Preventing Burns | Torrance Memorial | South Bay

Preventing Burns

Here are some burn prevention tips to keep in mind around your house. 

Kitchen Safety


  • Never leave cooking unattended.
  • Keep the stove top and oven clean; grease and debris buildup can ignite easily.
  • Keep stove area clear of flammable materials, including oven mitts, paper or cloth towels.
  • Dishtowels should never be hung on the oven door.
  • Do not place or spray aerosols near an open flame.
  • Cook on back burners and turn pot handles in to prevent accidental spillage.
  • Wear close fitting clothes and roll up sleeves. Turn stove top flames off before reaching above the stove.

Microwaves Ovens

  • Use only containers designed for microwave use.
  • Allow food to cool before removing it from the microwave.
  • Prevent steam burns by removing lids carefully. Stir thoroughly to distribute heat evenly.
  • Never microwave a baby bottle.

Kid’s Corner

  • Create a “kid free zone” around the stove/oven.
  • Do not allow appliance cords to dangle within reach of small children.
  • Keep hot liquids out of reach of children.
  • Do not use tablecloths or place mats when small children are present.
  • Do not cook at the stove, eat or drink hot foods while holding a child.
  • Keep children out of the kitchen during hectic meal preparations. Assign older children to be responsible for younger children during this time if necessary.
  • Store all matches and lighters up high, out of children's reach.
  • Use child resistant lighters.

Bathroom Safety

  • Set water heaters at 120° F. Anything higher puts those in your household, especially small children and the elderly, at risk for scald injuries.
  • Do not use hairdryers or other electrical appliances near the sink or a full tub.
  • When preparing a bath for small children, remember to keep the water temperature no more than 101o F as their skin is more sensitive to heat. Have the children test the water themselves before getting in.

Fireplace Safety

  • Space heaters need space – at least three feet away from anything that can burn, including furniture, drapes and rugs.
  • Keep children and pets away from all heaters.
  • Never leave heaters unattended.
  • Refuel kerosene heaters with kerosene only, outside, after the heater has cooled.
  • Always use an approved glass or metal protective screen in front of your fireplace.
  • Store flammable materials like newspaper, kindling or wood away from stoves and fireplaces.
  • Do not use throw rugs in front of the stove or fireplace.
  • Have your chimney inspected by a professional once a year and have it cleaned if necessary.
  • Use only dry seasoned wood in wood stoves and fireplaces.
  • Addition of wood and attendance to the fire should be the responsibility of an adult.
  • Have a fire extinguisher readily available.
  • Never dispose of ashes, hot or cold, in anything but a metal can or bin.

Storage & Laundry Safety

  • Always store paint and other flammable liquids in their original, labeled containers with tight fitting lids and away from heat sources.
  • Remove trash from your home.
  • Don’t store anything near a furnace or water heater.
  • Clean the lint trap on the clothes dryer after each use.
  • If flooding occurs, turn off electrical circuits before stepping into the water.

Cigarette Smoke

  • Never smoke in bed or near flammables.
  • Provide smokers with large, deep ashtrays and douse butts with water before discarding them.
  • Check around cushions and upholstered furniture for smoldering cigarettes before going to bed.

Outdoor Safety


  • Gasoline should always be stored outside in a detached shed or garage, in small amounts, in an approved, sealed container out of reach of children.
  • Never use gasoline or other flammable liquid as a cleaning agent.
  • Never fill gasoline motors in an enclosed space, such as a garage.
  • Before starting a lawnmower, snow blower or motorcycle, move it away from gasoline fumes.
  • Let small motors cool before you refuel them.


  • Never use gasoline to enhance or start a fire.
  • Don’t add charcoal lighter fluid once the fire has started (use dry kindling to revive the flame).
  • Use grills outside only, well away from buildings, vegetation and other combustibles.
  • Supervise children carefully when a grill is used.

Apartment & Dorm Safety

  • Know where the nearest stairwell is located. Count how many doors are between your dwelling and the stairwell. (In a fire, the smoke can be so thick you will have no visibility and you need to know your way out without the benefit of vision). Never use an elevator in the event of a fire.
  • Contact the building management and/or your local fire department for proper evacuation procedures.

Electrical Safety

  • Never allow an electrical appliance or its cord to come in contact with water unless that is what it was designed for (per manufacturer’s instructions).
  • If an appliance smokes or has an unusual smell, unplug immediately and have it serviced.
  • Replace any electrical cord that is cracked or frayed.
  • Don’t overload extension cords or outlets.
  • Never connect more than two extension cords.
  • Never run electrical cords under rugs.
  • Don’t tamper with the fuse box or use improperly sized fuses.
  • Don’t place flammable objects on or near light bulbs.
  • Always follow manufacturer’s instructions on type of light bulb and wattage for a light.

Contact the
Burn Center

Lundquist Tower, 4th Floor
3330 Lomita Blvd.
Torrance, CA 90505


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