This week is National Burn Awareness Week, and the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office plans to raise awareness about the risks of home fires during this winter’s cold weather.
This year’s theme of “Burning Issues in the Kitchen” focuses on preventing burn-related injuries by improving cooking safety in the kitchen. Cooking fires were one of the leading causes for home fires in Tennessee in 2021.
Among the tips to avoid burns from cooking are:
*Prevent spills due to the overturning of pots, pans, and dishes containing hot food or liquids by using the back burner and turning pot handles away from the stove’s front edge (or any edge where someone could bump into the pot handles).
*All appliance cords should be kept coiled and away from counter edges.
*Use oven mitts or potholders when removing hot food from ovens, microwave ovens, or stovetops. Never use wet oven mitts or potholders because they can cause scald burns. Replace old or worn-out oven mitts.
*Always open heated food containers slowly and away from a person’s face to avoid steam burns.
*Prepackaged, microwavable soups are a frequent cause of scald burns (especially noodle soups) because they can easily tip over. Choose prepackaged soups whose containers have a wide base or, to avoid the possibility of a spill, pour the soup into a traditional bowl after heating.
*Microwaves can heat unevenly and create hot spots, so avoid using them to heat baby formula or milk.
Young children are at high risk of being burned by hot foods and liquids. Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a “kid-free zone” of 3 feet around the stove or any place where hot foods or drinks are being prepared or carried.
*Never hold a child while cooking, drinking a hot liquid, or carrying hot foods or liquids.
For more fire safety tips, visit tn.gov/fire.