Dunstable firefighters mark National Burns Awareness Month - do you know what to do in an emergency?

Watch manager Richie Portlock, and on the left, firefighter Simon Wallis. Credit: Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue.
Watch manager Richie Portlock, and on the left, firefighter Simon Wallis. Credit: Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue.

Dunstable firefighters provided families with important safety tips to mark National Burns Awareness Month.

On Wednesday, October 17, crew members from the town’s Red Watch paid a special visit to Houghton Regis Leisure Centre to increase awareness and help reduce the number of burns and scalds occurring each year.

Chief fire officer, Paul Fuller CBE QFSM DL, chairman of trustees at the Children’s Burns Trust said: “National Burn Awareness Day is a vitally important event, as it encourages all of us to think about everyday dangers.

“As well as the physical and emotional impact on the individual and family, the cost to the health service is enormous.”

Advice included: Keep things that can cause fire out of children’s reach; make sure children don’t play near fires or heaters; use the back hobs on the stove and make sure saucepan handles don’t stick out; never leave children unattended in the kitchen; fit a childproof guard in front of open fires or heaters – the best ones can be fixed to the wall; clothing will always burn if in contact with naked flames – but some much faster than others.

If clothes catch fire, the team say it’s vital to use the ‘stop, drop and roll’ method.

Lie down and roll around, and smother the flames with a heavy material, like a coat.

A spokeswoman added: “If an injury occurs, remember: Cool, Call, Cover.

“Cool the burn with running cold tap water for 20 minutes and remove all clothing and jewellery (unless it is melted or stuck to the wound)

“Call for help – 999, 111 or local GP, before covering the wound over with cling film or a sterile, non-fluffy dressing or cloth. Make sure the patient is kept warm.”