Five Ways to Stay Safe in the Kitchen
We spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Meals are prepared multiple time a day, family members are always going in and out to grab snacks, and homework often takes place at the kitchen counter. For many families, the kitchen truly is the heart of the home.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean the kitchen is the safest room in your home. In many cases, it’s actually the most dangerous.
It doesn’t have to be! There are many small, easy things you and your family can do to stay safe in the kitchen, no matter what you’re doing.
Never Use Faulty or Defective Appliances
Unfortunately, many common household items have been linked to injuries. Many appliances are made to be safe by their manufacturers, but accidents can happen during the manufacturing process. For example, some pressure cookers have been found to have faulty timers, which leaves their users with burns because they’re instructed to open the cooker too early.
Sometimes you don’t know your appliances aren’t any good, but in many cases, you probably have an idea. If the wires in the cord are exposed, the digital timer is finicky, or the buttons get stuck, you shouldn’t use the appliance.
Keeping your eyes open for recalls can help too. Register your appliances online when you buy them so you will be notified in the case of a recall.
Watch the Handles on Your Pots and Pans
Burns aren’t uncommon in the kitchen. That’s because you might forget that something is hot until it is too late. Children and pets can also increase the chances of burns in the kitchen.
One way burns happen frequently in the kitchen is due to the handles on your pots and pans. If you’re cooking with a skillet on the stove, turn the handle in towards the back of the stove. That way, you can’t accidentally knock the skillet off the stove, and the little ones can’t get curious and pull on the handle.
You should also have silicone skillet handle covers in your kitchen. They should be placed on any skillet that was placed in the oven, so you don’t go to pick up the skillet and forget that the handle is hot!
Understand the Danger of Steam
The handles on pots and pans can leave you with some serious burns, but so can steam. It is especially dangerous because it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, but steam can also leave you with burns that are just as, if not more, serious than other kitchen burns.
One of the best ways to avoid steam burns is to use oven mitts whenever steam is expected. Wear an oven mitt when you pull the lid off a pot of boiling water and wear one when you pull the plastic wrap off of something that has been warmed in the microwave. Wearing an oven mitt when opening a steamable packet can prevent steam burns too.
Keep Things Clean
The last thing you want to do after spending the afternoon in the kitchen is clean up, but it does more for your space than make it look good. Keeping it clean can also keep you and your family safe.
A few things you can do to keep things clean and safe in the kitchen include:
- Avoid slipping by cleaning up messes on the floor quickly
- Wipe off the stove to avoid grease fires
- Clean out the inside of the oven to prevent old food from burning
- Sanitize countertops, especially after handling raw meat
- Wash your hands before and after preparing food
Put a Fire Extinguisher in the Kitchen
It’s easy for a fire to take hold in the kitchen. From grease fires to old food that catches fire in the oven, you need to be prepared in case there’s an accident.
Make sure you have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen. Place it in a spot that is easily accessible, and make sure everyone in your family knows exactly where it is. Make sure everyone knows how to use it too. Watching videos on YouTube is a good way to learn without actually using the extinguisher you have.
You should also keep an eye on the extinguisher’s expiration date and have it recharged or replaced when the time comes.
It is important to pay attention to safety whenever you’re in the kitchen. Whether the kids are using the microwave or you’re cooking something on top of the stove, follow these tips, and you can keep everyone in your family safe and healthy.