March 5, 2014
Fire safety/burns and scalds

Fire safety

The most common causes of house fires include:

  • Unattended cooking
  • Electrical faults from faulty appliances and faulty wiring
  • Home heating
  • Smoking
  • Candles and oil burners

Smoke alarms are compulsory in all Victorian homes. It is the legal responsibility of all owners and landlords to install working smoke alarms. Remember, smoke alarms need to be regularly tested and maintained – only a working smoke alarm can save lives.

The CFA have some useful information, including a home fire safety checklist that can be accessed via

Burns and scalds

Every year in Victoria, over a thousand children are treated in hospital for burn or scald injuries. The majority of these are children aged between 0 and 4 years.

A child’s skin is thinner and more sensitive than an adult’s and will therefore result in a more severe burn. Injuries from burns or scalds can cause a great deal of pain for a significant period of time and often result in scarring; in some cases, skin grafts are required. This can be traumatising for not only the child but for the entire family.

Most child burn and scald injuries occur in the home, with the majority of these occurring in the kitchen.

Top causes of child burn injuries include:

  • Hot Beverages
  • Water from saucepan/kettle/jug/billy/urn
  • Food (liquid/solid)
  • Coals/Ashes
  • Water from tap/bath/shower
  • Fat/Oil
  • Vehicle Exhaust
  • Treadmill
  • Campfire/Bonfire/Burn-off

First Aid for Burns and Scalds

Remove – Remove any clothing near the burn, unless stuck to the skin. Clothes can hold the heat and cause a deeper burn.
Cool – Place the scald or burn under cool running water for a minimum of 20 minutes.. Wrap the child in a blanket or towel to prevent them going into shock.
Cover – Use clingwrap or a clean cloth to wrap the burnt area. Do NOT use ice, oil, butter or ointments on the burn. These can further damage the skin.
Seek – Seek medical attention if:

  • clothing is stuck to the burn site
  • the burn is on the face, hands, lap or feet; or
  • the burn is bigger than a 50 cent piece.

In an emergency, dial 000.

Supported by generous funding from Clipsal by Schneider Electric and the Julian Burton Burns Trust, Kidsafe Victoria have developed a burn and scald prevention resource to raise awareness about common causes of child burn and scald injuries, provide practical measures that can be employed to reduce the risk and information on correct first aid procedures in the event that a child does receive a burn or scald.


Kidsafe Victoria would like to thank Perma Child Safety for supplying 250 protector tap mixers for our Burns and Scalds prevention project. 



  alt Burns & Scalds (353 kb)

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