The week of February 1–7, 2015 was designated as “Burn Awareness Week” with the theme “Scald
Prevention.”  Scalds are the leading cause of burn injuries and the Plainfield Fire Protection District would
like everyone to continue focusing on scald burn prevention throughout the year.  Here are some safety
tips for you to prevent scald burns to yourself and loved ones:
• Hot water from your faucet can cause 3rd degree burns.  Set your water heater thermostat so the
water temperature does not exceed 120 degrees.  You can test your hot water temperature by
running hot water from your faucet for 3 to 5 minutes and then checking the water temperature
with a cooking/meat thermometer.  If you adjust your water heater’s temperature setting wait a
full day before retesting the water temperature.  Avoid flushing toilets, running water or using the
dishwasher/clothes washer while someone is showering to prevent fluctuations in water
temperature.  Another way to prevent fluctuations in water temperature is to install anti-scald
devices for individual showers and faucets or a whole house anti-scald mixing valve.  While
supervising your child taking a bath also make sure they do not turn on the hot water.
• Cooking related scalds usually happen when a hot beverage is spilled.  Keep hot liquids like cups of
coffee and bowls of soup away from the edge of tables and counters so young children cannot
reach them and they are less likely to get knocked down.  Never carry a hot beverage while holding
or carrying a child.  Keep small appliances away from the edge of counters and tuck cords in back
to prevent them from getting caught and pulled.  Keep pot handles turned towards the back of the
stove to prevent them from getting knocked over or pulled down by a small child.  When removing
lids from hot foods lift the lid away from you to prevent getting burned by the hot steam that will
escape when the lid is opened.  Never heat baby bottles of formula or milk in the microwave,
especially those with plastic bottle liners; when the bottle is inverted for feeding the plastic liner
can burst pouring scalding liquid onto the baby.  Always mix formula well and test it on the back of
your hand or inner wrist before feeding.
• Potpourri pots that are filled with oil can reach temperatures hot enough to cause burns.  Locate
them where they will not get tipped over and are out of a child’s reach.
• Hot steam vaporizers need to be located out of the reach of children and on a level surface where
they won’t get tipped or knocked over.  Allow a hot steam vaporizer to completely cool before
• Home heating radiators are filled with steam and should only be serviced by a professional.  Do
not remove or release pressure relief valves.
• Car radiators contain liquid hot enough to cause burns during normal use and operation.  Never
remove a radiator cap unless the engine has completely cooled.
Most scald burns occur in the home and are usually from hot liquids, steam and foods.  With safety in
mind these injuries can be prevented.  If a burn injury does happen you need to stop the burning process by
cooling the burn with cool (not cold) water.  Remove clothing and jewelry in the burned area and cover the
burn with clean, loose bandages and seek medical attention.  For emergencies always call 9-1-1.  For more
information please visit our web site at or call us at 815-436-5335 ext. 7314.  You
may also visit the American Burn Association web site at or the Illinois Fire Safety
Alliance’s web site at