Stay safe in the kitchen with these tips

June 19, 2015

More accidents happen in the kitchen than anywhere else in the home. Minimize the risk and maximize safety by employing a few precautionary measures.

Stay safe in the kitchen with these tips

More accidents happen in the kitchen than anywhere else in the home. Cutting yourself with a knife, slipping on the floor or burning yourself with a hot pan are among the many potential dangers. Minimize the risk by employing a few precautionary measures.

Supervision is key to kitchen safety. Learn how to carefully handle sharp kitchen utensils and make sure you know what to do in case of emergency. When it comes to stove safety, never leave a pot on the stove unsupervised — especially if it's a gas stove. Turn off unneeded burners immediately.

Take care with knives and scissors

  • Store knives and other sharp objects in a knife block out of the reach of children.
  • Don't drop knives in dishwashing water; if they're obscured by suds, you may accidentally grab them by the blade.
  • Wash knives with a brush right after use. For dried-on food, let knives soak first in a container of warm water.
  • Read the instruction manuals to find out how to remove the blades safely from food processors, shredders, slicers, meat grinders and other kitchen devices with blades.
  • Guide the knife away from your body, with your fingertips held at an angle, while cutting.
  • Sweep up and discard broken glass immediately. Gather very small pieces with a water-moistened cotton ball.
  • If a glass breaks in the dishwashing water, drain the water and rinse away any excess soap suds before removing the pieces.

Preventing burns

  • Do not leave the handles of pots and pans hanging over the edge of the stove. It is a recipe for disaster — they could be easily knocked off as someone walks by.
  • Keep an eye on any pans with hot oil in them: they catch fire easily and are a common cause of kitchen fires.
  • Step back and let the hot air escape when you open the oven.
  • Do not let hot liquid slosh out when removing pots and pans from the oven.
  • Never place hot foods on the edge of the stove, table or work surface where they can easily be tipped over.
  • Keep dish towels away from stove burners, as they can easily catch fire.
  • Regularly wash or replace exhaust fan filters. They quickly become flammable when saturated with grease.
  • Keep your hands, face and body out of harm's way when using the steam release valve on a pressure cooker.
  • For safety's sake — and for some peace of mind — it's best to use a kettle that shuts itself off automatically when the water boils.
  • Never overheat oil in a deep fryer. Also, replace contaminated grease, as it is more susceptible to flaming up.
  • Make sure the deep fryer's heating coils are totally immersed in oil or there is a strong risk that the oil will catch fire.
  • Run cold water in the sink while draining potatoes or vegetables so that the rising steam won't scald your hands.
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