Commentary by Paul Macek
Schriever AFB Fire and Emergency Services
Once a child touches a hot stove, as the cliché goes — he learns his lesson, stay away from a hot stove. This cliché does not take into account the pain and suffering from burns and should not be part of the learning process.
That’s why Schriever Fire and Emergency Services is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) for Fire Prevention Week 2009 — Oct. 4-10 — to urge Schriever residents to “Stay Fire Smart! Don’t Get Burned.”
This year’s campaign focuses on ways to keep homes fire safe and prevent painful burns. The statistics are staggering. Each year roughly 3,000 people die as a result of home fires and burns, and more than 200,000 individuals are seen in the nation’s emergency rooms for burn injuries.
“The most common types of burn injuries result from fire or flame burns, scalds and contact burns,” said Eric Wentworth, Assistant Chief of Fire Prevention. “Burns are painful and can result in serious scarring and even death. When we take extra caution in our homes to ensure that the curling iron is out of children’s reach or pot handles are turned away from the edge of the stove, such injuries are entirely preventable. Keeping our homes safe from fire and preventing devastating burn injuries is a healthy change we can make happen.”
By following simple safety rules, you can “Stay Fire Smart! Don’t Get Burned.”
· Keep hot foods and liquids away from tables and counter edges so they cannot be pulled or knocked over.
· Have a 3-foot “kid-free” zone around the stove.
· Never hold a child in your arms while preparing hot food or drinking a hot beverage.
· Be careful when using things that get hot such as curling irons, oven, irons, lamps, heaters.
· Install tamper-resistant receptacles to prevent a child from sticking an object in the outlet.
· Never leave a child alone in a room with a lit candle, portable heater, lit fireplace or stove, or where a hot appliance might be in use.
· Wear short or close-fitting sleeves when cooking.
· Set your hot water temperature no higher than 120 degrees.
· Install anti-scald valves on shower heads and faucets.
Fire Prevention Week is actively supported by fire departments across the country. For 85 years, fire departments have observed Fire Prevention Week, making it the longest running public health and safety observance on record.
For more information on “Stay Fire Smart! Don’t Get Burned.” visit www.firepreventionweek.org.