Shriners Hospital Promotes Holiday Safety

a boy blowing out candles

The holiday months can carry an increased risk of house fires and burns, due to more time indoors, more cooking, open flames and decorations. An independent survey commissioned by Shriners Hospitals for Children® polled U.S. adults on their fire safety practices and found habits that could lead to serious injuries or even death.

Conducted as part of the Shriners Hospitals annual Be Burn Aware campaign, survey results show*:

  • 25 percent of people surveyed leave lit candles unattended in their homes
  • 27 percent leave lit candles within the reach of children
  • 47 percent do not keep something nearby to extinguish a fire when cooking, such as a lid or cookie sheet
  • 25 percent do not turn pot handles to the back of the stove and out of a child’s reach
  • 45 percent do not water live Christmas trees daily, even though 70 percent were aware that they should

Each year doctors at the Northern California Shriners Hospital treat children injured in cooking related accidents and accidental fires. Burn injuries can mean years of ongoing treatments and extensive rehabilitation for a child. That’s why the Northern California Shriners Hospital encourages families to learn about fire safety and prevention.

“Our burn team is devoted to helping children with devastating burn injuries survive and thrive, and we are equally devoted to teaching parents, children and the community how to prevent burn injuries. When it comes to burn injuries, prevention is the best medicine,” said David Greenhalgh, M.D., chief of burns at the Northern California Shriners Hospital.

Shriners Hospitals for Children is distributing important education and awareness messages to help reduce fires and burns through the Be Burn Aware campaign. Public service announcements featuring actor Joe Minoso from the NBC show Chicago Fire urge families to take precautions like watering fresh cut Christmas trees daily. There are also activity books, tip cards and a five-minute online quiz at to help families rethink home safety practices during the holidays and avoid injuries.

“As a global leader in pediatric burn care, we want to remind the public of the simple precautions they can take to reduce the risk of fires and burns for a safe and happy holiday season,” said Gary Bergenske, chairman of the Board of Directors, Shriners Hospitals for Children. “Should a severe burn injury occur, our medical staff is here to help, regardless of the families’ ability to pay. It is just another way we send Love to the rescue.”

About Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California

Shriners Hospitals for Children is devoted to transforming the lives of children through excellence in treatment, teaching and research.  Located at 2425 Stockton Boulevard in Sacramento, Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California provides care to children with orthopaedic conditions, spinal cord injuries, burns, cleft lip, scars from any cause and other complex surgical needs. There are no barriers to care as admission is based on age and diagnosis.   Care is provided regardless of the family’s ability to pay. For further information call (916) 453-2000.

About Shriners Hospitals for Children

Shriners Hospitals for Children is changing lives every day through innovative pediatric specialty care, world-class research and outstanding medical education. Our 22 locations in the United States, Canada and Mexico provide advanced care for children with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate.

Shriners Hospitals for Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and relies on the generosity of donors. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law. Learn more at

*Study by Shriners Hospitals for Children, August 2016.

Media Contact:  Catherine Curran | Public Relations (916) 453-2218 |

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