How to Avoid Common Kitchen Hazards
Whether you live in a tiny studio or spacious mansion, the kitchen is indisputably the heart of the home. It’s where loved ones gather to eat, laugh, and find comfort.
So it’s no coincidence that a room that attracts so much traffic also attracts accidents. As hubs of electric appliances, sharp cooking tools, and burning hot stove-tops, kitchens tend to see more accidents than anywhere else in the house.
While there’s no way to 100% guarantee nothing bad will ever happen in your kitchen, following these simple prevention measures can significantly cut down on that risk.
If you can’t handle the heat, get out of the kitchen? Absolutely not! Fireproof it right away instead.
Between your oven, stove, grill, microwave, and other appliances (anyone else out there obsessed with the air fryer trend?), your kitchen has abundant opportunities for unwanted ignition. Luckily, being careful while cooking can cut down on them.
Always keep an eye on your food creations in progress. You might think you can stick a pizza in the oven and step away or leave that stir fry in the pan to simmer while you make a quick phone call. The truth is, though, that a loose spark can overtake your kitchen in a split second. The moral of the story—never leave anything heat-based unattended.
Crumbs, dish-clothes, packaging, and loose sleeves all act as unintentional kindling, so it’s also crucial to keep a clean, fabric-free workspace. All it takes is one rogue drop of hot oil from a frying pan or some food residue on the bottom of your oven to have your kitchen up in flames.
Kitchen fires can happen to even the most careful cooks, though, so it’s just as important to know how to react if you ever get caught in the throes of one.
The first thing to do is assess whether it’s a grease fire or not. If it is, throwing water at the problem will only make flames go from bad to worse.
Instead, smothering is the way to go. Cutting off a fire’s oxygen source with a metal lid or heavy towel usually does the trick. Dumping salt or baking soda on top has a similar effect by releasing carbon dioxide.
In case of larger fires — grease or otherwise — a fire extinguisher might be necessary. Buying one now and storing it in the kitchen pantry is a must for home safety and keeping it fire-free.
Just as fire poses a threat to kitchen safety, an overabundance of water does too. Kitchens that are a watery mess are dangerous for reasons both immediate and long-term.
Leaky pipes can compromise the structural integrity of your kitchen by eroding cabinetry and drywall. The dark, damp, hidden spaces underneath sinks and around appliances could quickly become breeding grounds for mold.
Mold emits toxic spores that cause lung distress and various other health issues when breathed in over time. Like all poisonous substances, mold is a toxin best kept out of the kitchen.
Aside from mold, a spill on the kitchen floor could cause someone to slip and fall, seriously injuring themselves in the process. Keeping water away from slick surfaces and sharp corners could very well save a life.
Exposed or frayed wires are arguably the scariest of the kitchen hazards. While household electrical systems usually have a waterproof coating and stay tucked away behind drywall, there’s nothing that time, friction, and one or two leaky pipes can’t break down.
If one of the hundreds of wires in your kitchen’s walls becomes exposed, you could have a serious electrical fire or shock situation on your hands.
The importance of electrical maintenance is hard to overstate, as it is the only way to catch a problem before it becomes potentially fatal.
Plus, while buying new appliances can be expensive, it’s wise not to keep anything around suspiciously long just because of the price tag. Old wires can be faulty and prone to unwanted, highly dangerous sparking. Basically, that old toaster could burn more than your toast.
Other Common Sense Safety Measures
While waterproofing, fireproofing, and electrical upkeep are the big ones, there are dozens of other tips and tricks to keep your kitchen the haven it should be.
Researching proper food and appliance storage could prevent some unwanted scenarios, from food poisoning to head injury. Being mindful to only use dangerous objects like sharp knives or unstable step-stools with a buddy nearby could protect you from serious injury.
As the saying goes, prevention is key. Knowing what to do in an emergency and diligence about cleaning and inspection are good lifestyle habits that will likely leave you and your kitchen safe.
Often, such planning ahead is hard to do alone. For peace of mind, call in the experts at All Dry USA to give a professional opinion on hazard prevention and damage restoration.