Kitchen Safety Tips
Cooking brings so much joy to so many people, that during our haste to prepare our favorite meals, we tend to forget to take the proper steps to ensure that our kitchen is a safe and protected environment. The kitchen is filled with many hazards, and if proper precautions aren’t taken, the consequences can be quite severe. Let’s make sure our cooking and baking endeavor is a fun and SAFE experience for all. These 5 simple tips to kitchen safety will ensure that your kitchen and home remain safe.
1. Fire safety.
Cooking-related fires are the leading cause of all home fires in the US according to the NFPA. This is usually caused by unattended cooking. I know that life gets in the way of doing our everyday chores, such as cooking and cleaning. It is easy to get distracted by a doorbell, a phone call, or your kids requiring your attention while we tend to these chores. You cannot afford to become so distracted that it becomes a safety hazard to your family and your home. You must also be careful in regard to the clothes you wear while cooking (no loose-fitting clothes.). Make sure curtains, oven mitts, and plastic utensils are kept away from the stove while cooking.
If a fire starts while you are cooking, and it begins spreading, please leave the house and call 911. Do not try to extinguish the fire at the risk of your, and your family’s safety. In the case of a stovetop fire, if possible, use the lid for the pot to cover and extinguish the flames. If the fire starts in the microwave or toaster, unplug the appliance. DO NOT throw water on a kitchen fire, because fire needs oxygen to spread.
Fire preventive aids for the Kitchen.
- Smoke detector
- Fire extinguisher
- Baking soda (You will need a lot)
2. Safeguard sharp objects.
- Please make sure you are taking every precaution to safeguard sharp objects, such as knives, forks, cleavers, and scissors. Sharp knives should be stored in a wooden knife block. Most knife sets come equipped with a block for storage. Some knives are sold with sheaths to protect from accidental cuts and punctures.
- Glass objects (drinking glasses, bowls, dishes) can also be a kitchen hazard, if not stored properly. These should be kept on the higher shelves in your cabinets. Make sure children never have easy access to these utensils. Children are curious sometimes, so you should educate your children on the dangers of sharp objects in the kitchen.
3. Watch the children.
Always be diligent in the kitchen if children are around. While it’s a great experience teaching a child how to cook, it comes with a certain risk. The kitchen can be a dangerous place for the little ones if you are not keeping an eye on them while as you prep and cook.
Do not get distracted by the cell phone, the radio, or the TV while children are present in the kitchen when you are cooking. Be sure they stay at least 3 feet away from the stove while it is on. Stove burns are a common household injury for children, and with the 3 feet rule, you can drastically reduce the odds of that happening to your child.
Please let your children know, that the kitchen is not a playground, and if they are not careful, an accident can occur. My mother used to cook with 1 eye on the stove and the other on the kids. I adopted the same practice when I had kids. Be that eagle eye for your kid’s safety.
4. Electrical Hazards.
You should always ensure that all electrical appliances in your kitchen is functioning properly. Be sure you make scheduled maintenance appointments for your major appliances, like the Refrigerator, microwave, and dishwasher. You should always check your power cords to make sure they are not overheating or frayed. When not in use appliances should be plugged out. Obviously, the refrigerator doesn’t fall into that category, but other appliances like the microwave, toaster, electric can opener can all be plugged out when not in use. This also saves a little on energy costs, even though the appliance is not turned on, it is still drawing electricity from the outlet. Please also remember never to stick metal objects like knives, and forks into a toaster while it is operating and plugged in. This can cause a fatal shock, so please avoid doing that at all costs.
5. Wash your Hands.
This last tip is so important but sometimes overlooked by some people. It is paramount, to wash your hands frequently while cooking. You don’t want to transfer germs from touching other objects around the kitchen to your food. The cross contamination can make you and your family ill. You must make sure you wash with a gentle hand soap and warm water. I do it every 10 minutes while I’m cooking (I may be a bit of a germ-a-phobe when it comes to cooking). As the saying goes, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness”
Stay Safe While In the Kitchen
If you follow these 5 simple tips to kitchen safety, I guarantee you will have a better kitchen experience, knowing that you are taking precautions and steps to ensure you and your family’s safety.