Don’t Let Cooking, Cleaning and Decorating Burn Your Holiday Season
burning leaves or cooking for the holidays, this time of year presents many
potential burn and fire dangers.
to the only burn center in the region, Wake Forest Baptist Medical
Center sees patients from not only North Carolina, but several
other states. In many cases, these injuries could have been easily prevented.
than half of our burn patients are injured while burning leaves or brush,
because they made the mistake of using gasoline to start the fire,” said James H. Holmes IV, M.D., burn surgeon and medical
director of Wake Forest Baptist’s Burn Center. “If you feel you
must use a fire starter – and I would prefer you don’t – consider using diesel,
kerosene or charcoal starter. They will start a fire just fine and are much
safer than gasoline.”
most first- and second-degree burns heal with simple wound care, third-degree
burns usually require skin grafts and expert care from a burn center.
also offers these tips to help ensure your family has a safe holiday season and
avoids a trip to the Burn Center:
- Teach children to stay away from the stove,
the fireplace and the barbecue grill. Establish a no-go zone for children of at
least two feet around these heat sources.
- Turn the handles of pots and pans inward over
the stove top so a child can’t reach up and grab the handles, pulling the hot
ingredients down on them.
- For the same reason, keep coffee pots and
other hot liquids out of reach and away from the edge of the counter.
- Exercise extreme caution if using a turkey
fryer to avoid grease spilling out onto the flame. Carefully follow the
directions on proper use.
- Always keep candles out of the reach of
children. Place them in a stable holder and extinguish them before leaving the
room or going to bed.
- Keep Christmas trees watered to avoid drying
out and keep them away from heat sources.
When you lose power:
- Never use a gas oven for heat.
- If using a kerosene heater, understand the
safety recommendations and follow the instructions. Keep it away from curtains,
bedding, furniture, etc.
Other burn prevention tips:
- Set the temperature on your hot water heater
to 120 degrees or less.
- Make sure your home is equipped with working
- Practice an exit plan with your family. Taking
the time for a fire drill could save your life or the lives of your children.
realize that life comes with risks, but if people will stop and think about
what they’re doing, they can avoid a horribly painful injury or even death,”
said Holmes. “Even though we provide exceptional care here at Wake Forest
Baptist’s Burn Center, you don’t want to be our patient.”