires. Put out a small fire on a stove by sliding a lid over the flames.
- Do not use a microwave oven to warm baby bottles. The liquid may heat up unevenly and scald your baby’s mouth.
- Cover electrical outlets to prevent electrical burns in babies, toddlers, and small children.
- Unplug hot irons, such as clothes irons or curling irons, and keep them out of reach of children.
How to Prevent Water Burns in the 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.