New Jersey Division of Fire Safety Urges Caution to Prevent Scald and Burn Injuries, Especially Among the Very Young and the Elderly

TRENTON, NJ – The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs’ (DCA) Division of Fire Safety is using National Burn Awareness Week, which runs February 2 through February 8, 2020, to remind households of ways to avoid burn and scald injuries.

“Burn injuries can happen in an instant, but have serious and lasting implications for victims,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Y. Oliver, who serves as DCA Commissioner. “Governor Murphy and I want to stress that by following basic strategies in the home, you can help avoid common burn hazards for you and your loved ones.”

“The instance of burn injury is an especially serious matter among the very old and the very young and, unlike specific seasonal cautions, can involve personal injury any time of the year,” said State Fire Marshal Richard Mikutsky, Director of the New Jersey Division of Fire Safety.

The Division and the Burn Foundation recommend the following strategies to prevent burn injury:


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  • Use the back burners of the stove when you cook if possible.
  • Keep all appliance cords coiled and away from counter edges.                    
  • Use oven mitts or potholders when moving hot food from ovens, microwave ovens or stovetops. Never use wet oven mitts or potholders as they can cause scald burns.
  • Replace old or worn oven mitts.
  • Open hot food containers slowly, and away from the face to avoid steam burns. Hot steam escaping from the container or food can cause burns.
  • Stir and test foods heated in microwave ovens since microwaves can heat foods unevenly.


Scald injury also occurs frequently, especially in the very young and the elderly. Use these practical tips to keep your family members safe.

  • Set water heater temperature to no higher than 120°F/48°C, or just below the medium setting.
  • Create a “no kid-zone” in the kitchen around stoves, ovens and other appliances or items that produce heat.
  • Keep hot drinks away from the edge of tables and counters.
  • Use a travel mug with a tight‐fitting lid for all hot drinks.
  • Place pots and pans on the back burner with handles turned away from the edge of the stove. This will prevent spills from overturned pots and pans containing hot food or liquids. 
  • Never hold a child while you are cooking, drinking a hot liquid, or carrying hot foods or liquids.
  • Never heat a baby bottle in a microwave oven. Heat baby bottles in warm water from the faucet.


Visit the American Burn Association for social media content that can be shared during the week using #NBAW2020.

The Division of Fire Safety serves as the central fire service agency in the State. The Division is responsible for the development and enforcement of the State Uniform Fire Code, as well as for implementing community risk reduction and firefighter training programs.

For more information about DCA, visit or follow the Department on social media. Use #NBAW2020 to share burn prevention tips during the week.

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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...