Did you know that more than 70% of burn injuries happen at home? While our mission at Burn and Reconstructive Centers of America is Healing Patients. Healing Families. Healing Lives®, we would much rather the burn injury never occur.
Our goal is to provide tips, educational materials and advocacy on burn prevention, so you can help yourself and others stay safe.
For more information on burn safety and prevention, contact Burn and Reconstructive Centers of America at 855-863-9595.
Want to receive more tips and safety advice?
- Develop and practice an escape plan in case of a fire.
- Always have a working fire extinguisher available.
- Parents, teach your children how to call emergency personnel. It could save their life, and yours!
- Remember, childproof lighters are not child-safe lighters. They can still cause fires and burns.
- Remember: Space heaters need space. Keep them at least 36 inches away from items that can catch fire.
- Have your home heating unit serviced by a professional before its first use to reduce the risk of fire.
- A simple screen can protect your home and family from a fireplace fire.
- Make sure ashes and other debris from fireplaces and wood-burning stoves are safely disposed of far from buildings.
- Check your extension and power cords, and replace any that are damaged.
- Don’t connect more than two extension cords together.
- Never run an extension cord under a rug.
- Make sure electrical outlets are not overloaded.
- Know your Underwriters Laboratory (UL) color! Red UL holographic symbol = outdoor use. Green UL hologram = indoor use.
- Test the Temp: Your hot water heater thermostat should be set no higher than 120o.
- The skin of children—as well as the elderly—is thinner than a regular adult’s. It takes much less time for them to sustain a significant burn injury.
- For example, if a child is placed in water that measures 120o, a potentially severe burn can occur in just seconds.
- People should be aware of the dangers of flammable liquids, including gasoline and kerosene. Not only is the liquid dangerous, but the fumes can cause burns and explosions.
- Always store flammable liquids in a clean, well-ventilated area.
- Keep your grill at least 10 feet away from your house, bushes or other flammable materials.
- Never, ever use a match to check for leaks.
- Find leaks by spraying soapy water on gas line connections. If you see water bubbles, there is a leak.
- Use extra care with lighter fluid. Keep the container away from the grill. Don't spill it, and never add to hot coals.
- Never use gasoline as a starter fluid for charcoal grills.
- Dispose of hot coals properly: Soak with water, and then stir to make sure the fire is out.
- Clean your grill! Don’t let grease or fat build up, as they can cause flare ups.
- Always shut off propane tank valve when not in use.
- Never try to light a gas grill with the lid closed.
- Always wear short sleeves and/or tight-fitting clothing while grilling.
- Make your kitchen a “kid free zone” to keep kids away from the stove, oven and other appliances. Scalds are the most common types of burns for children.
- Never leave the kitchen when you are cooking something.
- Cook on the back burners of the stove, and make sure all pot handles are turned so children cannot grab them.
- Turn off appliances as soon as cooking is done.
- Before you eat it, give food cooked in a microwave extra time to cool.
- Do not heat a baby bottle in the microwave.
- Make sure a child cannot turn the knobs on the cooking appliances.
- Never cook or eat hot foods or drink hot liquids while holding a child.
- Store candy, cookies and other tasty treats away from the stove so children can’t get burned while trying to get them.
- Never leave the oven door open. A child can trip and fall onto the hot surface.
- Do not use the oven as a heat source.
- Burning brush or trash? Know what’s in the pile. Some items can emit toxic fumes or explode while burning.
- Never park a vehicle on top of a pile of leaves or debris because the heat of the vehicle could ignite the pile.
- Create a special burn area that is separated from structures or areas that can allow a fire to spread.
- Do not use accelerants—like gasoline—to fuel debris pile fires. They can explode and cause severe injuries.
- Light fireworks one at a time in a designated area, away from dry grass, homes and children.
- Fireworks should never be fired indoors.
- Designate someone as the safety person, someone as the “shooter” and someone to be in charge of keeping children clear of the “shooting” area.
- Make sure the “shooter” is not wearing loose clothing that could ignite, and follows all directions on the fireworks label. If the device does not have a warning and/or instructions label, do not fire it.
- Never stand over an item that does not fire.
- Never throw fireworks. A malfunctioning fuse could cause the item to go off in your hand.
- Get a flashlight to light the area so the “shooter” can see what he or she is doing.
- Ensure a fire extinguisher, hose or bucket of water is nearby just in case there is an accident.
- Keep pets and animals away as they may be frightened by the noise.
- If you are close enough to the storm to hear thunder, you are close enough to get struck by lightning.
- Safe shelters include homes, large buildings, or hard-topped vehicles. Never use tall trees as a shelter or stay in open water if you hear thunder.
- If you are indoors, avoid using water, electronic equipment and corded telephones. Stay away from windows and doors.
- If no shelter is available, do not lie down on the ground. Instead, crouch as low and tight as you can.
What if someone is struck by lightning?
- Call 911.
- Check their vital signs immediately.
- Start CPR, if needed.
Temporary or permanent tissue damage caused by prolonged exposure to temperatures less than 23° F.
- Extreme Cold
- Inadequate Clothing
- Wet Clothing
- Wind Chill
- Tight Clothing
Classification of Frostbite Injury (Similar to Burn Injury):
- First-degree: Superficial without blister formation
- Second-degree: Light colored blisters with subsequent peeling
- Third-degree: Dark blisters that evolve into thick, black scabs
- Fourth-degree: Involves bone, tendon and/or muscle
Ways to Avoid Frostbite:
- Plan and communicate. Check the weather. Let people know where you are going to be and the route you plan to take.
- Do not stay outdoors too long in extremely cold weather, especially if it is windy.
- Dress in loose layers of warm clothes, preferably windproof and waterproof. If you do get wet, change out of the wet clothes as soon as you can.
- Make sure any clothing, gloves, socks or other items are designed to wick moisture away from the body.
- Make sure any hat or headband covers your ears.
- Consider the use of foot and hand warmers.
- If you become cold, try to drink warm, sweet beverages.
- Do not drink alcohol before or while outdoors in extremely cold air.
If you get lost, don’t stop moving. The exercise helps keep you warm and the blood flowing throughout your body.
- Symptoms: Skin is red, tender, warm, possibly swollen and/or blistering.
- “Sun poisoning” may also occur. Symptoms may include: fever, chills, nausea, or a rash.
- Apply cool compresses.
- Moisturize with alcohol-free lotions.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- DO NOT apply oil or butter.
- DO NOT use harsh soap scrubs.
Staying Safe in the Sun
- Sunburns are caused by UV rays, not the heat of the sun. That means severe burns can occur even on cloudy days.
- Apply at least 35 SPF sunscreen 30 minutes before going out in the sun.
- Reapply sunscreen at least every 30 minutes, especially if you are sweating a lot or spending time in the water.
- When applying sunscreen plus another substance like bug repellent, apply sunscreen first, wait 30 minutes, then apply the other substance.
- Wear wide brim hats.
- Avoid tanning for long periods, particularly between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Keep babies less than one year old out of direct sunlight.
- Do not apply sunscreen to babies less than 6 months old.
Not just the UV Rays
- Be mindful of hot surfaces in cars (windows, hood, seats, dashboard).
- Hot sand or asphalt can severely burn the skin on the bottom of the feet while walking.