Kitchens can be dangerous.
In fact, it’s fairly evident that the kitchen is by far the most dangerous room in your house. From the fire risk through to the potential for harm with sharp tools, there’s really no debate about it: kitchens are risky places to be.
Of course, that’s not how most of us view them. We’re so used to the hazards in the kitchen, we don’t see the room as anything that might do us any harm. We’re used to seeing the kitchen as the place where we prepare our meals, enjoy time with our family, a room that is at the hub of our home– and it’s this familiarity that can mean we’re not as alert as it should be when it comes to the potential pitfalls.
So, what can be done? Spend every moment in the kitchen on edge, in a perpetual state of heightened anxiety, wondering what harm may come to us? Or perhaps we should be cavalier; nothing terrible has happened up to now, so why be pessimistic?
As is so often the case, the best response is somewhere in the middle. Be on your guard, vigilant– but not to the point of obsession. If you want to ensure your dream kitchen doesn’t turn into a nightmare, then here’s a few pointers to keep in mind.
1) Store Knives Blade Down– With One Exception
For the most part, storing knives with their blades facing downwards is a sensible decision. That’s how conventional knife blocks tend to be stored, after all. Down is just outright safer for the most part.
The exception to this rule is if you use a magnetic strip to store knives; you can see an example of this type of storage at http://www.thekitchn.com/10-places-to-hang-your-magnetic-knife-rack-200833. In this instance, you should store the knives with the blades pointing upwards. If you don’t, you run the risk of knocking the knife and sending it plummeting — blade first — towards the ground, and your feet. So if you use a magnetic strip, buck the usual advice and always store knives with the blades pointing to the ceiling.
2) Save Your Skin
The occasional cut and accidental nip of skin is something that we all see as largely inevitable when preparing food. After all, we’re handling sharp implements, and no one on this earth is about to have 100 percent focus, 100 percent of the time.
If you have accidents that result in cuts more often than usual, however, then it might be worth thinking through your options. You don’t need to just shrug and accept another scar on your fingers as a natural part of preparing food. Browse through https://thekitchenadvisor.com/best-mandoline-slicer-reviews-buyers-guide/ and see if you can find a mandoline that you’d be comfortable with. The integrity of your skin will thank you for it!
3) Buy A Fire Extinguisher. No Excuses.
Given the amount of heat that is involved in preparing a meal, the risk of fire is one that all chefs — be they professional or amateur — should always keep in mind. The most common cause of fire in the kitchen is a fat fire, which often occurs when deep-frying various foods for your meal. Dealing with a pan fire is simple if you know how, and can remain calm enough to walk through the right steps to extinguish the flames.
However, a pan fire is not the only flame risk in the kitchen. Food can overheat, sparks can literally fly, and cooking with alcohol is always going to up your risk alert. It’s essential that all kitchens have access to a fire blanket at the very least, and preferably a fire extinguisher. Bear in mind that fire extinguishers have different contents, so you might need two: one for electrical fires and one for standard combustion. If you’re thinking you need to find room in your kitchen decor for two hulking red cans, don’t worry; it’s easy enough to find smaller, house-appropriate canisters that won’t ruin your aesthetic too much.
It’s safe to say that kitchen safety is an area that we could all do with giving a little more attention. When an area of the house is familiar, we can forget the potential for threats that lurk within it. Whether it’s protecting your skin or the integrity of your entire house, the tips above should help keep your kitchen safe. With that ticked off, you can go back to preparing delicious meals without having to worry about the potential for disaster that lurks in every corner. Good food, good safety– and a very good job from you.