Did you know that in a four year period, 172,900 home fires started in the kitchen? 550 of these people died as a result of these fires, and 4,820 were injured. Stovetop fires were to blame in 61% of these home fires, 87% of deaths, and 78% of injuries. The majority of kitchen fires began when cooking food was left unsupervised. Many injuries occur when people attempt to stop a fire from growing in the kitchen. That’s why kitchen safety is important for avoiding fires and other injuries.
Keep reading to learn some of the ways you can make your kitchen safer.
1. Great Light Is Important
One way that many people don’t think about when it comes to having a safe kitchen is making sure you have the best light. Being able to see everything is crucial, especially when handling objects like knives.
Your overhead lights should be bright when you’re working in the kitchen during the night, and dimmable for when you don’t need that much artificial light. It’s also a good idea to invest in light fixtures under cabinets and above your stovetop so you can see those areas better when chopping, seasoning, or stirring food.
2. Prevent Slips
Preventing slips is key to preventing injury. It’s a good idea to invest in a flooring material that’s not easy to slip on, and wood is one example.
People often like to place rugs below their sinks, and this is usually to provide comfort for your feet while you do the dishes. Make sure these rugs are skid-resistant so that you don’t trip over them and hurt yourself.
Another thing to keep in mind is while your kitchen might get busy around mealtimes, you should never leave a spill unattended. This is an easy way to slip and injure yourself. As soon as something spills onto the floor, wipe it down with some paper towels and get back to your cooking right away.
3. Protect the Little Ones
A kitchen can be a scary place if you have kids or furry friends. There are so many ways they can get injured, but there are also ways you can ensure they stay safe.
The easiest way to protect your children or pets is to keep them out of the kitchen while cooking. Some kids like to help mom or dad with preparing meals, but give them easy tasks like washing the veggies or adding some salt. Never let your kids stand close to a hot stove.
You can also keep them safe in the kitchen by buying the appropriate kitchen cookware. Protect them from the splatter of hot grease by purchasing a splatter guard for the times you cook bacon for breakfast or make your favorite fried fish.
Don’t let kids touch any of the electrical switches. It’s also a good idea to install a device that controls the temperature of the water to prevent burns from high temperatures.
4. Create a Fire Safety Guide
Fire safety protocols are very important, considering the high number of injuries that can occur because of kitchen fires. You want to make sure that you always have a functioning fire extinguisher in your kitchen.
Make sure you keep your oven and stovetop clean as many fires also start from grease buildup. Never leave the food you’re cooking unattended as this can turn dangerous very quickly. When you’ve finished cooking and cleaning, double-check that you’ve turned off all the kitchen appliances.
Most importantly, make sure that your fire alarms work correctly. These will alert you to a fire if you’re asleep or in another room. They can literally save your life.
5. Learn Knife Safety
If you’re wondering how to make a kitchen safe, the key is to learn how to properly handle your knives. You should always cut foods carefully—if you’re rushing to get through prepping your meal, you might end up with a nasty cut.
Sharpening your knives when they become dull is a recommended practice. Dull knives need more pressure to cut properly and can cause the knife to slip and cut you.
Always use a cutting board with enough space. Keep knives in a rack or block and away from a child’s reach.
6. Create the Perfect Kitchen Layout
You can rearrange the layout of your kitchen to make it safer for your entire family. Think about installing shelves you can pull out, as this will prevent you from having to reach back to high shelves or having to bend down too often.
For things that do have to be stored on higher cabinets, always use a reliable stool so you can reach the items safely and prevent anything from falling and breaking. Most cabinets have sharp corners, which can be a danger to anyone. You can round out the edges of countertops to prevent injury.
7. Handle Food Correctly
A safe kitchen also requires safe food handling. If you’re wondering how to safely cook, there are a few key tips you should always follow.
Always wash your hands before and after touching food, especially meats, because you want to avoid cross-contamination. Most meats require internal cooking temperatures of 145 degrees Fahrenheit or higher to be safe to eat. Check temperatures before consuming your favorite meals.
It’s also a bad idea to wash meats before cooking because contaminated juices can splash onto multiple surfaces.
8. Clean Everything
Keeping a safe kitchen also requires cleaning and sanitizing everything after each use. To prevent grease fires, you want to wipe down your stove after it’s cooled off.
Make sure that you wipe down kitchen counters to prevent the spread of germs. It’s also important to wash kitchen towels often and to change your dish sponge on a regular basis, as this is where most of the germs collect.
Follow These Kitchen Safety Tips
Making home-cooked meals or spending a Saturday morning baking with your kids is a lot of fun. Following kitchen safety is crucial, however, to ensure everyone’s wellbeing.
The tips listed above can help make your kitchen an injury-free zone. Check out some of our other blogs to learn more about topics like these.