City Services

Preventing Burns In The Home

Kitchen Safety

Never leave cooking unattended. Big fires start small. If a fire starts on the stove, use a potholder or oven mitts and carefully slide a lid or cookie sheet onto the pot and turn the element off. Pot handles should always be turned to the back of the stove to prevent pots from being knocked off. Hot food or liquids should never be left near the edge of the counter or table where a child could pull them down. Avoid wearing loose fitting clothing while cooking. It may ignite quickly. Always turn burners and the oven off when not in use. Use oven mitts or potholders when cooking.

Water Temperature

The thermostat on your water heater should be no more than 49 degrees Celsius. When running a bath, always turn the cold water on first and then add hot water until the temperature is comfortable. Never leave children unattended in the bathtub. Not even for a second. Note : a serious burn can occur in 30 seconds at 55 degrees Celsius. At 60 degrees, it only takes 5 seconds. With children under the age of 5 and some adults over 65, the time may be reduced by more than half.

Safety for Children

Check the temperature before putting your child into the bath tub. Add cool water if the water feels too hot. Teach children that familiar household items are sometimes hot and can cause a burn. Children need to have constant supervision during outdoor cookouts Hot irons should never be left unattended. Wall outlets should be covered with safety devices and damaged or frayed electrical cords should be replaced immediately. Children should not play near wood stoves, fireplaces and space heaters.

Tools, Not Toys

Children can be taught about matches, lighters, and fire. At a young age, it is important to teach them the proper functions of these tools. Teach children that matches and lighters are tools for adults, not toys for children to play with. Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children. Store them up high where children cannot reach or see them, preferably in a locked cabinet. Teach children to tell a grown up when they find matches or lighters; older children should bring matches or lighters to an adult immediately.

Degree of Burns

Burns are classified by the amount of damage done to the skin and other body tissue. In order to properly treat a burn, it is important to identify its severity.

  • First-degree burns are minor and heal fast. Indications are reddened skin, tender and sore. 
  • Second-degree burns are serious injuries and require immediate medical attention. Indications are blistered skin and pain.
  • Third-degree burns are severe injuries and require immediate professional medical treatment. Indications are white, brown, or charred tissue often surrounded by blistered areas. Little or no initial pain.

Cool a Burn

Immediately cool a burn by placing it under cool water for 10-15 minutes. Cool water reduces skin damage and minimizes the pain. Never use butter, lotions, ice, or ointments on a burn. This only seals the heat in. Don't break blisters, this may cause infection. Apply a clean, dry dressing to a first degree burn after cooling. Second and third degree burns require immediate medical treatment.

If your Clothes Catch Fire...

STOP immediately, don't run.

DROP to the ground or floor, covering your face with your hands.

ROLL over and over until the fire is out.