Learn the important tips on how to stay safe in the kitchen at home and prevent accidents like injury, fire, and burns.
The kitchen is a place where major and minor incidents occur in the home. Most times, these incidents happen when we are least expecting.
I can count how many injuries I have sustained in the kitchen in the past month.
Sometimes, it’s a knife cut, a hot steam while turning a meal on fire, a hot plate, a hot pot, or literal scalding from the cooker.
There’s no limit to the number of incidents one can encounter in the kitchen. This is why it’s important to take kitchen safety precautions seriously.
Would you like to know how to stay safe in the kitchen at home? Keep reading to learn more. And if you need tips for how to stay safe in the kitchen in commercial places like hotels and restaurants, read here.
10 Tips on How to stay safe in the kitchen at home
1- Check out your electrical appliances
Electrical appliances are more dangerous in places like the kitchen and bathroom because there is always water around.
To protect you and your family from fire incidents and electric shocks, make sure to always check that there is no water or water residue around your electrical appliances. Check for frayed plugs or cords. And if your electrical appliances are old or damaged, change them immediately.
If these things are overlooked, they can cause major kitchen incidents. Lastly, remember to always unplug your appliances when you’re not using them or after use.
If you need to leave the house and there’s no one else at home, turn off your general light from the source to avoid fire accidents when you’re not home.
2- Use oven mitts and napkins when handling hot items
The times I got burned or scalded in the kitchen was when I acted like I had superpowers and took the lid off my pot while it was on fire without using a rag, napkin, or oven mitt.
Sometimes I get away with it and other times, I get a lasting scar.
Kitchen napkins and oven mitts are kitchen essentials that you must have. Use them whenever you need to touch hot appliances and cookware. Never touch anything hot with your bare hands.
It might result in a fatal injury or worse you could try to lift a hot pot and realize it’s too hot and you end up dropping the pot, thereby spilling its content on your body, walls, and floors.
3- Turn the handles of your pot to the back
This is another overlooked incident-causing act in the kitchen. How to stay safe in the kitchen? Take this tip seriously.
Whenever you are not cooking or using your pot or pan, turn the handle to the back where your body or hands cannot mistakenly touch it or hit it.
If you think you’re very careful, the other occupants of your house might not be as careful. Prevent an accident by turning the handles to the back.
4- Keep Flammable products far from your cooker
Another tip on how to stay safe in the kitchen is keeping flammable products away from cooking areas. Flammable products like hair, wood, paper, nylon, fabric, etc., can be a fire hazard. If you have kitchen accessories made of these materials, keep them far from your cooker or oven to avoid incidents.
That is what your drawer organizer and cabinets are for. Keep kitchen accessories there to avoid circumstances beyond your control.
5- Don’t wear long pieces of clothing in the kitchen
Long pieces of clothing can easily get stuck in a part of your cooker or inside your pot.
It is important to wear short sleeves especially if you are planning to cook in the kitchen. Don’t cook with long items of clothing. Invest in aprons. It seems to be fading away fast in homes.
Aprons help keep the front part of your body firm without your clothes disturbing your cooking. They also have pockets where you can keep things and hold kitchen items if you don’t want to go back and forth. Aprons can also serve as napkins if you need to put down a hot pot from the fire ASAP.
6- Be careful with knives
Many underestimate the dangers a sharp knife or sharp knives can cause in a home. When I was younger, my parents would keep the knives in the house very far from our reach or sight. Most times, they wouldn’t sharpen the knives in the house because of us.
Knives in the home are not only dangerous to young children when they are left lying around, but knives are also dangerous to you or adults around the house when it is being used. It is important to understand basic safety rules for handling knives no matter the age.
Whenever you are not using the knife, put it back in its place. Don’t leave it lying around. Don’t put it at the bottom of the other plates or dishwasher when washing because you might mistakenly hurt your fingers when trying to pick up the plates.
Don’t give a knife to a small child to use or place knives carelessly around the house. These basic and simple rules on how to stay safe in the kitchen come in handy in our everyday lives, keep them in mind.
7- Keep a fire extinguisher at home
Buy a fire extinguisher and keep it in your kitchen in case a fire breaks out so you can put it out before it spreads.
Ensure your smoke alarm is working and the batteries are not bad (if you have a smoke alarm in your home).
8- Cover your hair
Covering your hair while in the kitchen or when cooking is not only to avoid getting your hair in the food but also to avoid getting your hair tangled in the pot handle or on a hook in the kitchen. Especially if you have long braids or weaves.
9- Keep children and pets away
While it might be quite impossible to keep children and pets out of the kitchen, you can make a rule never to allow them in the kitchen when the cooker or oven is on, or when you plug in an electrical appliance.
You can do this by locking up the kitchen if you are not there or closing it firmly if their hand cannot reach the doorknob yet.
10- Always keep the kitchen floor neat and dry
Wet floor accidents have been said to cause major head injuries, spinal cord incidents, and even deaths. When there’s a water spill in the kitchen, clean it up immediately. This is to avoid slips and falls in the kitchen. Also, be sure to always wear floor-gripping slippers when entering the kitchen in case there’s water on the floor to avoid a bad fall.
Not only the floor now, but also other surfaces in the kitchen, some people have slipped from their hands sliding on the kitchen cabinets. Water and smooth surfaces can be pretty dangerous.
An extra tip
Always monitor your cooker or oven when they are switched on
In this world of multitasking, it is so easy to get carried away when we are cooking and doing other things, that we never know when something is amiss.
Recently, I was boiling water in a kettle and I left to get some work done on my laptop. My kettle is a whistling kettle, so I was looking forward to hearing its whistles when the water boiled. A long time passed, and I had gotten absorbed in work and yet no whistling.
I went to the kitchen only to realize that the water had boiled, and overflowed, and turned off the cooker.
The cooker was still on and the gas was smelling all over the place. It was a scary situation. Anything could have happened if I hadn’t rushed to check what was going on while I was waiting to hear the whistle.
No matter how busy you are or what you’re cooking, never leave your cooker or oven turned on for a long time without constant supervision. Don’t leave your cooker or oven on while you run errands. Many fire accidents have happened this way.
You should know how to stay safe in the kitchen because the kitchen is an integral part of the home and it is important to protect it like every other part of the house. The kitchen is also considered the most important part of the home because that is where the food that keeps us alive is prepared. Make your kitchen a safe haven and protect yourself and your family from unfavorable occurrences with these tips.