Burn Awareness Week Highlights Kitchen Safety
February 6th-12th, 2022 is Burn Awareness Week. This week was created to provide opportunities for organizations to mobilize burn, fire and life safety educators to unite in sharing a common burn awareness and prevention message within communities. This year’s theme is “Burning Issues in the Kitchen”.
Cooking is the number one cause of home fires, causing 47% of them, according to the American Burn Association.
Key Safety Tips for Cooking in the Kitchen:
- Never leave the kitchen when you are cooking. If you have to leave, turn off any appliances.
- When you are done cooking, check that all burners and appliances are turned off.
- The safest time to cook is when you are wide awake. Don't cook if you are tired or drowsy for whatever reason.
- Keep the stovetop and oven clean and wipe it down after cooking. Grease buildup and debris can ignite easily.
- When frying, use a pan lid to prevent splatter burns.
- Keep the stove area clear of any flammable materials.
- When possible, cook on back burners and turn the pot handles in to prevent accidents like knocking the pots/pans over.
- Wear short or close-fitting sleeves when cooking. If wearing long sleeves, roll the sleeves up to avoid burn injury.
- Before putting a container/dish into the microwave, check that it is microwave safe. Containers that are not designed for use in the microwave may melt, ignite or explode in the microwave.
- Allow food to cool before taking it out from the microwave. Check that the container has cooled, before attempting to remove it. If the container remains hot, use oven mitts to take it out of the microwave.
- Prevent steam burns by removing lids and opening bags carefully. Stir the food thoroughly to evenly distribute the heat.
- Create a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove, hot surfaces and hot drink or food.
- Move any appliance cords out of reach of small children. Keep hot liquids out of reach of children.
- Don’t use tablecloths or placemats around small children as they may pull on them, causing any food or drink on top to spill off of the table/surface.
- When holding a child don’t use the stove or eat or drink hot foods.
- While cooking, keep children out of the kitchen. If you have older children, assign them to watch your younger ones.
- Keep all matches and lighters in a place that is high up and out of childrens’ reach. Use child-resistant lighters.
For more information and resources, visit the American Burn Association's website.