Accidents happen every single minute of every day. Most of us fear accidents on the road in our vehicles. The thing about accidents is that majority of them happen right inside our home; especially in the kitchen.
Here are some safety tips to minimize the risks to your health and your home from common accidents that happen in the kitchen.
Tips to minimize the risk of kitchen fires
Fires are one of the most destructive types of accidents that happen at home. They are also one of the most preventable. All you need to do is follow a few kitchen rules and you’ll minimize the risk of a house fire starting or worse, getting out of control.
Grease Fires: Never try to put out a grease fire with water. When water hits hot grease it will cause the grease to splatter. Grease fires can quickly get out of control when this happens.
Take a moment to plan our your strategy to handle a grease fire now with these 3 tips.
- Keep a small (class K) fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Make sure everyone in the home knows how to use it and where it is located. Preferably in an easy to access location in your kitchen. As I am writing this article I was surprised to learn that we should be inspecting our home fire extinguishers on a monthly basis and having them professionally inspected yearly.
- Cover the pan or pot with a lid.For times when you are not going to be placing a lid over your greasy pans you can still keep the lid nearby. Grease fires can be instantly stopped by placing a lid over the fire as long as that fire is contained within the pan or pot.
- Always have a box of opened baking soda within reach.Even if you have a lid and especially if you don’t, you can put fires out quickly using baking soda. If the box of baking soda is open you won’t be panicking while you’re trying to open it to put out the fire.
- Never leave the kitchen when frying, grilling or boiling.It has always been a solid rule to remain in the kitchen while frying, grilling or boiling. However, today we are living in a world full of distraction that never shuts off. That is unless we turn it off on purpose. I’m talking about our cell phones.A simple text or even a phone call can distract us from a problem developing in the kitchen. So a good rule of thumb is to turn off your distractions and keep your eyes on the tasks at hand.
- Never place a toaster under a shelf or cabinet while it’s working.A spark from the burners inside the toaster could escape, hit the shelf or something flammable and start a fire. Some people keep their toasters put away while they are not in use. If you’re one of those people, be sure everyone understand they must be cool before replacing them back where they belong.
- Check your smoke detector batteries twice a year.Two times a year we are changing our clocks to and from Daylight Savings Time. Make this the time of year to inspect your smoke detectors batteries. If you’re one of the lucky ones who does not have this ridiculous regime, use it as the time of year you get to laugh at us while inspecting those batteries.
Tips to Protect Your Health
- Microwave safe cooking.The microwave is a wonderful invention, however, many people are unaware of the toxic gases released from certain items used to reheat or cook foods in the microwave. Before you use a cup, plate, or cover in the microwave, make sure it is microwave safe.Plastic wraps and foam cups may not always show visible signs of melting or burning and the release of toxic fumes. You can’t see the toxins but they are there. Personally I would not even use microwave safe plastic, but if you do want to use plastic to cover any item, be sure it has been deemed, microwave safe.
- Carefully remove or unwrap lids and covers.This really is a good rule even if your item has not been cooked or reheated in the microwave. However, the steam coming from a covered item in the microwave can reach scalding temperatures. Be sure to use caution when removing the covers. By carefully lifting or peeling back a very small corner (farthest from your face) you can release the heat slowly without burning your face, hands or fingers.If extra care is required use tongs to lift lids and oven mitts to remove the entire vessel from the microwave.
- Washing up before cooking and baking.Food born bacteria is all over the kitchen. Aaron E. Carroll is a doctor who studies bacteria growth and in one of his podcasts he mentioned that the floor of our kitchens were cleaner than our refrigerator handles.So, with that in mind we need to consider why this is the case. And the answer is because we are not taking time to wash our hands like we should when we are handing food in the kitchen. So, the rule here is to wash with soap and water for 30 seconds. That’s about as long as it takes to sing the alphabet.It’s a good idea to use non-bacterial soap – period. The idea that using bacterial soap to kill germs has been exposed as a bad thing to do. It’s too much to explain here but in general, using basic soap is better for our health.
- Never mix vinegar with bleach or ammonia.This of course is not only a safety tip for the kitchen but it apply to the entire household. Mixing chemicals from different cleaning items can create highly toxic and even deadly fumes. Be sure to avoid mixing these items while cleaning in any part of your home.If you’ve enjoyed reading this article, be sure to LIKE, Share, and Comment 🙂