We were doing a little talk the other day about safety in the kitchen when a little girl said she would never let an accident happen to her. She didn’t understand that accidents couldn’t be helped. It’s a reality a lot of us share when looking after ourselves. None of us thinks we’re going to cause a fire or have a nasty fall or any number of other accident when in the kitchen, but these things happen. They happen a lot. They happen enough for health and safety experts to name this as the most dangerous room in the home, along with the bathroom.
Oh, yeah, we’re just talking about the home. So just imagine what it’s like being in a lively, rushing, on-the-go commercial kitchen. There are probably going to be forty different chefs calling Hughey Law Firm today because of a slip or fall or accident of some sort. With that in mind, we’ve pulled together a list of simple things you can do to make your kitchen at home that little dollop more safety-conscious and, yup, family friendly.
- Get Grease In Order
Oil and grease are the most overlooked dangers in the kitchen. They’re never the main ingredient in a meal, but they’re used more often than not. But here’s the most worrying statistic of all: cooking fires are the number-one cause of residential fires, more than smoking, and it’s oil and grease that’s the culprit here. But it’s not just the chance of fire. Oil spits and spatters when it’s in the pan and it’s slippery when it lands on the floor. So to avoid any kind of accident, make sure you use lids properly or have a spit cover.
- Sharpen Your Knives
This may sound like most counterintuitive advice you’ve ever heard, but there is a method behind the madness. Dull blades are more likely to slip when they’re being used, which makes them a lot more dangerous than sharp ones. Our advice would be to invest in high-carbon stainless steel knives and avoid any that have wood handles because these lose their grip over time. You’ll also want to practise safe knife use. That means only using knives if you have dry hands, always cut away from your body and curl your fingers over when holding food.
- Don’t Get Distracted
With our ever busier lives, it can be so tempting to leave the oven or hobs unattended while you quickly do this or that. Don’t do it. It’s not worth letting your grease bubble over and catches on a flame, which is now the number one cause of cooking fires. Of course, it’s near impossible to not make better use of your time, so if you absolutely have to leave the room, make sure you set a timer and come back as often as you can to check everything is okay.
- Wibble-Wobble Stools
Pretty much all kitchens rely on a clever use of space. There is just so much stuff to fit into – and on top of – cupboards. Admittedly, most of the once-a-year Thanksgiving bits will be stored out of the way. But they will still need to come down at some point or another, and that’s where the problem lies. Yup. We’re talking about the step stool. Sometimes people use proper ones. But more often than not they will use an old wobbly one or just any old thing to give them that extra height. This is not advised.