As a professional handyman and installer of kitchen appliances I often find myself giving my customers lectures on safety. While statistics might show that the majority of home accidents happen in the bathroom, the kitchen comes in a close second. The accidents and injuries that occur in the kitchen are often more severe, and this alone is reason enough to pay attention to these 3 safety tips.
Other than accidental cuts the most common cause for injuries in the kitchen is due to electrical cords. It is important to routinely check the cords, wires and plugs on all your kitchen appliances. This is especially true for countertop appliances that are typically see more use. While you don’t have to take time every day to check all of the cords, I do recommend that you look them over every four to six weeks. Not only will this help prevent electric shocks, but fires as well.
When it comes to using extension cords in your kitchen, I always say “don’t”. These electrical cords aren’t grounded and this can be dangerous. Electrical fires and painful shocks often occur. It can also damage your appliances if there is a power surge, and this will affect your wallet. If the electric cord on the appliance simply isn’t long enough, I recommend investing a few dollars in a junction box that comes with a ground fault interrupter.
Pay attention to how you leave the kitchen
I am often amazed at what people leave turned on or sitting out in their kitchens. In some cases I really am shocked that they haven’t had an accident. Before you walk out of your kitchen, take a few minutes to look around. I bet you’ll be surprised by what you see. Here are a few things I’ve had to remind my customers to pay attention to.
- Do not leave scented and decorative candles burning if you are not in your kitchen. It is also important to use a flame proof container. You can find great scented candles that come in jars so you don’t have to look for a plate or container every time you light it.
- You also want to make sure that all matches and lighters are put up, especially if you have small children.
- Drawers and cabinets should also be tightly shut, and locked if child safety is a concern.
Consider what you are wearing
There is nothing wrong with being comfortable in the kitchen, but you don’t want loose sleeves to get in the way. Not only can the get into the food, but it also presents a fire hazard. This is especially true if you are cooking over an open flame.
Be prepared in the event of an emergency
The most important tip I give my customers is to always be prepared. This means have a small, up-to-date fire extinguisher nearby, along with a box of baking soda. In the event of a grease fire you will need the baking soda in order to effectively put it out. You also want to have emergency numbers nearby. Knowing 911 is a start, and Poison Control is another important number to have.