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Cooking fires are the leading cause of fires in the home, and the second most frequent cause of death to the elderly.

  • DO NOT LEAVE cooking unattended. Turn off the burner if you must leave the house, even if it's only for a few minutes.
  • PUT A LID on pots or pans to smother fires that flare up while cooking.
  • NEVER THROW WATER OR FLOUR in a burning pot or pan. Water will spread the flames, and flour could actually explode.
  • TURN OFF THE HEAT and leave the door closed for oven fires.
  • HAVE A FIRE EXTINGUISHER in your home.
  • SHORTEN OR REMOVE CURTAINS near or over your stove. A simple stove fire may turn into a house fire from burning curtains.

Microwave Burn Prevention

Microwaves can cause scalding burns if used improperly.

  • Read and follow the product manufacturer's directions.
  • After taking food out of the microwave, remove the wrapper away from your face to avoid escaping steam.
  • Hot liquids poured into disposable bottles may cause them to burst.
  • Food microwaved may feel cool to the touch on the surface, only to be scalding hot in the middle.
  • Be careful when heating liquids. Containers may only feel warm, rather than hot, but the liquid inside by be scalding hot.

Clothing Fires

  • Do not wear clothing with long, loose sleeves while cooking.
  • Use pins or elastic bands to hold up rolled back sleeves while cooking.
  • Long sleeves are more likely to catch fire and may also overturn pots and cause scalding burns.

Do You Overheat Your Bathwater?

Did you know that hot water burns more children and adults than any other accident?

The length of time to receive a third-degree burn:

156 degrees - 1 second
149 degrees - 2 seconds
140 degrees - 5 seconds
133 degrees - 15 seconds
127 degrees - 60 seconds
124 degrees - 3 minutes

  • Learn to protect yourself and your family.
  • Most water heaters are set to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Lower the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees.
  • Contact your plumber or electrician to lower your heater temperature.

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Last updated: 9/28/2006 3:09:43 PM