We often hear that most of the accidents take place in our own kitchen. Which is why we should learn about some basic safety rules, and apply them in order to prevent any kind of accident from happening.
- General kitchen safety and sharp items
Knives are the most potentially dangerous items in the kitchen. If you’re not an expert in the kitchen, you should probably not use big and really sharp ones, at least not until you improve your skills. Put all the knives in a wooden block blade-down, so that the blade can’t be touched.
Fragile plates, china or other cooking utensils can also cause accidents. They should be handled carefully at all times and placed on a safe holder, where they cannot be broken or shattered. Throw away any damaged cookware, to avoid injuries.
- Oven and grill safety
Keep all the towels, cookery books and other inflammable objects away from the source of fire. Always use protection gloves and heat-proof stands for the hot cookware.
Avoid loose clothes with long sleeves and keep long hair tied back as well. When you are cooking, try not to engage in other activities so that you can pay attention to the kitchen, and if you have kids be extra careful not to let them play in the cooking area. Modern electric stovetops have sensors that can let you know if the surface is still hot so that can be really helpful in these situations.
- Microwave safety
There is a general piece of advice to consider, regardless of the appliance: look for large-sized buttons and in bright, contrasting colors, as they minimize mistakes with the controls.
Regarding the microwave, it should not be turned on when it’s empty. Never place any metal inside, as it will cause irreparable damage. Use only utensils that are safe for microwave use. Plastic is generally safe, and sometimes glass as well but that’s not a rule. For prepared microwavable foods, carefully read all cooking instructions. Also, food that comes out from it can be extremely hot (popcorn for example), so be very careful when removing packaging. Allow a few minutes for the food to cool prior to eating. A microwave door that doesn’t lock correctly or is somehow damaged should not be used as it can emit harmful radiation! The moment there are any sparks inside a microwave, turn it off and unplug it. DO NOT use it.
- Refrigerators and freezers
Keep lint and dust out of the grill at the bottom front of the refrigerator/freezer. This allows the condenser to receive enough air flow. Frequently clean the coil to the condenser with a brush or a vacuum cleaner.
The optimum temperature for frozen foods is 0 degrees F ( -17 degrees C). A freezer should not be operating any higher than 5 degrees F. The ideal temperature for a refrigerator is 34-40 degrees F.
Although utensils may be cleaned and dried more effectively if facing upward in the utensil basket, this creates the potential for different accidents each time more utensils are added or unloaded. Keep knives, forks and other sharp-edged utensils pointing downward. Never leave a dishwasher door open for others to trip over.
Use cleaning products meant for dishwasher use and only in the amounts specified on the product directions. Be sure there are no water leaks, which could be a potential electrical hazard or a water damage hazard. Never leave a running dishwasher unattended.
In conclusion, accidents can always be avoided if we prove ourselves wise and if we are well informed about the appliances we buy and use everyday. The kitchen is a happy place, after all, and we can keep it that way if we follow these basic rules.