Along with the bathroom, the kitchen is one of the most dangerous places in the home. Between cuts, burns and the risk of fires, it takes a combination of diligence and common sense to avoid serious risks. Here’s our top tips for staying safe in the kitchen.
We’ve all seen chefs on the television turning whole fruits and vegetables into piles of finely chopped and evenly sized ingredients. Remember: they are professionals (usually). They’ve probably chopped more onions than you have even thought possible. Focus on using your knives carefully and safely – speed will come with practice and experience (or not, what’s the rush anyway?).
Clean as you go
Cluttered work surfaces make it difficult to keep your kitchen free from cross-contamination. If your knife and chopping board from when you prepped that raw chicken a few moments ago is now in contact with the salad you’re serving – you’ve got a food poisoning problem waiting to happen. Cleaning as you go not only reduces this kind of risk, but makes your time in the kitchen more enjoyable overall – you no longer have to go back to the kitchen after you have eaten and spend 20 or 30 minutes cleaning everything up, you’ve already done most of it while you were waiting for the pan to heat up.
First aid kit
If you are going to keep a well stocked first aid kit anywhere in your home – and you absolutely should – the kitchen is the best place. Accidents in the bathroom are typically slips and falls which, while they can be serious, can usually wait slightly longer for a response. Cuts, burns and scalds need immediate attention – make sure you’re stocked up on cooling salves, sanitisers, disinfectants, bandages, gauzes and plasters.
You’ve probably got smoke detectors in your home already – they’re a great way of alerting you to a fire. However, have you thought about what you will do next?
Fire extinguishers are a decent choice – although for oil or pan fires you must avoid water-based extinguishers. Fire blankets are the best choice for most kitchens – simply pull on the tabs, open up the blanket and place it over the fire. The blanket is made from fire-resistant material, and will quickly starve the flames of oxygen – stopping the fire from spreading and then putting it out completely.
We’ve all got a favourite kitchen gadget – coffee machine, stand mixer, air fryer, etc. The most important pieces of equipment though, in every kitchen, are those that make up your fire response kit. Periodically make sure that your smoke alarm works and ensure your extinguisher or blanket can be easily accessed and is ready for use in an emergency.
Author Bio: First Mats started life as safety matting specialists, but have since expanded to become a complete industrial and commercial supplies company. The focus of First Mats is to provide safety-focused products that improve the wellbeing of staff through quality approved products, backed up by extensive knowledge. www.firstmats.co.uk