Get out and stay out

Firefighters are urging residents in Tyne and Wear not to tackle fires themselves – after over 220 people received burn injuries in just nine months.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) have today revealed that children have the highest likelihood to suffer burns.

Since the turn of the year, 121 children have in their area have required hospital treatment after burning themselves.

The injuries range from burning themselves on hot drinks, to picking up hair straighteners, fireworks, and bonfires – all things that can be avoided

But it’s not just the region’s children that we need to look after.

TWFRS have revealed that 81 adults were taken to hospital in the last nine months, some who had suffered injuries after tackling a fire in their own homes.

Today (Wednesday), on National Burns Awareness Day, TWFRS’s Head of Prevention and Education has called for more awareness when it comes to safety at home.

Group Manager Steve Thomas said: “If you discover a fire in your home, close the door, get out and call 999 – that is the best way to deal with a fire.

“We do not want to see a rise in people tackling fires themselves as this leads to further injuries, let our trained professionals do that and you focus on keeping yourself safe.

“The best way to treat a burn injury is to prevent it from happening in the first place.

“So, get out, stay out and call 999 if you discover a fire in your home.”

TWFRS are using National Burns Awareness Day as an opportunity to remind the public how to treat a burn – Cool, Call, Cover.

  • Cool for 20 minutes under cold water
  • Call for help
  • Cover with cling film

Group Manager Thomas said “There are many simple things we can do to ensure we are safe when it comes to preventable burns.

“Hot drinks are the most common cause of scald injury in children and the elderly are most often burnt by contact with central heating radiators or baths that are too hot.

“As we come into the winter months, we often seen more cases of preventable burns, which is why small changes to the way we do things can go a long way.

“This includes putting cold water in your bath first, be mindful of loose clothing whilst cooking or near an open flame and take extra care if you use paraffin-based lotions and creams if you’re a smoker.”

And as bonfire night approaches, Group Manager Thomas issued a reminder for people to be responsible when it comes to fireworks.

He said: “With organised displays returning to our parks this year, we hope to see a drop in people setting fireworks off in private residence, but you can never be sure.

“You need to be safe and keep your distance when it comes to fireworks, you must not throw them and don’t go near them if they haven’t gone off.

“A burn injury can change your life, not only physically but the mental toll it can have on you and your family is significant.”

For more information on National Burns Awareness Day, visit the British Burns Association website.