Whether it’s for a quick breakfast when you are running late, or for cooking up a storm for your family, the kitchen is where the magic happens. But did you know it’s also one of the most dangerous rooms in your home?
There are many risks that can be found in a kitchen that could potentially cause harm to yourself or other members of your household including knives, greasy surfaces and hot pans. By following important safety tips, such as the ones outlined below, you can ensure your kitchen is as safe as possible.
Unfortunately, there are so many different ways that a fire can start in the kitchen. It’s really important to understand how a fire can start, how it spreads, and how to put it out safely so you know what to do in an emergency.
In order for a fire to start, three things must be present: oxygen, fuel and heat. The heat source must reach a hot enough temperature to cause ignition, which is a kitchen could be an oven or the hob. Then with the right fuel (e.g. oil or alcohol) and oxygen in the surrounding area, a fire can spread very quickly.
For most kitchen fires, water is not adequate to put them out, especially if they have started or spread with oil or grease. The best way to put out a small kitchen fire is using a fire blanket.
A fire blanket can be thrown over, or wrapped around, the source of the fire to smother it. This deprives the fire of oxygen and stops it from getting any bigger, causing it to eventually die out. They are suitable for use on Class A, B and D fires which are fuelled by flammable liquids like oil or gas, or by combustible metals including magnesium and titanium.
You should only tackle a fire yourself if it is very small or you are trained in fire safety. If the fire is spreading quickly and seems to be getting out of hand, evacuate your home immediately and call 999.
Keep children and pets away
Children love to help out mum and dad in the kitchen, and of course, if the task at hand is suitable, why not! But if you are using the gas burner, or dealing with the oven, it’s best to keep them away. This reduces any chance of hot food being accidentally spilt which may cause burns.
The same principle also applies to pets as they could become a trip hazard for you whilst cooking, which again, may lead to hot food or grease being spilt and causing severe distress.
Clean up quickly
It is almost a given that something has to be spilt whilst preparing food, even if it is a bit of water. The important thing is that no matter what the substance is, it should be cleaned up quickly.
This prevents it from becoming a slip hazard for anyone walking past which keeps everyone safe. It also stops any type of food from staining your worktops or floors.
Check your fire alarm
Seeing as the majority of home fires start in the kitchen, you should regularly check that your fire alarm is in good working order. If you don’t have a fire alarm, or it is not installed in your kitchen, you should definitely look into getting one.
The battery of your fire alarm should be replaced at least once a year, and the whole alarm itself should be replaced every ten years to ensure maximum safety.
Quick safety tips
Now we have covered some of the most important factors for kitchen safety, here are a few tips that you can integrate into your daily cooking routine to maximise safety within your home.
- Keep pot handles turned inwards on the stove.
- Store flammable materials as far away from the stove and oven as possible.
- Empty your toaster and clean out your oven regularly.
- Never overfill pots and pans.
- Never leave any cooking appliance unattended and always make sure they are switched off before leaving.
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