There are fire extinguishers made for the home. When you buy one, make sure to get familiar with how to use it as there isn't enough time to learn when there's a fire. You should only try to put out small fires before they get out of control, but only after you've gotten everyone safely out of the house.
October is fire prevention month. Local fire departments do a great job of visiting schools and talking to students about fire prevention … and fire safety. Each year there is a new theme, and this year the theme is “Stay Fire Smart, Don’t Get Burned”.
Burns are painful and easily avoided if we all follow basic safety guidelines. Burn prevention isn't difficult, and most things you might say are obvious. A quick scan of these simple safety guidelines for you and your family members, will simply make it easier to remember the rules when needed.
Burn Prevention is Simple
… by Gail Klanchesser, Coastal CPR and First Aid LLC
Adults may recognize situations where they must be careful to avoid getting burned but children need to be taught how to avoid unsafe conditions at home. Here are tips for keeping your family safe and you should review them at least once a year with younger children.
- Keep young children away from hot appliances, not just stoves and ovens, but also curling irons, hair dryers, irons and heaters. Don’t use or leave hot heating pads where a child can reach it.
- Keep your hot water heater no higher than 120 degrees. Extremely hot water can scald young children and older adults very easily.
- Don’t rely on thermometers to check water temperature when bathing young children or assisting older adults. Check the temperature yourself.
- Be careful wearing loose clothing when cooking over open flames, on the stove or grill.
- Don’t leave the kitchen when cooking, especially when frying or broiling.
- If you have young children, try using only the back burners of your stove.
- Be careful opening containers from the microwave. Hot steam can burn just as quickly as boiling water and consider other sources of hot steam like tea kettles.
- Keep paper, clothing, toys and other items away from fireplaces, heaters and gas appliances.
- Inspect your heating equipment and chimney (if you use it) every year.
- Keep smoking materials away from children, soft furniture, bedding or things that burn easily. If you must smoke indoors, make sure you don’t smoke when tired or on medication that might prevent you from properly extinguishing your smoking materials.
- Don’t place scarves or other fabrics over lamps or lampshades.
- Replace cracked or damaged electrical cords. Don’t rely on extension cords to regularly power appliances. If you need the extension cord all the time then it’s probably time to add an outlet.
- If you have young children use outlet covers.
- Call your electrician if … your electric circuits trip frequently or fuses need frequent replacement.
- Call 911 … if you smell an electrical or burning odor from a wall outlet or appliance.
- Install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in your home and test them frequently. Do not ‘borrow’ the battery from your smoke detector for another use.
Treating Burns at Home
- Immediately cool the burned area with cold, but not ice cold water.
- Rinse in cool water for several minutes.
- Cover the burn with a clean, dry cloth.
Gail Klanchesser, is the founder of Coastal CPR and First Aid LLC. Gail uses her extensive experience as a fire fighter, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and NH State EMS Practical Exam Evaluator to help others learn safety awareness. Since her children were born, Gail has transitioned to teaching CPR and First Aid courses to “give back to my community and support the American Heart Association