10 Every Day Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Burns

This week the American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) is recognizing the American Burn Association’s (ABA) 2019 Burn Awareness week. According to the ABA, approximately every minute someone in the United States sustains a burn injury.

In an effort to help reduce this number, AFSA has rounded up some of the easiest changes you can implement in your day-to-day routine to immediately reduce your risk of burn injury including:

  • Prevent hazardous kitchen spills that could cause burns by using the back burner on the stove, and turning all pot handles away from you while you cook
    • To avoid accidentally touching the pot handle, or worse, catching it on loose clothing and pulling it off the stove, be sure to keep all pot handles turned toward the back of the stove and use back burners whenever possible to prevent hot spills and splashes!

  • Keep matches, lighters, and other sources of heat out of reach of children to prevent accidental burns
    • Be sure after use to place all matches, lighters, and other sources of heat up and away from the reach of children. To double up on safety, store these items in a locked area to keep curious little hands away from these potentially dangerous items.

  • Open microwaved food slowly and away from the face
    • When opening food that was cooked in the microwave, especially those items meant to steam, be sure to open them away from the face to avoid burns from escaping steam. Always allow food to stand for at least one minute after microwaving before removing it from the microwave.

  • Establish “no-kid” zones where children are not allowed to be
    • Ironing clothes? Cooking at the stove? Have a fire in the fire place?  These are all places kids might want to be around you but establishing these areas as “no zones” that kids understand are off limits when in use will drastically reduce their risk of accidental burns.

  • Keep space heaters at least three feet away from all people/items in an area at all times
    • Keep all people, furniture, and other objects all at least three feet away from space heaters to avoid accidentally bumping into the heater, or worse, having an item in the room catch fire!
  • Keep electrical outlets covered when not in use
    • To avoid curious fingers inserting an item into an open socket which could possibly causing a burn, keep all electrical outlets that are not currently in use in your home covered.

  • Reduce water heater temp to below 120°F
    • To avoid scalding yourself while taking a shower, cleaning dishes, etc.  in your home, make sure to turn your water heater temperature down to a safe temperature.

  • Always check car seat temperature before getting in
    • For both children and adults it is important, especially in the summer, to be mindful of the temperature of your car seat. Feel of the seat with the back of your hand before sitting or, if you know it is especially warm outside, be sure to cover the seat with a towel or blanket before taking a seat. Additionally, parents should help children with their seatbelt buckles on hot days, to avoid accidental burns from touching hot metal buckles.

  • Use a cool-mist humidifier
    • Instead of using a hot steam humidifier instead opt for a cool-mist humidifier on dry days and to help alleviate congestion. It will help you avoid accidental burns from touching the machine itself or from the steam.

  • Always test food temperature before eating
    • Before digging in to a freshly cooked or microwaved dish, be sure to check the temperature so you don’t scald the inside of your mouth or lips!

Fire sprinklers help to actively stop fires from spreading, but fire prevention is key. It never hurts to double check you’re being as safe as possible to help avoid burns! If a minor burn is accidentally sustained, always remember to run the injury under cool, not cold, water for three to five minutes and keep the area dry and free of friction until healed. When more serious burns are sustained, immediately contact emergency services for treatment.

Learn more about National Burn Awareness Week at ameriburn.org and visit www.firesprinkler.org to learn more about fire sprinklers and fire prevention.

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