Your kitchen is likely much more than a place to have meals; it can be the best place to study, to sit and talk with family members or friends and to plan futures. It’s a place to make you feel safe and secure.
One of the most important aspects of kitchen safety for both children and adults is the inclusion of carbon monoxide monitoring within your home alarm system. With recent heat and electricity outages in Brockton, Mass., one family tried to use their gas stove for warmth. This led to the hospitalization of three adults and two children, according to enterprisenews.com. Although all are expected to make a full recovery — a functional carbon monoxide alarm would have alerted these individuals of the danger before falling ill.
Surprisingly, even with proper use of your gas stove, carbon monoxide buildup is still possible. Carbon monoxide alarms are not only mandatory in the state of Massachusetts — they are also crucial to any homes with gas stoves. Even in small doses, this odorless, invisible gas can make children seriously ill — or worse. Without a carbon monoxide alarm, it’s next to impossible to detect this dangerous gas until it is too late.
In addition to a carbon monoxide alarm, the following tips can help you spend quality time with your children in your kitchen:
- Childproof all cabinets and drawers
Keep dangerous items such as; pots and pans, matches, lighters, knifes, cleaning products in locked cabinets. If these can not be locked, place them in higher cabinets (away from your child’s reach). Also use locks on your dishwasher, oven and refrigerator.
- Practice safe cooking habits
This includes using the back burners when possible, and making sure the handles are facing towards the wall to prevent any accidental grabbing.
- Prevent possible electrocution
Install covers on all electrical outlets for child safety. Unplug blenders, toasters, food processors and any other appliances when not in use and keep the cords out of reach.
- Limit access
Install safety gates to keep toddlers out of the kitchen when cooking, or when there are no adults present. Don’t put any chairs or stools near counters or stove, where they can climb up and hurt themselves.
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