by Julia Eldred, Media & Communications Assistant
I recently heard stories of a stove-top fire getting out of hand as well as an attempt at making guacamole turning into a painful cut and several stitches. This made me think the time might be right for a kitchen safety blog post! Kitchen mishaps are all too common. Thankfully, there are a few precautions you can take in the kitchen to prevent these silly mishaps from occurring.
Here are 10 tips to keep you and your family safe in the kitchen:
1. Stay in the Kitchen: Firstly, the best way to avoid kitchen mishaps is to just pay better attention. If you concentrate on what you are doing, the dangers decrease dramatically. For example, the best way to avoid kitchen fires is to not leave your cooking unattended. If you do need to leave the kitchen, make sure to always set a timer. That will make sure you are reminded to check your cooking frequently.
2. Clear the Stove: As a rule, just don’t rest anything on the stove top. Even if you aren’t currently using the stove, you might forget about that oven mitt, utensil, or towel before turning it on to use next time. The burners might also still be hot from previous use.
3. Be Aware of Handles: If you are using multiple pieces of cookware on the stove, be careful of where you position the handles of pots and skillets. You don’t want to accidentally leave a handle hovering over another burner. It can heat up and then burn your hand when you go to touch it.
4. Remember Fire Safety: Keep a fire extinguisher in or near the kitchen for quick use. Also, remember that grease fires cannot be put out with water. Water just makes them spread. Instead, if a fire extinguisher is not available, try to cover the flame to prevent oxygen from getting to it. You can also pour baking soda or salt on the fire to extinguish it. You can see other Fire Safety Tips here.
5. Remember Electrical Safety: Make sure all of the appliances on your counter are in good working order. Check cords and plugs to make sure there are no exposed wires. Don’t touch the insides of appliance unless they are off or unplugged. For example, don’t stick your hand into a blender without unplugging it, avoid putting your hand down a garbage disposal without checking the switch first, and don’t stick a fork inside of a toaster to retrieve a lost piece of food without unplugging first.
6. Child Proof your Kitchen: If you have a child around, make sure to put child locks on cabinets with medications, cleaning supplies, and even sharp utensils. It’s also wise to child lock the oven.
7. Concentrate When Using Knives: Always cut away from yourself and others. You’d be surprised how easily a knife can slip. (Just read the story from the introduction. My mom was trying to slice open an avocado and ended up cutting her hand instead.) If you need to cut something that you are holding, make sure to hold it with a towel or something that will protect your hand. Also, be careful when cleaning knives. Don’t leave them in soapy water where someone might not see them. Clean the blades facing away from you.
8. Wipe Up Spills: Clean up spills on the kitchen floor immediately. Keep the floor dry so no one slips and falls! You never know who might walk in and not see the puddle. You also might forget about it yourself if you don’t clean it right away!
9. Use a Step Stool: Don’t try to reach high cabinets by using wobbly stools or chairs. You might fall, strain yourself, or even have items fall on you. Keep a step stool nearby so you can easily avoid getting hurt reaching for items.
10. Be Careful Opening Containers: Don’t strain yourself or your hands trying to open a container. Ask for someone’s help! Once they get it open, you can always joke that you loosened it for them! Also, be careful of sharp edges when opening cans.
Care Advantage is here to help you or your loved one in the kitchen! We can help with preparing meals or just assist with everyday activities like cleaning, cooking, and baking! Call today for a free in-home assessment to see how we can help!