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National Burn Awareness Week

The Washington State Fire Marshal’s Office along with the American Burn Association wants everyone to know that February 5-11, 2023, is National Burn Awareness Week.

This is an opportunity for Washington State fire service professionals to mobilize burn, fire, and life safety educators to unite in sharing common burn awareness and prevention messages to their communities.

Scald injuries can happen at any age. Children, older adults and those with disabilities are especially at risk. Hot liquids from bath water, hot beverages and even microwaved soup can cause devastating injuries.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), scald burns are the second leading cause of all burn injuries in the United States.

Scald burns occur when skin comes into contact with hot liquids or steam and can cause third-degree burns almost instantaneously. A third-degree burn destroys the entire depth of the skin and can damage fat, muscle, organs, or bone beneath the skin. Significant scarring is common, and death can occur in the most severe cases.

Water boils at 212° Fahrenheit and simmering occurs between 185° to 200° F. If the water temperature is 155° F, it only takes a second for a third-degree burn to occur.

During National Burn Awareness Week, practice these safety tips to keep you and your loved ones safe:

  • Teach children that hot things can burn. Install anti-scald devices on tub faucets and shower heads.
  • Always supervise a child in or near a bathtub and before placing a child in the bath, test the water. It should feel warm, not hot, to the touch.
  • Place hot liquids and food in the center of a table or toward the back of the counter.
  • Have a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drinks are prepared or carried.
  • Allow microwaved food to cool before eating and always open microwaved food slowly to prevent steam burns to the extremities and face.
  • Never hold a child while you are cooking, drinking a hot liquid, or carrying hot foods or liquids.
  • If a burn does occur, treat the burn right away by cooling it with cool water for three to five minutes and cover the burn with a clean, dry cloth. Get medical help if needed.

Remember – “Hot Liquids Burn Like Fire!”

For more information about National Burn Awareness Week, click here.

Click here for fire safety-related videos for kids and here for fire safety-related games and activities.

Do you have a home fire escape plan? Click here to watch a video with safety tips and how to create a home fire escape plan.

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