Edmonton Fire Rescue Services, in partnership with the Edmonton Firefighters’ Burn Treatment Society, will be hosting Burn Awareness Week from February 6 to 12, 2022.

This year's theme, as selected by the American Burn Association, is “Burning Issues in the Kitchen!”

In 2021, Edmonton experienced more than 130 cooking-related fires. These fires caused over $4.8 million in damages. Learn about cooking safety and how to reduce the risk of fire.

If you have any questions about burn prevention, join the conversation on social media during Burn Awareness Week using the hashtag #burnawarenessweek.

Burn Prevention

Hot surfaces damage skin. Here’s how you can prevent contact burns around the home.

Hot Appliances / Cooking Burns
  • Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in Edmonton.
  • Always use oven mitts or potholders to remove hot items from the stove or microwave.
  • Use the back burners of the stove to prevent children from reaching up and touching hot pots and pans.
  • Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
  • Never hold a child while you are cooking, drinking a hot liquid, or carrying hot foods or liquids.
  • If you are overly tired, have consumed alcohol or medication, do not use the stove or stovetop.
  • After cooking, check the kitchen to make sure all burners and appliances are turned off.
  • Cooking oil combusts at high temperatures. Stay alert when cooking with oil and do not carry the pot or pan if a fire starts. Carefully slide a lid or cookie sheet over the flame to smother it. Do not try to douse the flame with water.
  • If a fire starts in the oven, turn off the heat and leave the door closed.
Fireplace Burns
  • The glass doors of gas fireplaces can reach extreme temperatures. Serious burn injuries from hot glass can happen in less than 1 second of contact. Use safety gates, install screen barriers, and supervise toddlers and young children around fireplaces.
  • Glass fireplace doors remain hot for at least an hour after use. Make sure fireplace “on” switches and remote controls are out of the reach of children.
  • Keep anything that can burn or catch fire at least 3 feet from a fireplace.
Candle Burns
  • Keep matches and lighters up high and out of the reach of children in a locked or secure cabinet.
  • Ensure hot wax will not make contact with anything flammable.
  • Do not leave candles burning while out of the room and always remember to fully extinguish the flame.
  • Keep anything that can burn or catch fire at least 12 inches, or 1 foot, away from candles. Candles should be housed in a proper container in an open area away from any clutter.
Smoking Material Burns
  • Allow ashtray contents to completely extinguish and cool before discarding into trash. Use water or sand to fully smother embers that may be lingering.
  • When smoking, only use deep, sturdy, and non-combustible ashtrays to extinguish materials. Plant potters contain peat and organic materials that can allow ashes to smoulder and combust.
Hair Appliance Tools / Hot Object Burns
  • Keep hot objects away from counter edges and out of the reach of children
  • Have a conversation with your children about never handling hair appliances that may still be hot after use, even if not plugged in anymore

Reduce the Risk of Electrical Fires

Be on the lookout for warning signs
  • Always keep an eye out for potential problems, including plugs and sockets that feel hot to the touch 

Call a qualified electrician or your landlord if you have:

  • Recurring issues with blowing fuses or tripping circuit breakers
  • A tingling feeling when you touch an electrical appliance
  • Discoloured or warm wall outlets
  • A burning or rubbery smell coming from an appliance
  • Flickering or dimming lights
  • Sparks from an outlet
Protect children and pets
  • To avoid shock, burns or electrocution, ensure children and pets do not place electrical cords in their mouths or place objects in receptacles (i.e., a butter knife in a power outlet)
  • Make sure all receptacle outlets and switches have faceplates
  • Keep electrical tools away from children
Keep areas clear of cords
  • Never run cords under rugs, carpets or mats as they can fray or snap, unnoticed
  • Avoid running cords across doorways to prevent tripping
  • Electrical appliances, equipment and cords should be kept at least 6 feet away from water
Maintain cords and appliances
  • Inspect your home for hidden electrical hazards
  • Check electrical cords to make sure the wires are not damaged, cracked or loose
  • If cords need to be repaired, take them to a professional repair shop, hire an electrician or replace it with a new item
  • Extension cords should not be used in place of permanent wiring
  • Always use an Underwriters Laboratories of Canada (ULC) approved cord
Prevent burns and injuries
  • Do not use any appliances or extension cords with frayed wiring where the lead enters the plug, or exposed wires
  • Do not plug several appliances into one socket as this can cause an overload, leading to a short circuit and/or fire
  • Always use the correct wattage when fitting a light bulb in a lamp as the bulb can overheat or short circuit, causing an injury and/or fire
  • Avoid handling electrical devices when you are wet
  • Do not swim during a thunderstorm
Operate electric portable space heaters safely
  • Keep the space heater at least 3 feet (1 metre) away from anything that can burn
  • Place the space heater on a solid, flat surface
  • Make sure the space heater is equipped with auto shut-off so that in the event of it tipping it over, it turns off
  • Plug space heaters directly into the wall outlet; never use an extension cord
  • Keep children away from space heaters
  • Turn off and unplug space heaters when you leave the room or go to bed
  • Avoid using electric space heaters in bathrooms or other areas where they may come in contact with water
  • Don't dry wet items (i.e., socks, clothing, mittens/gloves, towels, shoe felts, etc.) on space heaters
Report downed power lines
  • See a downed power line? Stay back at least 33 feet (10 metres)
  • Report the exact location of downed wires to 9-1-1 immediately 
  • Never touch anyone or anything in contact with a downed wire
  • If your vehicle makes contact with a downed line, stay inside until help arrives