Home Safety Guidelines

Burn MD

Welcome to the Leading Authority on Emergency Burn Care
and Household Burn Safety.

WATER-JEL Product Monograph

This 16-page summary contains key findings from studies of Water-Jel, as well as information from published articles about the products.

Click here to download the PDF

Consumer Products

Burn-Jel Plus for Emergency Burn Care

Every 25 seconds, someone is burned or scalded in their home. Are you prepared?

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Professional Products

Water-Jel fire blankets and wraps in pouches and canisters

Be prepared for burn injuries—large and small.

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Every 25 seconds, someone in the United States is burned or scalded in their home, according to the American Burn Association and the Burn Foundation.

Understanding how burns happen, taking proper steps to prevent them, and being prepared to administer appropriate first aid—for those injuries that cannot be avoided—will help protect you and your family against burns.

The following tips will help keep your household safe all year long.

At Home

In the Kitchen

Especially for Children in the Kitchen

In the Dining Area

When Barbecuing in the Yard

When Camping with the Family

When Using Heated Hairstyling Appliances

When Holiday Cooking with the Children

In Case of Home Fire



  • Purchase a fire extinguisher and make sure all adults are knowledgeable about its proper use.
  • If you live in an apartment building, make sure any safety bars on windows are removable in an emergency. Know where the closest stairwells or fire escapes are and where they lead. Do not use elevators during a fire.
  • If your house is more than one story tall or if you live above the ground floor of an apartment building, you should have an escape ladder made of fire-safe material in each upper-story bedroom that is occupied by a person who is capable of using it. Like fire extinguishers, escape ladders should be operated by adults only. The ladder must be approved by an independent testing laboratory, its length must be appropriate for your home, and it must support the weight of the heaviest adult in the house.
  • Be sure any babysitters in your home know all escape routes and plans in case of a fire.
  • Have a Household First Aid Kit handy with Water-Jel Burn Dressings and Burn Gel to cool the burn, relieve pain and prevent infection.
  • Check smoke detectors regularly and replace old batteries.
  • Review the floor plan of your home and prepare an exit route for every room.
  • Have practice fire drills regularly and educate children how to exit safely.
  • Choose a meeting place outside your home that is a safe distance away, where everyone can be accounted for after they escape.
  • Keep fire department telephone numbers by the phone.
  • If you smell gas or suspect a leak, open a window or door, leave the house, and then call the gas company or fire department for help immediately.
  • Don’t misuse or overload extension cords. If you have a toddler, avoid using extension cords.
  • Unplug electrical appliances when not in use and keep them away from water. Cover electrical outlets to prevent small children from playing with them.
  • Never leave a hot iron unattended. Unplug it when you’ve finished using it. Do not allow candles to burn unattended.
  • Keep your fireplace screened.
  • Never smoke in bed.
  • Never store gasoline or other combustibles. Buy a one-time use quantity and replenish it as needed.
  • Use fire-retardant sleepwear for infants, toddlers and young children.
  • Set the temperature of your hot water heater at 124 degrees (F); a water temperature of 140 degrees (F) can scald.
  • Test the temperature of bath water before bathing babies and invalids.
  • Supervise toddlers in the bathtub. If left unattended, they may turn on the hot water and be scalded.

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  • Avoid wearing loose-fitting long-sleeved clothing when cooking.
  • Have good lighting in the kitchen and work areas.
  • Always keep pot handles turned inward, toward the back of the stove. Cook on rear burners whenever possible.
  • Keep a large lid within reach when frying to extinguish grease fires, if necessary.
  • Use large potholders or oven mitts.
  • Avoid leaving food to cook unattended.
  • Use a “fill-through-the-spout” teapot, the kind without a lid and with a whistle in the spout, to prevent “spilled water” scalds.
  • Avoid using area rugs in the kitchen, especially near the stove. They can cause falls and scalds.
  • Purchase appliances with short cords, and keep all cords from dangling over the edge of counters, as they can be pulled down. Cords may also become caught in cabinet doors, causing hot food and liquids to spill onto you or others. The grease in deep-fat fryers and cookers can reach temperatures higher than 400 degrees (F) and cause serious burns in less than one second.
  • Periodically check all handles on appliances and cooking utensils to ensure the handles are tightly fastened and will afford proper heat protection.
  • When removing lids from hot foods, remember that steam may have accumulated. Lift the cover or lid away from your face and arm.
  • Steam reaches temperatures greater than 200 degrees (F) when using a microwave, and builds rapidly in covered containers, which can result in burns to the face, arms and hands. Puncture plastic wrap or use vented containers to allow steam to escape while cooking. Or wait at least one minute before removing the cover. When removing covers, lift the corner farthest from you and away from your face or arm.

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  • Keep children out of the kitchen when preparing hot meals.
  • If young children want to help with meal preparation, give them something cool to mix in a location away from the cooking. Do not allow a child to stand on a chair or sit on the counter next to the stove.
  • Place young children in highchairs or playpens a safe distance from countertops, stovetops, hot liquids, hot surfaces or other cooking hazards while preparing or serving food.
  • Cook on back burners when children are present.
  • Never hold a child while drinking a hot liquid.
  • Children should not be allowed to use cooking appliances until they are tall enough to reach cooking surfaces safely. As children get older and taller and assume more cooking responsibilities, teach them safe cooking practices.
  • Children under age seven should not operate the microwave unless they are closely supervised. Instruct and supervise older children.
  • Keep children out of the “traffic path” and check for their location before moving any hot liquids in the kitchen.
  • Inform babysitters about kitchen and appliance safety and teach them to prevent burn injuries when preparing meals.

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  • During mealtime, place hot items in the center of the table, at least 10 inches away from the table edge.
  • Use non-slip placemats instead of tablecloths if toddlers are present. Young children may use the tablecloth to pull themselves up, causing hot food to spill down onto them. Tablecloths can also become entangled in crutches, walkers or wheelchairs, causing hot liquids to spill.

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  • Follow manufacturers’ directions when using grills.
  • Use only commercial starting fluid to light charcoals. Never use gasoline or other flammable liquids.
  • Never add starter fluid to hot coals. They could catch fire and explode.
  • Thoroughly extinguish hot coals before disposal.
  • Supervise children at all times when grills are in use.
  • Establish a three-foot “keep away zone” for children around grills.
  • Do not wear loose-fitting clothing. Tie or pin up long hair.
  • As a safety precaution, always keep Burn Jel Plus nearby in case of an accident.

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  • When a fireplace is not available, build campfires in a cleared area.
  • Adult supervision is especially important when children toast foods over the fire.
  • Flaming marshmallows could ignite hair or clothing.
  • Keep a supply of water or an extinguisher within easy reach.
  • Store firewood at a safe distance.
  • Do not leave a burning campfire unattended.
  • Make sure coals are thoroughly extinguished before disposal.
  • Always keep Burn Jel Plus nearby in case of an accident.

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  • Allot an appropriate amount of time to style hair. Burns are most likely to occur when you are in a hurry.
  • Read all instructions carefully, as some products heat faster and operate differently than others.
  • Understand how to properly use hairstyling tools and educate younger people on their correct usage, as well.
  • Always style your hair in bright light and with mirrors so you can see various angles.
  • Unplug products after use and allow them to cool on a burn-resistant counter before handling or storing.
  • Check the Internet for protective gloves that some appliance manufacturers offer to prevent burns on the hand that is holding the hair.

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  • Talk about the dangers of heat, as there are many risks associated with boiling liquids, scorching ovens, gas flames and hot food.
  • Teach children that understanding these hazards will help prevent accidents.
  • Provide constant supervision.
  • If multiple children are participating, more than one adult should be present.
  • Be organized and have a plan for kitchen activities, along with discussion to keep children focused on the task at hand.
  • Provide kids safe opportunities for participation.

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  • Cover your mouth and nose with a moist towel or piece of clothing to keep out dangerous fumes while evacuating.
  • Crawl under the smoke to safety, staying as low to the ground as possible.
  • Touch any door (not the doorknob) to see if it is hot. If it is, do not open it. Find another exit.
  • Never stop to take personal belongings or pets or to make a phone call (even to 911) while evacuating.
  • Never go back into a burning building once safely outside.
  • If your clothing catches fire, stop, drop, and roll to extinguish flames.

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