Cooking is one of the more dangerous activities that we regularly take part in inside our homes without ever really thinking about it from a risk perspective. Objectively, it seems obvious: anytime you deal with an open flame, or a hot surface, you are creating a situation where a fire or serious burns could occur.
Even if you think you’re careful in the kitchen, young children in your house often aren’t quite as safety-minded as you are when it comes to interacting with the various appliances and utensils used in the modern home.
Fortunately, it’s easy to stay safe while cooking. Let’s look at a few tips that can prevent injury while making dinner:
1. Keep Flammable Objects and Liquids Away From The Stove – and Pay Attention!
The U.S. Fire Administration has published that cooking is the leading cause of home fires – more than clogged chimneys or defective furnaces — but fortunately, it’s possible to reduce your chances of a cooking fire to almost zero. That’s because most cooking fires are related to carelessness, such as leaving a pot or pan unattended, keeping the oven on after it is no longer needed, or accidentally dropping something flammable onto a hot burner.
Staying alert and keeping the kitchen clean can go a long way towards preventing kitchen fires. In the event of an emergency, it’s important to have a fully-functioning monitored fire alarm system installed in your home — including smoke and heat detectors that are checked often to make sure they’re ready when disaster strikes.
2. Be Careful When Cooking With Oil.
Of course, not all fires are the result of carelessness. Sometimes when cooking with oil, it’s possible for a flash fire to occur because the oil becomes superheated and bursts into flame. Always make sure that the pan you are using to cook with does not get too hot before you add the oil.
3. Never Use A Charcoal Grille Inside.
Burning charcoal produces carbon monoxide, which is odorless and hard to detect. A barbecue grille should always be used outside of your home, in a well-ventilated area, to prevent possible suffocation from fumes.
4. Keep A Fire Extinguisher In The Kitchen.
Chances are, if you own a wood-burning stove you have a fire extinguisher sitting beside it, but do you have one on the counter in your kitchen next to your other stove? If not, it’s a quick trip down to the hardware store to pick up an extinguisher that is rated to handle grease fires.
5. Don’t Leave Knives Out.
A sharp knife is a good knife, but it’s also a dangerous knife — especially if you have children. Keep knives in the drawer when they are not being used, and clean them and put them away when you are done making your meal.
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