The kitchen is where we spend so much of our time cooking, baking, making meals and enjoying them with friends and family. While many delicious meals are made here, there are many hazards in the kitchen if proper precautions are not taken. Sharp objects, hot surfaces and fire hazards just to name a few. Cooking equipment is the leading cause of home fires and fire injuries, causing 49% of home fires.
Follow these kitchen safety tips to prevent burns, cuts and other injuries.
Keep Germs Out
Always wash your hands thoroughly before starting to cook and throughout with soap and water. It’s important to keep germs out of the kitchen as you are handling food and potentially raw meat. Sanitize your counters, sink and workstation after handling meat to prevent cross contamination and potentially spread salmonella leading to food poisoning.
Practice Fire Safety
Have a fire extinguisher nearby in case of emergency. Know where it is kept in the house, how to use it, and make sure it is properly serviced. Keep flammable items such as dish cloths and oven mitts away from the warm stovetop. Grease fires can also easily emerge in the kitchen. If a grease fire catches, cover the pan with a lid to smother the flame. You can throw baking soda or salt on the fire until you are able to extinguish it but never put water on a grease fire!
Avoid wearing clothes that are too loose or baggy. Long sleeves can easily get caught in grease, a hot burner or too close to a mixer. Safe clothing also includes avoiding synthetic fabrics that can melt when close to heat. Women should also shy away from wearing dangle bracelets or long necklaces which could get caught on handles.
Cooking and baking are great activities to get the whole family involved in. However, make sure that kids are always supervised in the kitchen to prevent injuries. Set aside jobs kids can do safely such as measuring, stirring cold ingredients or washing produce but leave the other jobs to the adults. Keep kids at least 3’ away from hot surfaces including the oven and stove where they could burn themselves. Sharp objects, knives and electrical appliances are also risks that should be in a kid-free zone. Lastly, never leave the kitchen unsupervised while food is cooking.
Wipe Up Spills
Spills are inevitable when cooking in the kitchen but make sure to wipe them up immediately to avoid slips, trips and falls. A slippery spill on the floor could easily result in someone slipping and injuring themselves. Even worse, imagine if they were holding a sharp object or hot pan.
Cooking is fun hobby for many but always make safety a priority in the kitchen. In case of an unforeseen accident, are you confident your home insurance will have you protected? Contact your local Rural Mutual Insurance agent to make sure you’re safely protected.