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Burn Prevention Advice

A burn is an injury to the skin usually caused by contact with heat but can be caused by cold, chemicals, radiation, hot water, steam or electricity.  It can happen at home, at work, or during leisure activities. The majority of burns and scalds are preventable.  

Below are some tips on how you can reduce your risk of sustaining a burn injury. 

How to prevent burns in the kitchen

  • When using the hob to cook, turn any of your pan handles inwards and cook on the back burners of the hob when possible. 
  • When heating food in the microwave, it's a good idea to use microwave safe cookware with a cover that allows steam to escape. Always use oven mitts to remove hot dishes or plates. 
  • When frying, use a lid or splash guard this should help prevent grease splatter. 
  • Don't leave food to cook on the hob unattended. 
  • If you have an electric hob, it may stay hot once switched off so be careful.
  • Set yourself a timer to remind you to turn off the hob, oven, or toaster. 
  • It's best to wear short sleeves or tight-fitting clothes, keep long hair tied back, and use oven mitts or pot holders when cooking at the hob, oven, or on a BBQ.

Bathroom Safety

  • If you’re having a bath make sure the water isn’t too hot. You could run the cold water first and add hot water afterwards to reduce your risk of being scolded.
  • It's a good idea to make sure the bath water isn’t hotter than 44°C.
  • Check the water temperature with a thermometer and not your hands or feet before getting into the bath or shower. 
  • If you're at risk of falls you could install radiator covers to reduce risk of contact burns.

Bedroom Safety

  • If you use an electric blanket, check it can be kept on all night or whether it’s only designed to warm the bed up before you get in. If you have any continence difficulties, talk to your doctor before using one.
  • Make sure you never use a hot water bottle and an electric blanket together.
  • Try and avoid placing a heating pad or hot water bottle directly onto the skin. 
  • Test your hot water bottle for leaks by filling with cool water first. Turn the bottle upside down over an empty sink. 
  • Be extra careful not to squeeze the hot water bottle as you fill it as you may risk scalding yourself.
  • Don’t over fill your hot water bottle as that can lead to leaks. 

First Aid Advice: What to do to treat a minor burn

  • Stop the burning process as soon as possible. This may mean removing the person from the area, adding water to any flames, or smothering flames with a blanket, or using a fire blanket if electricity is involved. But don’t put yourself at risk of getting burnt as well. 
  • Run the burn under cool or lukewarm running water for 20 minutes as soon as possible after the injury.
  • Remove any clothing or jewellery near the burnt area of skin. But if anything is stuck to the burnt skin then leave it there, as removing it could cause more damage. 
  • Cover the burn with cling film. This can help stop it getting infected. 
  • Use painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen to treat any pain. 
  • Seek medical advice if the pain doesn’t get better. You can call 111 who can tell you what to do next.

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Last updated: Apr 20 2021

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