Burns and scalds are damage to skin caused by heat and can be produced by a variety of sources. Burns are caused by dry heat such as hot pans or fire. Scalds are caused by wet heat such as steam or boiling water.


  • On average, a fire related death occurred every 16 days in 2012 in Alberta.
  • There were 2 fire injuries reported per day, on average, in Alberta in both 2011 and 2012.
  • Every year an estimated 40 children, age 14 and under, die from fires and other burns, across Canada. Another 770 are hospitalized for serious injuries. Fires and flames account for 34% of hospitalizations, with fireplaces and woodstoves making up 7.5%.
  • Scalds are among the most common injuries that send children to hospital. Young children under the age of five suffer 83% of all scald injuries requiring hospital admission.
  • Burns are the third leading cause for hospital admissions from injury for between 0-4 years old in Canada. Three hundred and forty six children aged 0-4 years old and 59 children aged 5-9 years old were admitted to hospital as a result of a burn in 2010/11.

Prevention Messages

  • Set your hot water heater to 49°C (120° F) or to a medium setting. For more information.
  • Provide constant adult supervision of young children and of anyone who may experience difficulty removing themselves from hot water, or people who may not recognize the danger in turning on the hot water.
  • Keep a multipurpose 10A BC fire extinguisher in the kitchen.
  • Keep children out of the kitchen when cooking.
  • Keep all pot handles turned back, away from the stove edge. Keep appliance cords coiled and away from counter edges.
  • Wear short sleeves or tight-fitting clothing while cooking.
  • Stir and test microwaved food thoroughly before serving or eating.
  • Are you drinking hot liquids around children? Use a cup with a tight-fitting lid, like a travel cup.
  • Keep lighters, matches and flammable materials locked up.
  • Place a barrier around the fireplace.
  • If you smoke, use large, deep ashtrays. Smoke outside. Never smoke in bed.
  • Always blow out candles before leaving the room.
  • Install at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home, preferably on the ceiling outside every sleeping area. Test smoke alarms once a month to ensure they are in working condition. Replace batteries once a year or when the alarm makes a low-battery "chirping" sound.
  • Plan and practice your fire escape. Make your own home fire escape plan or check your building’s fire safety plan.

Positions Statements

Supportive Programs