As in the bathroom, a good way to promote safety in the kitchen is to follow educated common sense. Get advice from the local Fire Department. Take care when cooking. Obtain professional advice about fire extinguishers and their use. Use only a professional electrician. Be very careful with knives.
Kitchen Safety – Six Important Rules
- If 911 is the number that must be phoned in the event of a fire emergency (as in the USA), make sure the whole family knows.
- Write the telephone number of the Fire Department in large clear letters next to the telephone.
- Put the telephone number of the Fire Department on all family cell phones.
- Get professional advice on what fire extinguisher to buy and how to use it. Using the wrong fire extinguisher can be life-threatening.
- Use only a professional electrician to attend to electrical work in the home.
- Contact the local Fire Department and ask what public fire safety advice they may offer.
Cooking and Kitchen Safety
According to the official website of the City of Fairfax, Virginia, the majority of house fires in the United States arise out of cooking in the kitchen. In addition, most home fires are caused by human error and not appliance failure. It follows that constant vigilance is essential at all times in the kitchen.
Cooking food should be watched. If food is left cooking in a pot too long, the moisture in the food evaporates and the now dry food gets hotter and hotter and can ignite. There is a need to be especially careful when cooking with grease, food containing grease or with oil. Grease and oil are very dangerous when alight.
If the stove top is not clean and has grease on it, this will literally be fuel for any fire. Kitchen safety is enhanced by having very clean stove tops and counter tops. Crumbs should regularly be removed from toasters. Combustible materials should not be stored above or next to the stove.
Kitchen Safety and Electrical Appliances
Electrical appliances, especially their cords, should be maintained properly and checked regularly. Frayed cords are dangerous, particularly in a wet environment. More than one appliance should not be plugged into one wall socket. Plugs in the kitchen should be fitted with ground fault interrupters. Appliances should not be used near water. Appliances that seem unreasonably hot should immediately be switched off at the plug and taken to a professional electrician to be checked.
Kitchen Safety and Knives
Knives are designed to cut. Keep them away from children. Don’t jumble up knives in a drawer with spoons and forks. This makes injury possible when rummaging through the drawer. Blunt knives are dangerous because instead of cutting quickly and cleanly they compel the user to use force. This can cause the knife to slip and injure the user. So, keep kitchen knives sharp. When using a knife, cut away from the body.
Additional Kitchen Safety Advice
At least five very important topics about kitchen safety have not been covered in this article and need serious consideration if kitchen safety is to be enhanced. They are:
- Special safety precautions to protect young children in the kitchen.
- Precautions relating to the wearing of loose clothing and jewelry while cooking, as well as hair management.
- How to extinguish a kitchen fire.
- What fire extinguishers to buy for the kitchen and how to use them. It is crucial to get professional advice about fire extinguishers. Using the wrong fire extinguisher can be life-threatening.
- The use of smoke detectors.
A Practical Suggestion About Kitchen Safety and Kitchen Fires
Contact the local Fire Department and ask if they will come and give a talk on fire safety in the kitchen, to a local group. Ask the Fire Department to include in the talk advice on different fire extinguishers and how to use them. The Fire Department may be able to bring examples of extinguishers.
A group that would appreciate such a professional presentation would be the parents at a young children’s daycare facility or junior school. A PTA meeting is another occasion where such a talk would be appreciated. The important fire safety talk may act as a powerful incentive to get a full attendance at the meeting.