The kitchen is easily the busiest room in the entire house, no contest. You’re there every day multiple times, and though we tend to neglect this, it’s also the room that requires the most safety precautions.
All you have to do to understand this is think about all the basic kitchen safety precautions you see in restaurants – and the kind of attention you expect there when you order food from one. It’s a lot, right?
Granted, our home kitchens don’t need to be so strict, but the kitchen safety tips I’m bringing up today are for your own good. We’re not trying to impress Gordon Ramsay here, it’s just a matter of personal safety to prevent any accidents from happening and keep your family safe!
“Everything happens in the kitchen. Life happens in the kitchen." – Andrew Zimmern
Floors and shoes
Ideally you should always wear shoes in the kitchen. This is just in case anything hot or pointy falls on top of your foot, potentially hurting you in the process… but also to prevent any slipping.
Your floors should be designed from the start as slip-resistant. Any liquids or food that accidentally fall on the floor shouldn’t cause you to slip and fall – and you run a much higher risk of slipping if you’re not wearing shoes.
Shoes also protect you in case you accidentally break any cups or glasses, which let’s be honest, happens to all of us!
Electrical appliances are massively useful around the kitchen, but you should take some care while using them. In particular, keep them away from sources of water – both the appliances themselves and their outlets.
Many of these are not waterproof and could be permanently damaged, not to mention causing you harm. Electrical shocks are serious, especially when combined with water. May sound like an obvious kitchen safety tip, but for real: keep appliances away from the sink and other sources of water.
If your kids have the habit of making toast or using other appliances by themselves, one of the first kitchen safety rules to teach them is to never plug it near the sink, doesn’t matter what they’re preparing. Always have a safe outlet available for them to use in an accessible space on your counter.
Might seem like an exaggeration, but it really isn’t. It’s actually very easy to create a fire in the kitchen – we deal with oil all the time and most people have had that situation of accidentally setting it on fire.
Besides, owning a fire extinguisher is just a passive benefit. Get yourself a new one and keep it accessible. It might never come in handy, and in that case, awesome! But if it ever does, it’s better to have it and know how to use it.
Keep the microwave low
Many homeowners find it practical to place the microwave on top of the fridge or on a fairly high shelf. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but it could lead to a lot of serious problems.
For one, you have to reach up to grab your food that will usually be burning hot. It can be awkward and dangerous to do so. But most importantly, because of the height, if your hot place falls it will fall on top of you.
I’m sure you can imagine why that would be unpleasant on many levels.
Try to place the microwave on a comfortable lower height where you can pick up the plates while looking at them and without having to force yourself into uncomfortable positions. Same goes for electric ovens.
First aid kit
Why would you need a first aid kit in the kitchen?
Well, it’s not that outlandish of an ask. Think about it: just by dealing with knives you’re already prone to cutting the tip of your finger at some point. Lord knows I’ve done it myself more than once.
In fact, I’ll share an anecdote from recent memory: I was washing a few dishes on the sink and a cup slipped from my hand. I tried to grab it on a reflex and shattered it against the backsplash, cutting three of my fingers in different places. I pressure the biggest wound to stop the bleeding, but here’s the kicker: I was out of first aid supplies anywhere in the house. I had to drive to the nearest pharmacy by myself to gather some and treat the wound.
Moral of the story: have a first aid kit in the kitchen. You won’t regret it.
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