Burns – Preventing Burns in Your Home
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Fires and other accidents in your home can result in burns to you or a family member. These situations often happen unexpectedly. However, take time now to be prepared and know what to do if someone in your home gets burned.
Path to improved health
Not all burns happen because of fires. Household chemicals, scalding water, and household appliances can also cause burns. Here are some things you can do to keep you and your family safe.
General Fire Safety
Prevent burns by preventing fires in your home. Be prepared and know what to do if fires ever do occur. Here are some fire safety tips for your home:
- Put smoke alarms in your home. Check them monthly to make sure they sound an alarm. If they run on batteries, put in new batteries every 6 months.
- Learn how and when to use a fire extinguisher. Keep one or more in your home.
- Think about how you would get out of your home in a fire emergency. Make a family escape plan and have regular fire drills at home. Designate a meeting place outside your home in case there is a fire.
- Have a professional electrician check the wiring in your home at least once every 10 years.
- Have a professional inspect and clean your chimney and fireplace once a year.
How to prevent different types of fires or burns around your home
- If you have a car seat in your car, always touch it before putting your child in it. That’s because hot seat-belt straps and buckles can cause second-degree burns on small children. Cover the car seat with a towel if you park in the sun.
- Put covers on all electrical outlets a child can reach. This will help prevent electrical burns.
- Throw away electrical cords that are frayed or damaged. This also will help prevent electrical burns.
- Prevent chemical burns by wearing gloves and other protective clothing when you handle chemicals. Store chemicals, including gasoline, out of the reach of children.
- Use space heaters carefully. Keep them at least 3 feet away from curtains, rugs, bedding, clothing, and paper. Teach children to stay away from them.
- Store matches and lighters in a locked cabinet, away from children.
- Never leave candles unattended. Blow them out when you leave the room. Consider using flameless candles, instead.
- If you smoke, don’t smoke in bed. Get rid of used cigarettes carefully. Fires caused by smoking materials are the leading cause of deaths in house fires.
- 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’re cooking.
- Cooking fires are the leading cause of house fires. Put out a small fire on the stove by sliding a lid over the flames.
- Don’t use a microwave oven to warm baby bottles. The liquid heats unevenly and can scald your baby’s mouth.
- Unplug hot irons (clothing and curling irons). Keep them out of reach of children.
Things to consider
- Stick to your family escape plan and get to your meeting place as fast as you can.
- Stay as low to the ground as possible–crawl if you have to. Smoke and heat rise, so it will be easier to breathe closer to the floor. (Many more people die from the poisonous gasses caused by house fires than from burns.)
- Check closed doors by touching them with the back of your hand. If the door is hot, don’t open it–means the fire is nearby. If it’s cool, open it slowly and make sure you don’t see fire before exiting the room.
- Close doors to separate yourself from the fire and smoke.
- If you or your clothes catch on fire, “stop, drop and roll” your body on the ground.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Canada Safety Council