Burn Awareness Week takes place during the first full week of February. Various safety organizations use the event to promote awareness and to teach people how to avoid burn injuries. The personal injury lawyers at Patterson Legal Group would like to do their part in the event. Below is a five-point safety guide filled with information that will help you and your family avoid getting burned at home.
Home Burn Injury Prevention: Burn Awareness Week Safety Tips
Home is supposed to be our place of comfort and warmth. Unfortunately, most homes are filled with hidden dangers that can lead to injuries, particularly burns. From sizzling stove tops to cozy fireplaces, burns can happen in the blink of an eye, leaving behind physical and emotional scars–even catastrophic injuries.
Fortunately, most home burns are highly preventable. Here is a five-point guide to prevent burns at home:
1. Preventing Burn Injuries in the Kitchen
Most people associate home burn injuries with the kitchen. After all, the kitchen is home to numerous heat-generating appliances, like your stove, oven, microwave, and more. Start your Burn Awareness Week by teaching your family how to avoid getting burned in the kitchen. Our personal injury attorneys recommend:
- Keeping pot handles turned inward, away from bumping elbows or curious hands. Use back burners for simmering, leaving the front burners free for active cooking. Never leave cooking food unattended, and turn off burners when not in use.
- Always using heat-resistant pot holders when handling hot cookware. Don’t rely on oven mitts near open flames, as they can catch fire easily.
- Being wary of hot oil splatters. Keep lids handy to cover pots and pans when adding ingredients. Avoid overcrowding the stovetop, as this can increase the risk of spills and overflows.
- Not reaching across hot liquids like coffee or tea. Let them cool slightly before moving them, and always use spill-proof lids on travel mugs.
- Not heating closed containers in the microwave. Pressure buildup can cause explosions, leading to burns. Use caution when removing hot dishes, and remember, microwaved food doesn’t always distribute heat evenly, so test before taking a bite.
2. Don’t Get Burned in the Bathroom
Many people are surprised by how frequently people get burned in the bathroom. This is likely because they associate the bathroom with water. However, scald burns are all too common. Whether it’s from carelessness, numerous people in a home using hot water at once, or another cause, fluctuating water temperatures can lead to serious burns. Here are some tips to avoid getting scalded or suffering an electrical burn in the bathroom.
- Set your water heater to 120°F (49°C) to prevent scalding. Regularly check the temperature, especially if you have young children or elderly residents in the house.
- Install single-control faucets or anti-scald valves to ensure consistent water temperature. Test the water before stepping into the shower or bath.
- Run cold water first before adding hot, filling the tub no more than halfway to prevent overflows. Never leave children unattended in the bathtub, even for a moment.
- Be cautious with hot hair styling tools like straighteners and curling irons. Place them on heat-resistant surfaces away from flammable materials and water.
- Avoid using electric shavers in the shower or bath, as they can pose a risk of electrical shock.
3. Enjoying Your Fireplace Safely
Many people love cozying up to a crackling fireplace in the winter. While you’re enjoying a leisurely cup of cocoa by the fire, it’s important to be vigilant. After all, you’re dealing with open flames that could lead to major injuries and property damage. To make sure that your fireplace doesn’t become a raging inferno, our injury lawyers recommend:
- Using dry, seasoned firewood and never using flammable liquids to ignite the fire. Keep flammable materials like paper or logs far from the fireplace.
- Always using a sturdy fireplace screen to prevent embers from popping out and causing burns.
- Never leaving hot ashes unattended. Let them cool completely before disposing of them in a metal container placed outside, away from combustible materials.
- Keeping lit candles away from curtains, furniture, and anything else that can catch fire. Extinguish candles before leaving the room or going to sleep.
- Installing and regularly maintaining carbon monoxide detectors in your home, especially near fireplaces.
4. Get Your Grill On, but Do It Safely
Whether you prefer charcoal, propane, or wood pellets, the barbecue grill is often the centerpiece of a family’s backyard. While you’re grilling up delicious meats, it’s crucial to pay close attention to your grill, since it’s a powerful appliance that’s capable of generating tremendous heat. To prevent barbecue grill injuries, our personal injury attorneys recommend:
- Placing your grill in a well-ventilated area, away from flammable materials like siding, trees, or deck railings.
- Checking for leaks and ensuring all connections are secure before using your grill. If you smell gas, turn off the valve immediately and contact a handyman right away.
- Only using charcoal starter fluid in a well-ventilated area and keeping it away from open flames. Never add lighter fluid to hot coals.
- Using long-handled grilling tools and wearing barbecue gloves (welding gloves work excellently too) to keep your hands away from the heat. Don’t wear loose-fitting clothing that could catch fire.
- Letting the coals cool completely when you’re done grilling before disposing of them. Never dump hot coals directly into the trash.
5. Don’t Get Shocked by an Electrical Burn
Rounding out our Burn Awareness Week safety tips, our injury lawyers remind you to be mindful of electrical burns. People are using more electronic devices than ever, which can mean overloaded outlets and other hazards. Here are some tips to avoid getting burned and shocked.
- Avoid overloading outlets with multiple high-powered appliances. Use quality surge protectors to prevent electrical fires.
- Inspect power cords and extension cables regularly for any damage or fraying. Replace damaged cords immediately.
- Never use electrical appliances near water or operate them with wet hands. Unplug appliances before cleaning them.
- Install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets in kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas prone to moisture. These outlets are highly effective at preventing electric shocks.
Contact a Burn Injury Lawyer
The team at Patterson Legal Group hopes that you found these safety tips useful. Please share them with your family and friends as part of Burn Awareness Week. Should you suffer a burn injury caused by the negligence or recklessness of another party then contact us for immediate assistance. Our staff is available 24/7 to get you the help you need and start building a claim designed to win you the highest compensation allowable by law.
You can reach Patterson Legal Group by phone at (888) 687-2400 and online through our secure contact form or connecting with our LiveChat representatives. For more than 25 years, Patterson Legal Group has helped injury victims throughout Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma receive maximum settlements from insurance companies. Our knowledgeable and experienced trial lawyers have recovered more than $250-million in settlements for our clients. Reach out to us today and you’ll quickly learn why Patterson Legal Group is one of the most trusted injury law firms in the Midwest.