Undoubtedly, the kitchen at this day and age functions more than just a basic part of the house where we cook and prepare food. Because of our busy lifestyle, what was once a “concealed” room has developed into a hub where families bond and prepare casual everyday meals together.
The kitchen has truly become busier than ever. As such, homeowners must understand that behind the bond and chaos, there are safety issues that needs to be addressed. There are dangers in the kitchen too and how to prevent them is essential to all family members including children.
Based on statistics, almost a million of emergency room visits were due to cuts from the kitchen. Last year, over 150,000 home fires started in the kitchen. While it is true that cooking is essential, satisfying and enjoyable, it too can be disastrous if safety is not observed. A part of good kitchen organization is planning and preparing for kitchen safety. Below are tips to make your kitchen a safer place.
1. Nothing good comes out of neglect. Never neglect what you are cooking. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of fires. These type of fires cause more deaths, injuries, and property damage than all other causes of home fires.
2. Water and fire don’t mix. Most cooking fires are caused by oil-based compounds. Throwing water will cause fire to spread wherever the water runs. A small cooking fire can definitely turn into a full-blown house fire.
3. Keep a fire extinguisher. It is always recommended to have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Keep it 10 feet away from the stove near the kitchen exit or in a spot where it is easy to grab. Consider its weight. Make sure all family members can easily lift, maneuver and use the extinguisher.
4. Clean the exhaust hood and duct over the stove. Clean up spilled grease as soon as the surface of the stove is cool. Clean the hood and duct regularly to ensure proper ventilation. This will also prevent caked-on grease from building up and catching fire.
5. Don’t store items on the stove top. Stove surfaces can be hotter than you think. Don’t leave product packaging or wrappings. They can catch fire easily and can create a large fire quickly. Keep items in cupboards or cabinets and away from heat sources.
6. Use a chopping board. Use a damp dish towel underneath to keep the chopping board from moving. Never cut anything on an unstable surface like a plate. Never cut a food item in your hand.
7. Use the right tool for the job. Knives are meant for cutting, not for opening packaging, cans, bottle caps, or cutting strings. Use safety scissors for opening packaging, and can openers for opening cans.
8. Use a knife holder. Never store knives in a drawer. As you dig up inside during cooking, you can easily forget where you placed that super-sharp knife. Keep your knives in a knife holder or block where they belong.
9. Never catch a falling knife. If you drop a knife or see it falling of the counter, take a quick step backward and let it fall. Watch out for your feet too! Wear shoes instead of open-toed sandals or flip-flops when cooking and cutting.
10. Be ready to call for help. Kitchen accidents can happen quickly. When a fire gets out of control, or a person is seriously injured, you need to be prepared to call for help. Keep a telephone near the kitchen and a list of emergency numbers that you can call for help.