As many of us are now home more due to Covid19 this past year we are also now cooking more in our homes. Kitchen cooking safety is an important thing to remember so we can reduce our chances for injury and a home fire. Items cooking can quickly be forgotten about if we receive a phone call or other interruptions. Below are 10 Kitchen Cooking Safety tips to remember.
10 tips for Kitchen Cooking Safety
1. Stay in the kitchen when cooking food
Food left unattended for more than a few minutes can easily be forgotten as we are multi tasking multiple items at same time. Pans can quickly burn or oil from food could splatter on the stove or items near the stove sparking a fire which quickly can spread.
If you will be gone longer then 5 minutes from cooking food on top of the stove:
- Reduce the heat
- Cover any pans with a lid to reduce splatter from liquid in pan
- Set a kitchen timer to remind yourself to check on the food
2. Children and Pets
Accidents can happen quickly. Children are curious and like to help. One of the best practices we can do is have a rule with children that to help with cooking we must be in the room. Parents should discuss age they feel comfortable with their child cooking unattended.
Pets are another thing to consider when cooking. Some pets like a cat can get on counter tops which can increase chance items on counter can be knocked off or the pet can become injured.
3. Keep Kitchen floor free of obstacles
Have you ever removed something from oven and then the minute you turn around your dog is right in your feet?
When you are removing something from oven or stove make sure children and pets are minimum 3 feet away from you. 3 feet away reduces chances of anyone becoming hurt. Additionally, try to keep kitchen floor free of toys, shoes and other obstacles which could increase chance of falling as you carry food or remove items from stove.
4. Store knives high and out of reach of children
Store knives in a place small children are unable to reach. If placed on counter have against counter wall and not near counters edge. Also do not leave knives left out after cooking because if forgotten about other items can easily be placed on top and quickly forgotten about increasing chance of injury.
5. Have all electrical cords in safe and secure place
Have any cords behind any electrical appliance. If in front of the appliance a child can reach and pull down the appliance to the floor. Also unplug any appliance near the kitchen sink when not in use. If the appliance gets wet it can spark an appliance fire.
6. Matches and Utility Lighters
Matches and utility lighters should be kept in a safe and secure place where children are unable to reach. Children especially little ones under five do not understand how matches and lighters can quickly spread into a fire.
7. Never leave candles unattended
Similar to matches and utility lighters candles should also be kept in a secure place when not in use.
Advice on burning candles:
- Have candles on a heat résistance surface. (Example a tv is not a heat resistance surface)
- Have candles in a holder which is stable reducing chance of candle falling on floor.
- Keep candles away from curtains and fabric when burning
- Keep children and pets away from any burning candles
- If burning more than one candle have minimum of 4 inches between each candle
- Any candles which are scented or votive or scented should be placed in a glass or metal holder to catch any dripping liquid
- Don’t leave candles burning if you are not in the room
- Make sure candles are completely out when you are done burning the candle.
8. Fire Extinguisher
Fire extinguishers help save lives and can help put out small fires.
Advice on fire extinguishers :
- Select a multi purpose fire extinguisher which has ability to be used on all home fires
- Store your fire extinguisher near an exit and in a place for easy access
- Read instructions on how to use fire extinguisher properly and become familiar with parts
- Check with your local fire department to see if they have training classes on using a fire extinguisher
9. Smoke Alarms
More than 40% of all of home fire deaths happen due to no smoke alarm in home. This is one step we highly encourage you do today.
Smoke Alarm Advice :
- Check smoke alarms twice a year to make sure batteries are working. Good rule to follow is to check same time you change clocks in the fall and spring.
- Replace smoke alarms every 10 years (battery operated and hard wired)
- Have a smoke alarm on each floor of your home
- Check with your local fire department. Some fire departments will install a new smoke alarm free of charge for you
- Practice a fire evacuation route yearly so you are familiar with steps you should take if you need to leave quickly in case of an emergency
10. Safety for yourself in kitchen
As we look at kitchen safety one area we can’t forget is safety for ourselves as we are preparing the food. A few steps we can take greatly reduce our chance of injury.
Personal Safety Advice:
- Wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds prior to handling any food to reduce spread of germs. Use paper toweling to dry and throw away after use
- Pull long hair back in a ponytail which can catch on fire
- Don’t wear loose baggy clothing or sleeves which have a greater chance starting on fire
- Don’t wear any long hanging jewelry which when leaning over cooking food can get heated causing a burn or start on fire
- Wear shoes. Sometimes we can drop items and spill liquid on floor. Having feet covered reduces chance of injury and burns
Kitchen cooking safety is an important step any time we cook food. Hopefully these basic steps will help you next time you make a meal.
Please share below any tips you have for kitchen cooking safety.