Prevention Advice

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The following advices includes simple tips to avoid lots of the common accidents we see in burns and to raise awareness about dangers in our day to day routine . Simple precautions can make a big difference in preventing burn injuries.

Remember that:

  • Fire is part of our everyday lives
  • “Burns do not have to kill you to take your life”
  • Burns are preventable.


  • Kitchen
  • Bathroom


  • Electrical work
  • Bonfires and fireworks


Small Children : They can’t understand the risks involved. The unknown and flames are attractive given their curious nature. Their skin is more sensitive and because of their size, a burn can put their life in danger rapidly.

Elderly people : The elderly are vulnerable for a number of reasons: their eyesight can be poor, they may be forgetful or possess slower reactions, and they may also live in out-dated buildings with poor fire safety.

People with mental health problems, drug addiction or alcohol problems :  Depression or other mental health problems can lead to self harm and people under the influence of drugs or alcohol are more vulnerable to accidents involving fire and hot water.

Kitchen typical in urban developed part of India

Kitchen typical in urban developed part of India


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFloor level cooking on kerosene stove

Typical kitchen in rural India (modest family) and a kitchen fire  in a village in Nepal

Key points to remember:

  • Never leave the cooker unattended when small children are around.
  • Keep the stove top and oven clean, as buildup of grease and debris can catch fire easily.
  • Keep stove area clear of flammable materials. Don’t leave towels on stove.
  • Do not place or spray aerosols near an open flame.
  • Do the frying or boiling large amount of hot liquid on back burners and turn pan handles in to prevent spillage or a little hand grabbing them.


  • Do not allow appliance cords to dangle within reach of small children.
  • Keep hot liquids and lighted candles out of reach of children.
  • Wear an apron when you wear loose clothes and roll up sleeves.
  • Create a “kid free zone” around the stove/oven
  • Do not cook at the stove, eat or drink hot foods while holding a child.
  • Keep children out of the kitchen if you can during meal preparations
  • Assign older children to be responsible for younger children while cooking is going on if possible
  • Store all matches and lighters up high, out of children’s reach.


  • Teach children early about what is hot, you can even mime the heat, the dangers and how much it can hurt.
  • Visual memory is better than words with kids.
  • Repetition is the key. Don’t hesitate to explain dangers again and again.
  • The quicker they learn about the dangers, the  better they will be at handling them.


  • It is easy to forget the cup of tea on the edge of the table, the frying  pan handle sticking out of the cooker or the pretty scented candle, just systematically put them out of reach .
  • Remember that because of their size they often can’t see the danger.


Safe use of fire is useful and sometimes really fun.


  • Simple actions can save lives.
  • You can reduce dangers but you can’t eliminate them all.
  • Teaching your children about them in an intelligent and calm way is the best way to avoid accidents.
  • They will learn and grow knowing about those dangers and eventually learn how to do it safely.



  • Don’t set the boiler too hot if you can
  • When preparing a bath for small children, never run really hot water in the bath first,
  • Either put the water at right temperature or run a bit of cold water first.
  • The easiest way is to keep the bathroom door shut while you are running the bath.
  • Have the children test the water themselves before.

Do not use hairdryers or other electrical appliances near the sink or a bath.

Scald burns are still one of the most common types of burn.



  • Heaters need space, keep them away from anything that can burn- including furniture, curtains 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 a fireguard in front of your fireplace.
  • Store flammable materials like newspaper, wood away from stoves and fireplaces.
  • Do not put rugs in front of the stove or fireplace.
  • Have your chimney inspected and swiped by a professional once a year.
  • Use only dry wood in wood stoves and fireplaces.
  • Addition of wood and keeping an eye on the fire should be done or supervised by an adult.
  • Have a fire extinguisher readily available.
  • Never dispose of ashes, hot or cold, in anything but a metal can or bin.



  • When you buy or rent a house, make sure the electricity is safe.
  • If an appliance smokes or has an unusual smell, unplug it immediately and have it serviced.
  • Don’t place flammable objects on or near light bulbs.
  • Always follow manufacturers instructions on type of light bulb and power for a light.
  • Never leave an electrical appliance or its cord come in contact with water unless that is what it was designed for.
  • Replace any electrical cord that is damaged.
  • Never connect more than two extension cords.
  • Never run electrical cords under rugs.
  • Don’t fiddle with the fuse box or use improperly sized fuses.



  • Always store paint and other flammable liquids in their original, labeled containers with tight fitting lids and away from heat sources.
  • Remove rubbish from your home.
  • If flooding occurs, turn off electrical circuits before stepping into the water.



  • Any liquids like petrol 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 flammable liquid as a cleaning agent.
  • Never fill petrol motors in an enclosed space, such as a garage.
  • Let small motors cool before you refuel them.
  • When you are making a fire or a barbecue on the beach or somewhere else  always make sure all the ashes at the end are cold


  • Don’t bury it under the sand (people are regularly burned by stepping on hot ashes they can’t see).
  • Never use petrol or any other accelerant to enhance or start a fire.
  • Supervise children carefully when you cook on open fire
  • Make some clear rules about keeping distances from fire, even more when games and play are going on.


  •  Please don’t smoke in bed or near flammables.



  • Install smoke detectors on every floor of your home and in each bedroom.
  • Do not install a smoke detector too close to a cooker (or it will go off all the time!)
  • Test smoke detectors monthly, following the manufacturers instructions.
  • Change batteries twice a year, or whenever you hear a “chirp” indicating a low battery.
  • Replace smoke detectors that are more than 10 years old, the effectiveness is not guaranteed.
  • Carbon monoxide is a tasteless, odourless, colourless poisonous gas. Every home should have at least one carbon monoxide detector.

In South Wales you can have your home checked for safety by fire services, just go on the link bellow to see what are the conditions to be eligible .

Search online to see what is available in your area.



Make sure everybody is out the house, one person should be responsible for getting people people out safely, another for calling the emergency services (if this option not possible, getting everyone out the building is the first thing to do).

A working smoke detector is the most important part.

NEVER ignore a fire alarm!

Most residential fires occur between midnight and six in the morning

Remember to crawl low under smoke.

In the event of a fire, you have less than two minutes to escape safely, so make sure vulnerable members of the family are out first.

Feel all doors for evidence of heat before opening them.

Close doors behind you to hinder the spread of fire.

Close room doors before opening windows.

If your escape route need to be from higher floors, think in advance of a safe way to reach the ground.

Decide on a meeting place: pick a place that is safely away from the home, make sure the whole family knows about it


In an emergency

Always dial  999 in the UK

Most of Europe has one number 112

India and Nepal 101

Bangladesh 199 (fire) or 999 (emergency)

Canada and USA  911


See the link below:


When you call try to give short and clear information:

  • where ( address and type of building),
  • how many people involved, are they all safely out and is anyone injured
  • when did it start
  • which part of the house and what type of fire if you know

For more information, in South Wales , you can contact fire services :

General UK contact is:

In India:

In Nepal:…FireBrigade/406579352709736

This page will be edited regularly and we welcome new informations and initiatives around the world to prevent fire incidents . 


2 familes, 1200 miles,6 motorbikes,3 countries, 1 dream

In 2014, two families involved in Interburns are taking a creative approach to the challenge of raising funds for and awareness of the issue of burns by travelling on motorbikes from Nepal through north east India to Bangladesh, visiting a number of facilities Interburns works with as well as meeting both burns staff and patients: The Kathmandu to Dhaka (K2D) trip.

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