Burn Awareness Week is an annual event, which starts on the first Sunday of February and is led by the British Columbia Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund.
Firefighters in more than 53 communities in B.C. and the Yukon work to support the efforts of the Burn Fund to increase the public’s knowledge of burn awareness.
100 Mile House Fire-Rescue chief Darrell Blades says his crew is very much aware of the safety awareness program and like what it offers.
“We haven’t run any special programs yet because we just don’t have the manpower. We don’t collect money for the burn project; if we had a few more members, we would jump all over it because it’s a pretty good program.”
Scalding prevention was the focus of the 2013 Burn Awareness Week campaign.
It takes only a moment, but the damage from scalding hot liquids can last a child’s lifetime.
Folks can take simple steps to reduce hazards at home, where the vast majority of these preventable injuries happen.
Here are some valuable tips:
• Adjust the temperature on your hot water heater to 49 Celsius (120 Fahrenheit). Most home hot water heaters in Canada are set at 60 C (140 F). At that temperature, a child’s skin can burn in one second.
• If people are unable to control the temperature that comes out of the hot water heater, they can install scald-resistant faucets in sinks, showers and bathtubs that children use. These fixtures have built-in thermostats to control the maximum temperature of the water. Set the thermostat so the water temperature does not exceed 50 C.
• When using taps, turn cold water on first, then add hot water and adjust the temperature. Reverse the order when turning water off – hot water off first, then cold.
• Always test young children’s bath and sink water before they use it.
• Keep hot liquids like coffee, soup and tea in a mug with a tight-fitting lid, such as a travel cup.
• When cooking, ensure pot handles are out of children’s reach and turned toward the back of the stove. Teach your children never to touch anything on the stovetop or open the oven.
• Make sure to place a barrier around your gas fireplace. The glass of a gas fireplace can heat up to 200 C in just six minutes and take 45 minutes to cool down.
• Teach children about the dangers of fire and supervise them.
• When outdoors, keep children away from barbecue grills and campfires.
• If a child is burned, place the burned area in, or flush it with, cool water as quickly as possible. Keep the burned area in the cool water for 10 to 15 minutes. Never use ice, ointments or butter.
Everyone is encouraged to access more information on fire and burn safety, as well as a Burn Awareness Week education kit at: www.burnfund.org.