Prevent Burn Injury

According to the American Burn Association, approximately 450,000 Americans seek medical treatment for burn injuries each year. Fires and burn injuries are a leading cause of home fatalities in the United States, with about 85 percent of burn injuries occurring at home. Nearly all of these deaths and injuries are preventable, with factors such as a lack of smoke detectors and influence of alcohol sited in many cases of burn injuries and deaths.

Prevent Home Burn Injury

There are many different causes of burns and fires, but negligence of situations that may cause burns or fires are at the root of most incidents. Being aware of potentially flammable substances and objects and taking steps to prevent ignition is essential to safety. Putting safety measures in place can also help prevent fires and burns.

Ways to prevent fires and burn injuries from occurring at home include:

  • Using properly maintained oven mitts while cooking
  • Never leaving cooking food unattended
  • Never leaving candles or incense unattended
  • Keeping curtains and other flammable materials away from heat sources
  • Avoiding smoking in the house and never smoking in bed
  • Giving space heaters and other stand-alone heat sources plenty of space
  • Keeping electrical equipment and outlets properly maintained
  • Unplugging electrical appliances when not in use
  • Setting the water heater between 120-130 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent scalding
  • Maintaining smoke detectors or other fire prevention measures

Prevent Burn Injury in Children

Many burn injuries and deaths involve children, so parents and caregivers must be especially diligent to keep children away from situations in which children may cause burns or fires. Making children aware of what can cause burns or fires can be extremely helpful in preventing burn injuries. Going over a safety plan in case of a fire can help save children’s lives.

Ways to prevent children from causing fires or burn injuries include:

  • Keeping candles, lighters, and matches away from children
  • Keeping pot handles on stove turned in and other hot liquids out of reach
  • Opting for stoves and other appliances that have burn prevention features
  • Keeping electrical appliances away from children
  • Keeping hazardous chemicals out of reach of children

Prevent Burn Injury at Job sites

Many burn injuries and fires also occur at workplaces. Every workplace in which employees may be susceptible to fires or burn injuries should have safety measures in place in case or a fire or burn injury. There are codes and regulations in place to ensure that employers comply with these safety measures, but it is up to managers and employees to ensure that safety measures are followed daily and all employees are made aware of risks and prevention methods. First aid should be available for minor burns, and a fire suppression system should be maintained.




“Burn Incidence and Treatment in the United States: 2012 Fact Sheet.” American Burn Association. American Burn Association, n.d. Web. 31 Dec 2013. <>.

“Burns.” Medline Plus. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 16 Dec 2013. Web. 31 Dec 2013. <>.

“Fire Deaths and Injuries: Fact Sheet.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention., 11 Oct 2011. Web. 31 Dec 2013. <>.

“Treating and Preventing Burns.” Healthy American Academy of Pediatrics, 11 May 2013. Web. 31 Dec 2013. <;.