The Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office is highlighting the importance of preventing burn hazards and home fires during National Burn Awareness Week (Feb. 5-11, 2023).
This year’s theme is “Scalds: Hot Liquids Burn Like Fire” and focuses on ways that consumers can prevent burn-related injuries from occurring at home.
To help raise awareness of the importance of home fire safety, consumers are reminded to keep the following tips in mind:
• Prevent spills due to the overturning of pots, pans, and dishes containing hot food or liquids by using the back burner and turning pot handles away from the stove’s front edge (or any edge where someone could bump into the pot handles).
• All appliance cords should be kept coiled and away from counter edges.
• Use oven mitts or potholders when removing hot food from ovens, microwave ovens, or stovetops. Never use wet oven mitts or potholders because they can cause scald burns. Replace old or worn-out oven mitts.
• Always open food containers slowly and away from a person’s face to avoid steam burns.
• Prepackaged, microwavable soups are a frequent cause of scald burns (especially noodle soups) because they can easily tip over. Choose prepackaged soups whose containers have a wide base or, to avoid the possibility of a spill, pour the soup into a traditional bowl after heating.
• Microwaves can heat unevenly and create hot spots, so avoid using them to heat baby formula or milk.
• Young children are at high risk of being burned by hot foods and liquids. Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a “kid-free zone” of 3 feet around the stove or any place where hot foods or drinks are being prepared or carried.
• Never hold a child while cooking, drinking a hot liquid, or carrying hot foods or liquids.
• In the event of a home fire, working smoke alarms can give a home’s residents crucial seconds to escape deadly smoke and flames. Consumers who need working smoke alarms should contact their local fire department and ask if they participate in the SFMO’s “Get Alarmed, Tennessee!” free smoke-alarm program.