Your kitchen is the heart of your home.
It’s where you prepare hearty dishes for your family, spend time together, share memories, and even entertain guests.
It can also be surprisingly dangerous.
Equipped with hot exposed surfaces, sharp knives, sizzling grease on pans, and pots of boiling water, it can easily become hazardous and dangerous. This explains the serious injuries thousands of Americans sustain in the kitchen.
What’s more, failing to safeguard your kitchen and the rest of your house leaves it vulnerable to thieves.
Whether you’re a veteran chef, an upcoming Martha Stewart, or just love cooking for your family, you have all the reasons to safeguard your kitchen from hazards and intruders.
Here’re tips to help you avoid injuries in the kitchen and make it burglar-proof:
12 Tips to a Safe and Hazard-Free Kitchen
1) Clean it up fast
With toddlers and teenagers around your kitchen, nagging about their meals, you can easily make spills in the kitchen.
Although spills are inevitable in the kitchen, make it a habit to clean them up as they occur to prevent accidents.
Even a drop of food or water can easily create a slipping hazard. This is truer about oil and grease from cooking sprays.
2) Install and test your smoke detector
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, most homeowners are unaware that failing to install smoke detectors doubles their homes’ risk to fires.
The kitchen is the major cause of house fires.
Statistics indicate that over 150,000 fires from cooking equipment occur every year. With high risk of fires, early detection can help your household survive a house fire.
Install smoke detectors in your home and make sure you test them four times in a year for functionality. Moreover, they usually come as part of a larger security system further boosts the safety of your entire home.
3) Add a fire extinguisher to your kitchen
You’ll be surprised to know that a fire extinguisher is the most important gadget in your home.
Accidents usually occur unexpectedly. Although nobody wishes or plans for a fire, having a fire extinguisher within reach can save you a great loss.
Make sure you know how to use it and keep it where you can easily access it in case of a fire.
4) Understand fires to put them out
Fires thrive on oxygen. This means a pot cover or wet rag can easily smother it.
In case of grease fires, there’s need for special handling. Salt, baking soda or a pan cover can easily put out grease fires.
Unplug sockets in case of appliance fires such as microwave fires. Never use water to put out fires. Instead, use baking soda or a fire extinguisher.
As soon as a fire breaks out, call 911. Before the professionals arrive, do whatever you can to put out the fire before it spreads.
If you’re in doubt or don’t know what to do, evacuate your house immediately.
5) Be cautious with clothes and related accessories
Clothes and accessories are a cooking hazard.
Long hair and sleeves can catch fire, bracelets get caught on pot handles, and belt loops easily tug pan handles off stove tops.
Dress appropriately when cooking and make sure pan and pot handles are turned in at all times to keep them away from your children’s reach.
6) Keep the kitchen out of bounds for pets and kids
Cooking with your kids in the kitchen can be fun.
Be cautious when having kids in the kitchen. Let them respect your cooking space to avoid injuries. Don’t leave your kids and pets unattended when your oven or stove is in use.
Even after turning off your stove and other cooking appliances, they’ll take time to cool down. Therefore, let your kids stay away to prevent burns.
The kitchen is out of bounds for all kinds of play. Keep toys off your kitchen floor to prevent tripping hazards. No pets are allowed to lounge on your kitchen floor.
Make your kitchen a no-go zone for your kids and pets.
However, you can still learn how to safely involve your kids in the kitchen if you want them to help out.
7) Be wary of steam
Over 100,000 Americans, according to BurnInjuryOnline.com, are treated for scald burns in emergency rooms every year.
Potential risks for scald burns include:
- Hot water on-demand faucets
- Boiling water
- Hot beverages
A steam burn is usually serious and can be worse than burns from boiling water. Some ways steam presents danger in the kitchen include:
- Opening ‘steamable” packets
- Pulling plastic off wrapped food items from the oven
- Lifting lid off a boiling pot of food or water
Be cautious with boiling water as well as steam. And, teach your kids about these dangers and potential hazards.
8) Sanitize your kitchen surfaces
The kitchen harbors more bacteria than other rooms in the house.
Clean your kitchen surfaces with a solution of bleach and water as often as possible to kill germs. Use a 1:1 ratio to mix the solution or use pre-mixed kitchen sanitizer sprays.
Some items to sanitize include:
- Cutting boards – clean after each use
- Dishrags and sponges – zap them in the microwave for a couple of minutes or stash in hot water daily. Change the rags often.
9) Invest in identity theft protection
In the modern age of technology, personal security is just as important as home security. If you use the internet, including social media and other platforms, you need to protect your identity online.
Identity theft protection solutions such as LifeLock are highly recommended for protection and restoration of your identity. The solutions also include plans for the entire family.
To make your kitchen and home burglar-proof, do the following:
10) Burglar proof your front door
11) Reinforce sliding glass doors and windows for added security
12) Install security lights
We hope you’ll find these tips handy in making your kitchen hazard-free and burglar-proof.