Kitchen safety is for all. While we might think of kids and safety, we adults must be on our guard also. It only takes a moment for an accident to happen. One evening many years ago, I was in the kitchen preparing dinner, and my two daughters were in the living room watching TV. I put oil in a frying pan and turned the burner on high while I sliced up some chicken breasts. When I put the chicken in the pan, the oil was so hot it caught fire. I grabbed the fire extinguisher, but, after leaving a lot of soot under the hood it had, thankfully, burned itself out. Kitchen fires are the most common home fire.
#1 — Clean It
After a long day, you might decide to leave dinner clean up until tomorrow, but for safety, clean the stovetop every night that you use it. Wipe up spills and boil-overs from cooking so that grease and food particles do not build up. If there is a reside, it can ignite when the burner is turned on. The same goes for the oven. If you have food that gets into the bottom of the oven, wiping it up for safety has a side benefit. It will be much easier to clean before it gets baked on.
#2 — Stay Safe
You may assume everyone knows basic stovetop safety, but not everyone does and even if you do, a refresher can never hurt. You may know to turn the handles of your pots towards the back to ensure they will not get knocked over, but you may not know that safety experts advise cooking on the back burners first. The farther from the edge the pans are, the less likely they are to cause an injury.
When pouring hot liquids into a pan or skillet, adding food to a hot pan, or pouring hot liquid into another container (like spaghetti sauce) use caution; any of these actions can cause burns if you skin comes in contact with hot food or if hot grease splashes on your skin.
#3 — Common Body Safety
Advise children not to run or play near the stovetop when you are cooking. Also, make children aware of the chance for injury when you are cooking on the stovetop. Tie back long hair and roll up or hold long dangling sleeves with rubber bands or change into another top. Wearing some type of shoes is advisable to keep your feet injury-free, and choose ones with non-slip bottoms to prevent falls.
#4 — A Watched Pot
A watched pot, contrary to that old wives’ tale, will indeed boil and you need to be tending to it. Never leave the kitchen even for a moment when you have food on the stovetop. It only takes a moment for an accident to happen. And make sure to never leave a burner on if you remove the pot. Even if you are going to put the pot back, this situation is a painful burn in the making.
The best ingredient in your cooking is common sense. Be safety smart in the kitchen because nothing spoils dinner faster than a painful accident.