How to practice safety in the kitchen
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Many hazards that can cause burns, falls or fires are found in the kitchen; one of the most dangerous rooms in the house. You should know how to extinguish a grease fire and recognize the function of cooking equipment.
Teach young children about the dangers of fires, sharp knives and other potentials in the kitchen. Nearly all families have had an experience with some kind of kitchen accident. There are three areas in particular; chemicals, fires and falls where special attention is called for.
Safety with chemicals
Do not leave poisonous chemicals within reach of children. Never mix different types of cleaners, bleaches and strong acids as it may cause an explosion or formation of toxic gasses. Cleaning fluids, gasoline, kerosene and other flammables should never be stored in the kitchen. Be sure there is no uncovered food laying around when you spray for bugs. After you have used a pesticide, be sure to wash your hands. It is better not to store these poisons in the kitchen.
You should watch for any breaks, cuts or frayed areas on electrical cords. Be careful about using multiple plugs as this can overload the circuits and cause a fire.
Do not leave the room when you have something on the stove cooking. The pot can boil dry or the frying pan may become overheated and catch fire.
Research has shown that the old corning ware coffee pots were suspected of causing fires when left plugged in, even when the pot was turned off. Newer coffee pots may not pose that danger, but it is still safer to unplug all small kitchen appliances when not in use, especially if you are leaving the house.
Falls in the kitchen
For safety sake, don’t leave boxes, stools, bags of groceries, or anything else on the floor where you can trip. If you spill something on the floor, be sure to clean it up immediately. Soapy water, grease and oils and other slippery things are a hazard on the kitchen floor.
Be cautious around the microwave
Burns are a common cause of injury when handling food or liquid heated in the microwave. There have been reported incidents of people being burned when a cup of water heated in the microwave «exploded» after it was removed from the oven. This can be prevented by placing a plastic spoon in the cup during the heating process. Read labels because some products should not be heated in a microwave and will say on the package.
To prevent steam burns, puncture plastic pouches and plastic covering before heating in the microwave. Eggs should not be cooked in the shell in the microwave as they may explode. Make sure there is no metal present in what you are reheating such as aluminum foil, staples, and twist ties. They may become very hot and ignite combustible containers. Always be careful to shield yourself from steam when uncovering food cooked in the microwave because steam can cause serious burns.
Other safety concerns
There are a few other items that are not so commonplace. One is about glass baking dishes. If they become too hot they will explode. That could happen if they are set on a burner that has been accidently left on. Always remember not to put hot glass dishes on cold or wet surfaces as they will break.