Proper planning and organization is essential in ensuring safety in your kitchen. For many homes, the kitchen is one of the busiest rooms that can also be the most dangerous. Many activities are centered around the room and it is almost impossible for anyone to avoid using it. Safety in the kitchen addresses issues of cleanliness, food safety and preparation, appliance ergonomics, child proofing, as well as electrical and fire safety. A kitchen that takes into account the above issues and more is less likely to cause injuries or harm to the users.
Here are ten steps to help maintain safety in your kitchen:
1. Just as you are diligent in cleaning spills and messes, remember to regularly sanitize your dishcloths and sponges. A contaminated cloth houses millions of bacteria which can easily be spread to other kitchen surfaces if it is still used. Alternatively, you can consider using paper towels in place of dishcloths and sponges.
2. Install non-slip flooring. Since kitchens are prone to spills and other slippery messes, avoid smooth flooring like ceramic tiles. Opt for matte-finished wood or textures vinyl as they minimize chances of you slips and falls. If you cannot change your flooring you can use a rug with nonskid backing, especially around areas that frequently get wet.
3. If you have a toddler in the house, consider getting childproof gear, just in case they manage to sneak into the kitchen without you knowing. Childproof gears can be used on cabinets, doors, sockets and oven.
4. Always makes sure that you have a functional fire extinguisher on standby. It should be located on a visible area towards the exit of the room and away from cooking equipment. This way you can always manage small fires before they get out of hand and at a safe distance.
5. Check that the appliances you use or buy meet the required safety standards. Appliances with safety features like auto-lock are recommended. The ergonomics of your appliances also matter, especially if the equipment requires regular moving. Features like insulated handles and rubberized feet come in handy as well.
6. Ensure the kitchen is well lit. Proper lighting improves visibility in the kitchen and thus lessens chances of injury, especially when preparing meals. Have your kitchen installed with a light that does not cast shadows on the surface and has no glare. You could also supplement already existing lighting with task lighting that focuses on specific working areas.
7. Make sure that your kitchen adheres to the required building codes and regulations. For instance, all electrical receptacles should be grounded and protected with ground-fault circuit interrupters.
8. Throw away any damaged appliance or equipment even if you still think it can be salvaged. A faulty appliance is risky since it is not performing optimally.
9. Dress appropriately whenever you in the kitchen, especially if you will be there for a while. Avoid layered clothes or easily-flammable fabrics when working with open fires. Also put on comfortable footwear.
10. Store all food items appropriately and according to their date of expiry. This way you are able to avoid food wastage and any complications arising from expired or poorly stored food.
Observing safety in the kitchen does not mean you are immune to accidents but it does help you a great deal in minimizing chances of those accidents occurring. This list only gives ten tips but there is a lot more you can do to improve safety in your kitchen. Some tips are general but sometimes it takes a look at your own lifestyle in order to determine what safety measures to adopt.