State Fire Marshal Announces Burn Awareness Week

It runs February 2-8.

Frederick, MD – Sunday marked the beginning of National Burn Awareness Week and the State Fire Marshal’s office is sharing basic tips to remind the public of common items that could easily become safety hazards.

Senior Deputy State Fire Marshal Oliver Alkire said burns don’t always happen from exposed flames and items like space heaters and hot water from faucets can easily cause injuries to those caught unaware.

“Some of the things that people typically don’t think about are heating pads, electronic blankets, some of those items,” Alkire said.

An estimated 70,000 contact burn injuries were seen in U.S. emergency rooms in 2018 according to the American Burn Association, with one third of those patients were children under the age of five.

Alkire said there are several easy tips to prevent injuries or serious burns from happening to you or members of your family:

• Never hold or carry a child while you have a hot drink in your hand. A wiggling baby can cause a spill on themselves or on you.

• Indoors, supervise children around space heaters, wood stoves, fireplaces, radiators, and stoves and ovens in use. Keep them three feet away from things that can get hot by using baby gates, high chairs and playpens.

• Outdoors, keep children three feet away from barbecue grills and campfires. Keep area clear of trip hazards so no one falls into the fire.

• Turn heating pads, electric blankets and space heaters off before sleeping. This is especially important for older adults who can suffer serious burns more quickly as their skin thins with age.

• Have hot pads available whenever cooking. Long oven mitts are best when needing to reach in or over hot surfaces, such as inside an oven or over a grill. Assume all pots and pans are hot before touching.

• Remember to treat items coming from the microwave as you would items from the oven. Make sure children are taller than the microwave and supervise them using it.

• Protect your feet by wearing shoes when walking on hot pavement or sand and keep pets off hot pavement too.

• Set your hot water heater to 125˚F or less.

National Burn Awareness Week runs February 2-8.

More information and safety tips can be found at

By Timothy Young