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Preventing Burns and Scalds 

Did you know that around 41,000 children receive hospital treatment for a burn each year. Cigarettes burn at 700 centigrade and over. A hot drink is still hot enough to scald 15 minutes after it has been made. These are just some of the facts around burns. Below are a number of helpful tips from the Burns Service to help prevent accidents and deal with a burn.

First Aid

Fire Safety General Tips

  • Never leave lit candles unattended. Candles should be in a secure holder away from items that may burn
  • Open fires should have a fireguard
  • Make sure cigarettes are properly stubbed out
  • Close doors at night, particularly lounge and kitchen doors (it prevents fire spreading quickly)
  • Do not overload electrical sockets
  • Position heaters away from curtains and furnishings
  • Do not leave TVs or other electrical appliances on stand by. Switch off and unplug them when not in use
  • Keep matches and lighters away from children.

In the Kitchen

  • Take care with hot oil. Never fill a chip pan more than 1/3 full. A deep fat fryer is preferable
  • Keep saucepans at the back of the hob/stove with handles turned in
  • Keep cookers, toasters and grill pans clean
  • Ensure your kettle has a short or curly flex

In the Bathroom

  • Run cold water in the bath before hot
  • Use a non slip mat in the bath and shower

In the Bedroom

  • Check electric blankets for faults e.g. fabric is frayed, scorch marks
  • Never smoke in bed
  • Hair straighteners become very hot and can cause deep burns - make sure they are switched off and placed out of reach of children. Keep hair straighteners away from children. Use heat resistant bags to store them after use.


  • Tents should be at least 6 metres apart
  • Find out what firefighting arrangements there are at the campsite
  • Keep flammable liquids and gas cylinders outside tent and away from children
  • Camping cookers should be placed where they will not be knocked over and away from long grass and flammable materials
  • Never use candles in or near your tent. A torch is preferable
  • Don't smoke inside the tent
  • When using portable gas cookers or lighters, always follow the safety instructions when replacing a gas canister
  • If possible use a gas appliance with a bottle, not a pierceable canister. The main danger occurs with appliances that pierce the shell of the gas canister to make the connection, as these models may not have a fail-safe mechanism such as a valve to stop gas escaping
  • Always buy canisters produced by the manufacturer of your equipment
  • Never change the canister in an enclosed area such as a tent.


  • Make sure your barbecue site is flat and away from sheds, fences and trees
  • Make sure your barbecue is in good working order
  • Keep children, pets, and garden games away from cooking area
  • When you have finished cooking, leave the barbecue to cool before moving it (it remains hot for several hours)
  • Empty ashes onto bare garden soil
  • Never put ashes straight into dustbin (It can melt plastic and cause a fire)
  • Keep a bucket of water, sand, or a hosepipe nearby in case of emergency
  • Never put petrol or paraffin on your barbecue
  • Only use recognised lighter or starter fuel
  • BBQs on the beach are lovely but a disposable BBQ placed onto sand will create a very hot patch and even when the BBQ has been removed the sand remains hot for a long time. People can burn themselves if they stand or sit on this sand. Douse the area with cold sea water to remove the heat.

Firework Safety

  • Only buy fireworks marked BS 7114
  • Don't drink alcohol if you are setting off fireworks
  • Keep fireworks in a closed box
  • Follow the instructions on each firework
  • Light them at arm's length, using a taper
  • Stand well back
  • Never go near a firework that has been lit. Even if it hasn't gone off, it could explode
  • Never put fireworks in your pocket or throw them
  • Always supervise children around fireworks
  • Light spraklers one at a time and wear gloves
  • Never give sparklers to a child under five
  • Keep pets indoors
  • Don't let off noisy fireworks after 11pm.

Smoke Alarms

  • Every home should have smoke alarms. They act as a warning device, detecting smoke at the earliest stage of a fire
  • Make sure there is a smoke alarm on each level of the building and that it is placed on the ceiling
  • Test the batteries once a week and change the battery once a year.

If There is a Fire

  • If clothing catches fire, the person should - STOP, DROP and ROLL. Flames should be covered with a heavy material i.e. blanket, coat
  • If a pan catches fire, turn the heat down if safe to do so. Do not move the pan or throw water over it.

First Aid

Information about first aid treatment for burns can be found on the NHS Choices website:

Click here to open the British Burn Association First Aid Position Statement 

Page Last Updated: 03/09/2015 11:43 
Printed from Salisbury NHS Foundation Website