Rhode Island Burn Center
Rhode Island's Only Verified Burn Center

Burn Prevention

Millions of people suffer some type of burn injury each year, with thousands requiring admission to a hospital. They are a leading cause of accidents during childhood and many can be prevented.

Grilling Safety

  • Never store gas cylinders in enclosed spaces
  • Check gas track for leaks
  • Never use gasoline or kerosene to light a fire
  • Never use lighter fluid on a lit fire
  • Remember, charcoal briquettes stay hot for 12 to 24 hours

Grilling Safety

David Harrington, MD, director of the Rhode Island Burn Center at Rhode Island Hospital, explains how to keep safe around grills and other outdoor activities.

In the Kitchen

  • When cooking, keep pot handles turned toward the rear of the stove, and never leave the pans unattended.
  • Do not leave hot cups of coffee on tables or counter edges.
  • Do not carry hot liquids or food near your child or while holding your child.
  • Do not put water on a grease fire — it can spread the fire.
  • Always test food temperatures before serving a child, especially foods or liquids heated in a microwave.

Prevent Burns in the Bathroom

  • Prevent scalding by keeping your water heater set at 120º to 125º F; test bath water with your hand or a thermometer before putting a child in the bathtub.

Prevent Burns in Living Areas

  • Keep matches and lighters out of children's reach in a locked cabinet. Use only child-resistant lighters.
  • Cover unused electric outlets with safety caps, and replace damaged, frayed or brittle electrical cords.
  • Keep fire extinguishers on every floor of your house, especially in the kitchen, and know how to use them.
  • Have a working smoke detector on every floor of your home. Change batteries at least once a year.
  • Install gated safety screens by fireplace openings to prevent contact by your child and pets.

What to Do If Your Clothes Catch Fire

  1. Stop (don't run)
  2. Drop (to the floor, immediately)
  3. Roll (cover your face and hands while rolling over to smother the flames)

More about first aid for burns