The kitchen is often a hive of activity with cooking, baking and ingredients being prepared for meals. In a busy family there are often people in and out of the space, either passing through or stopping to make a coffee, prepare a quick snack or use the dining table to do their homework.
The kitchen can also be a dangerous place safety wise if care isn’t taken and more than half of accidental fires in this part of the house.
Here then are some tips on keeping the kitchen free from health and safety hazards for all the family.
With the amount of water used in a kitchen, keeping everything electric safe and maintained is vital. Sockets should be 30cm away from the sink; this also applies to switches. Many washing machines and dishwashers have a socket under the worktop and near to the appliance; if possible move these to a switched fuse connection which is above the worktop. It makes them easier to reach and away from water leaks.
Cable flex can be dangerous if damaged so should be inspected regularly. Never wrap cable around an appliance whilst it is still warm and if there’s a repair to be made, unplug the item before starting work on it.
Slips and trips
There are hazards for all the family in a disorganised kitchen and the possibility of a slip or trip is often present.
If you spill food or water, clean immediately and warn others of a wet floor. Don’t allow cables to trail across doorways and never have them at a height above the floor because they have been stretched from a socket to the appliance.
Where possible, use non-slip flooring such as tiles or lino. Ideally there should not be any rugs or runners but if they are used they must have a non-slip backing or the addition of rubber strips.
Clean as you go
Keeping a kitchen clean means that the room stays hygienic and bacteria free. It also means that there’s less of a likelihood of a slip.
The best way to be organised in a kitchen is to clean as you go. When preparing food, don’t let the work surfaces build up with food residue or equipment and wash up items as they are used. Mop up grease from the floor with hot water if there has been a spillage and ensure there is sufficient ventilation so grease odours can escape and condensation does not build up.
Chopping boards can harbour lots of harmful bacteria if not kept clean. Once used, a board shouldn’t be used again before being washed and if possible there should be one which is used for meat and poultry, one for fish and one for fruit and vegetables. This avoids the problem of cross-contamination where a board used to prepare raw meat for example is then used for preparing a salad and any bacteria is then passed into uncooked food.
Keeping the kitchen safe means being vigilant to potential accidents or incidents. It’s pretty straight forward though to keep your loved ones from harm by following the tips above and ensuring everyone else is aware that they should do the same. A kitchen is a warm and inviting environment to be in and with a little care and organisation will continue to be the hub of the home.