Burn Prevention Tips for Your Home

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Oregon Clinic

ANYONE can receive a burn or scald injury (burns caused by hot liquids or steam). Bathing and kitchen-related accidents are the most common causes of scald injuries, but all types of scald and burn injuries can be prevented by making your home a safe environment.

Use this guide to help protect your home and loved ones from serious burn injuries.

Kitchen Safety

  • Keep flammable materials away from heat sources, such as the stove, oven, and microwave.
  • Never leave cooking unattended.
  • Wear close-fitting clothes and roll up your sleeves while cooking.
  • Cook on the back burners and turn pot handles in to prevent accidental spillage.

Bathroom Safety

  • Set water heaters at 120F—anything hotter puts those in your household (especially small children and the elderly) at risk for scald injuries.
  • Always supervise a child in the bath; do not leave a child unattended for any reason.
  • Do not use electrical appliances near the sink or a full tub.

Heating Safety

  • Keep flammable materials (including drapes, furniture, and rugs) at least three feet away from space heaters.
  • Never leave heaters unattended.
  • Have a fire extinguisher readily available.
  • Keep children from touching the protective glass screens in front of fireplaces.
  • The addition of wood and attendance to the fire should be the responsibility of an adult.

General Safety

  • Install smoke detectors on every level of your home and in each bedroom; test monthly, following manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Prepare for an emergency by designing an escape plan with the entire family (see resources below).
  • Stop, drop, and roll if your clothing catches fire.
  • Smokers should never smoke in bed or near flammable materials.
  • Store all matches and lighters up high, out of children’s reach.

If you have any questions, please call The Oregon Clinic – Surgical & Burn Specialists: (503) 288-7535 for Portland, or (503) 692-0444 for Tualatin.