The first full week of February recognizes National Burn Awareness Week. In 2016, there were approximately 486,000 burn injuries that received medical treatment in the U.S. Additionally, there were around 3,275 deaths caused by fire or smoke inhalation. Unfortunately, that means that every "2 hours and 41 minutes” someone is passing for this reason. Some of these injuries can be prevented through safety precautions and awareness.
A majority of these injuries revolved around the home. According to the Ameriburn.org, 73% of injuries occurred at home where only 8% occurred at the individual’s place of occupation. A major source of these injuries is related to the kitchen. The American Burn Association offers these tips for the home:
- The best time to cook is when you are wide awake, and not drowsy from medications or alcohol.
- Always wipe clean the stove, oven, exhaust fan to prevent grease buildup.
- Wear short or close-fitting sleeves when cooking.
- Keep a pan lid and dry potholders or oven mitts near you EVERY time you cook.
- Turn pot or pan handles toward the back of the stove.
- When heating food in the microwave, use microwavesafe cookware that allows steam to escape. • Allow food to rest before removing from the microwave.
- When frying, use a pan lid or splash guard to prevent grease splatter.
- Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave, turn off the stove.
- If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly. Remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you to check on your cooking.
- After cooking, check the kitchen to make sure all burners and other appliances are turned off.
Stay safe in the home and specifically the kitchen. Remind friends, family, and coworkers about these safety tips and help raise awareness of preventable measures. Some injuries are unavoidable, but many are preventable.
One Team. One Vision. One Goal. – Everyone Goes Home Safe!