It may be the most wonderful time of year, but it can also be one of the most dangerous. Along with the cooking and decorations that make the season magical, the holidays present risks for home fires and burns.
An independent survey conducted by Shriners Hospitals for Children® found that many Americans do not follow key fire and burn safety tips despite being aware of dangerous risks. For example, 25 percent of respondents reported leaving lit candles unattended, and 27 percent said they have left them in reach of children.
“Some of these findings seem alarming, but each year, our burn hospitals see the unfortunate results—children who have been injured in cooking related accidents or in fires associated with holiday decorations or candles,” says Kenneth Guidera, M.D., chief medical officer for Shriners Hospitals for Children. “These injuries can mean years of ongoing treatments and extensive rehabilitation for a child. That’s why we encourage families to learn about fire safety and prevention before a tragedy occurs.”
Fire and burn hazards are prevalent in many homes throughout the holidays, and Shriners Hospitals for Children offers these tips to remind families how to stay safe:
-Never leave lit candles unattended. If you must use flame-burning candles, make sure to extinguish them when you leave the room.
-When cooking, turn pot handles toward the back of the stove, out of the reach of children.
-Never leave a hot stove or oven unattended.
-While cooking, keep a lid or cookie sheet nearby to cover a pan if its contents catch fire.
-If you decorate using a live, fresh-cut tree, water it daily.
-Keep trees and other flammable decor at least three feet away from heaters and flames.
-Discard decorative lights with bare wires, frays or kinks.
-Make sure your home is equipped with working smoke alarms and fire extinguishers.
-Have an escape plan in case of a fire and practice it with your family members so they know how to react if a fire does occur.
-Know the burn care resources in your community.
Source: Family Features Editorial Syndicate, shrinershospitalsforchildren.org.