Avoiding Accidents in Your Kitchen


Avoid Accidents in Your Kitchen

We are prone to taking short-cuts that can lead to serious accidents. Many accidents in the kitchen can be prevented if necessary precautions are taken.


By: Natasha Morgan

Most of us spend some time in our kitchen even if it’s only to make the morning coffee or heat up yesterday’s leftovers.

Injuries can occur very quickly, particularly when we’re not paying attention. Many modern homes have a television set in the kitchen which can distract us while we’re cooking. We are also prone to take short-cuts that can lead to serious accidents.

Although it’s only common sense, reading the following will serve as a reminder to be careful when working in the kitchen.

    • Clean up spills as soon as they happen. Even small puddles of liquid can cause you to slip and fall. Leaving spills on counter-tops can cause cross-contamination. A quick easy solution is to run a half a lemon across the affected area. The acidity of the lemon kills bacterial almost instantly.
    • Never leave a cooking pot unattended. It is easy to forget if you’ve gone to answer the door or the telephone. If you have something cooking and you leave the kitchen, check back frequently. Turning on your timer will remind you.
    • If a fire should catch in a pot, quickly cover with a cutting board, a lid or a sauté pan. Cutting off the oxygen will extinguish the fire. Throwing water on it super-heats the water and vaporizes any oils in the cooking pot which then spatter in the immediate area creating the potential for new miniature fires.
    • Don’t lean across a burner. Your clothing can easily catch fire while you’re attention is elsewhere.
    • Use a colander when straining vegetables or pasta. Holding back the food with the lid while pouring the water out can cause the steam to burn your hands.
    • Avoid wearing loosely fitted clothing while cooking. Sleeves, sashes and shirt tails can get caught on knobs or catch fire.
    • Use oven-mitts or pot-holders, not a dish-towel when removing pots from the stove or oven. The latter can catch fire and does not protect your hands adequately.
    • When cooking, turn the pot handle sideways to avoid knocking against it accidentally.
    • Place sharp knives in a designated area in the dishwasher or lay them horizontally on the rack. Items can shift and you can cut yourself when unloading the dishwasher.
    • When cleaning a knife, pull it through a folded dish cloth with the teeth turned away from the palm of your hand. Even a pairing knife can cut deeply if not properly handled.
    • Open your freezer door carefully. Items can fall on your foot and cause injury.
    • Remember that food cooked in a microwave oven can be unevenly heated. Test the center and outer edges to determine if food is sufficiently cooked throughout.
    • Dishes used for microwave cooking can be very hot. Because a burner or a flame is not evident it’s easy to forget to use pot holders or oven-mitts. The resulting burns can be severe.
    • Use a sturdy step to access high shelves. A nearby chair may not be steady and you could lose your balance.
    • Learn how to use a fire extinguisher and store it nearby.
    • Have a first aid kit handy.

The number of injuries that occur in a home is astounding. Ask anyone working in a hospital emergency room. However, many can be prevented if necessary precautions are taken.


This article was written specifically for notjustthekitchen.com.

It can be copied provided the content is in no way altered and the following link remains active: Read more articles geared toward women.

Photo: Nancy Hugo, CKD