8 Ways To Ensure Your Kitchen Is Safe
With all the cutting tools, flames, and scalding hot grease that is common to kitchens, it is not surprising that government safety boards list it as the most dangerous room in the household. Every year, emergency rooms log thousands of Americans rushed to the hospital because of kitchen-related injuries. This is why it is imporant for you to put safety measures in place to protect you and your family. Whether you’re a veteran chef or a budding Martha Stewart, the safety tips we will discuss here will give you sound advice on preventing accidents from happening to you.
You don’t want to be the ER’s next kitchen injury statistic. Here are eight ways to ensure that it is a safe space.
- Practice Claygo
Clean up immediately everytime you prepare anything in the kitchen, whether it’s a full meal or just a bowl of cereal. If you have kids in the house, or even just clumsy people, it’s very easy to spill something. When it does happen, be sure to wipe the mess up immediately to prevent an accident. Even a small spill or a bit of food presents a risk of falls. Oil and grease are equally dangerous. Make Claygo, or clean-as-you-go, a habit and make sure the rest of the household practices that, as well.
- Understand how fire works
Fires are exacerbated with exposure to oxygen, so don’t fan it out or expose it to air even more. What works instantly is smothering it with a pot cover or a wet rag. If you’re facing a fire caused by grease, covering the pan, or putting salt or baking soda will put it out. Never ever use water to put out kitchen fires. If it happens in the microwave, you can manage it by pulling the plug. If it’s in the oven, you can use baking soda or, if you have one, a fire extinguisher.
- Believe in the power of your fire extinguisher
The fire extinguisher is probably the most important part of your kitchen, so you don’t downplay its role. In fact, all kitchens should have one. There are smaller fire extinguishers that are suited for small kitchen use. It’s doubly important that you also know how to use it. Don’t just put it on display and not bother to learn how to operate it. Store it in a space that can be easily accessed in the event of an emergency.
- Test your smoke detector
According to the US Fire Administration, households that do not have smoke detectors installed have a higher chance of catching fire — and most of these accidents start in the kitchen. The USFA records more than 150,000 fires related to cooking mishaps. Having smoke detectors (that work) is one major step towards early detection and prevention. Some smoke detection systems are built into security systems so why not get the full deal, right? Detectors should also be tested every three months to check their viability.
- Be cautious with your accessories and clothes
Your clothes and accessories are a potential fire hazard. Long sleeves, scarves, and long hair can catch fire, jewelry can get caught on handles, and belts can pull cooking pans off the stove. When you’re in the kitchen, pay attention to what you’re wearing and make sure nothing’s hanging loosely. Pan handles should also be turned so they don’t accidentally get caught in your clothes or grabbed your kids or pets.
- Steam is very dangerous
Statistics show that over 100,000 emergency room cases in the US are related to scald burns every year. This involves boiling water, hot beverages, faucets with hot features, and even steam. Usually steam isn’t seen as a hazard, but it can actually burn you badly. It’s effect is more severe than freshly boiled water.
When you lift the lid of a pot of boiling water or pull the wrap or cover off something that’s just been microwaved, be very careful. Let members of the family know too. Microwave popcorn is delicious, but they shouldn’t be too quick to open that bag and make sure the opening is facing away from them when they strip it off.
- Sanitize everything
In addition to accidents, germs are the biggest threat in the kitchen. Because of the moisture and varying food stuff that go through your kitchen on a daily basis, it is actually a haven for bacteria to thrive (more than any other space in your house). To make sure that your kitchen is not just squeaky clean but also sanitized, clean surfaces with a water and bleach solution as often as you can. There are also organic and environment friendly solutions available to be safer. Cutting boards should be cleaned after each use, while sponges and dishwipes should be replaced often.
- Keep children and pets out
Kids enjoy whipping up meals with their parents. To avoid injury, you must orient them properly with the risks for injury. It’s okay to play around in the kitchen, but when there’s something cooking, young children should be kept as far away as possible. Take note that ovens, toasters and the other heating appliances don’t cool down immediately and can present a danger to both children and pets. To be sure, just declare the kitchen as a “no pet zone” or “no kids zone.”
Installing Alarms & Smart Systems
Of course, you can’t always control what goes on in the kitchen, so having a smart home monitoring system can help. It can let you know immediately if there is a change in tempeature, if there’s a fire starting, and if there are restricted doors or drawers being opened. It can even send you alerts if small children are wandering off that space unsupervised. In addition to get alerts in real-time, you can also install cameras so you can get a visual of what’s going on as it happens, even if you’re at the office.
Overall, while having a 100% safe kitchen is not really possible, there are measures that you can set in place to make the risk of accidents and injury a lot smaller. Having precautionary systems installed plus the ability to visually monitor what’s going is important, especially if you have small children, elderly family members, pets, or are generally forgetful.