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Burn Prevention


In the Kitchen

  • Keep pot handles turned away from the edges of the stove. If possible, cook on the back burners.
  • Coil appliance cords to prevent a child from pulling on the cords.
  • Keep your children safe by creating a “no zone” in your kitchen while cooking.
  • Do not eat or drink hot food while holding small children on your lap.
  • Do not use tablecloths around small children as they can pull on them and hot food can spill on the child.
  • Never let children remove food or drinks from a microwave.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby and in proper working order.
  • Contain grease fires with baking soda or flour, not water.

In the Bathroom

  • Set your water heater thermostat to 120 degrees or less.
  • When bathing a child, first stir the bath water with your hand to avoid hot spots. If the water is too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for the child.
  • Stay with your child at all times, it only takes a second for a child to turn on the hot water.

Around the House

  • Matches and lighters should be kept in a high, locked cupboard.
  • Teach your child that these objects are not toys and discuss fire hazards with your child.
  • Place floor heaters at least four feet away from furniture, curtains and bedding.
  • Never place anything on top of an electrical heater or heater vent.
  • Test smoke detectors monthly and change batteries every six months. A good reminder is to do it when the time changes.
  • Replace your smoke detectors every eight to 10 years.
  • Develop an evacuation plan and practice monthly with your children. Establish a safe meeting place outside the home.
  • Keep a functional fire extinguisher in the kitchen and garage.

Flammable liquids

  • Gasoline is only to be used for combustible engines.
  • Do not use gasoline as a cleaning agent.
  • Do not use gasoline to start fires, woodstoves or barbeques.
  • Store gasoline and other flammable liquids out of the reach of children.

Smoking and Burns

  • If you smoke, do not smoke in bed or in any residential building.
  • Make sure cigarettes are extinguished before leaving a room.
  • Never throw a lighted cigarette into bushes or grass, where it can start a fire.
  • Dropped, lighted cigarettes are the leading cause of fire fatalities. These fatal fires are more likely to occur when the person has been drinking.

Electrical Burns

  • Check your appliance cords frequently to make sure they are not loose or frayed.
  • Do not overload outlets.
  • Do not place cords under carpets or walkways. Doing so can damage the cord and cause a fire.
  • Halogen light bulbs emit intense heat, up to 1100 degrees Fahrenheit. Bulbs stay hot long after they have been turned off.
  • Do not use electrical appliances in or near showers or bathtubs.
  • As many as 100 people die each year in the U.S. from lightning strikes. Seek shelter as soon as you see lightning.
  • Cover unused electrical sockets with plastic socket protectors.

Contact Us

UNM Hospital
2211 Lomas Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87106
505-272-2111

Located within the hospital:

UNM Adult Burn Unit
Barbara and Bill Richardson Pavilion
Albuquerque, NM 87106
505-272-2721

Burn Clinic
Surgical Specialty Clinic, 2nd Floor [PDF]
Albuquerque, NM 87106
505-272-2336

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