Preventing Burn Injuries at Home: Burn Injury Awareness Week (Part II)

Earlier this week we blogged about how the first week of February is the American Burn Association’s Burn Awareness Week.

Annually, almost half a million Americans are treated in emergency rooms across the nation for burn injuries. But over 90 percent of these injuries are considered minor burn injuries, such as scalding injuries or being burned by fireworks. Minor burn injuries are typically treated and released.

The majority of burn and scald injuries occur at home. In order to promote fire safety and prevent possible burns from occurring, the University of Rochester Medical Center provides the following tips:

  • Have a plan in place in the event of a fire. Review the plan with all household members. Take note of nearest exits, smoke alarms and placement of any fire extinguishers.
  • Do not overcrowd appliances on kitchen counters. Keep all of these appliances unplugged when not in used.
  • Do not overload electrical outlets.
  • At least twice a year, change the batteries on all smoke detectors, test the detectors and check all electrical cords and plugs for fraying.
  • If you are working with hot liquids, such as cooking with hot oil or a deep fryer, keep all children away from the appliance. Carefully position appliances so hot handles do not overhang the floor or are in a place where they could easily be caught on clothing.
  • If you have small children in the home, do not use tablecloths. A number of child burn injuries occur after the edge of a table cloth has been pulled on, causing hot plates to fall off tabletops.
  • When grilling, clean off any grease build from the grill surface before lighting. Use lighter fluid sparingly.
  • Set your water heater at 120° F, and be share to always check bath or shower water temperature with your hand before jumping in.
  • Use extreme caution when using candles, especially in the event of a power outage.
  • Check holiday decorations when decorating. Make sure all lights are in working order. Make sure any plants or trees are properly watered so they do not dry out. Do not block potential exits with decorations.