Fire and Burn Prevention

Household fires cause about 75% of all deaths related to fires and burns. In the USA, one out of 17 homes has a fire. In addition the leading causes of injury at home is accidental burns or scalds. Prevention is best! Here are some tips facts on fire and burn safety.


  • Smoke detectors save lives. There should be at least one on each floor of your home, and more if possible, especially in children’s rooms. Smoke detectors should be regularly tested and always have fresh batteries. It’s one of the least expensive yet best investments you can make for your family
  • Don’t smoke in bed. The leading cause of house fires where a child has died is smoking in bed.
  • Work out an action plan with the whole family about what you will all do in case of a fire. Plan and practice alternative escape routes from every room in your home.
  • You should own and know how to use at least one all-purpose fire extinguisher. Be sure your extinguisher is always fully charged, and regularly inspected by a trained technician.
  • If you have disposable lighters in the house, make sure they are child resistant. Always store matches safely out of the reach of children.
  • Check and secure all potential sources of heat and burn injury. Place screens on fireplaces, woodstoves and kerosene heaters.
  • Clothing that you dress your children in should be flame resistant or retardant. This means that these cloths have been treated with special chemicals that prevent or resist flames.


  • Do not hold baby while also handling a hot drink. If you must, be sure the drink is at most only warm, never steaming. Spilled hot tea or coffee could seriously burn your baby.
  • Coffee and tea pots or any other containers full of hot liquids or food should not be kept or left on the table if you have toddlers in the home. Always make sure that the handles of the pots or pans are facing the back of the stove and use the rear elements if possible.
  • One of the most common bathroom injuries comes from scalding hot tap water. Therefore always run bath water and test the water temperature yourself before the child gets in. Besides these measures, one of the very best ways to prevent hot tap water scalding is to set the maximum temperature on your hot water tank to 110° F (48° C).
  • Also be aware that electric baseboards, radiators and vents from hot air furnaces can get really hot. Make sure these are screened with guards or that your young child does not have easy access to these potential sources of burn injury.
  • Young children should not be allowed to play near hot ovens, barbeques or other sources of heat.
  • Parents of small children should use a cool mist humidifier when necessary instead of a steam vaporizer or humidifier

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Pediatrician DR.PAUL Roumeliotis is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. The information provided above is designed to be an educational aid only. It is not intended to replace the advice and care of your child’s physician, nor is it intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. If you suspect that your child has a medical condition always consult a physician.