Dangerous kitchen mistakes
We know that unattended or distracted cooking leads to fire. Other dangers, however, may be less obvious.
Grease fires are a major hazard in the kitchen, but many people don’t know what a grease fire really is, or how to put one out. A grease fire happens when cooking oil becomes too hot. When heating, oils will boil and then smoke and may then catch fire. To avoid grease fires, use a heavy pot with a lid and use a thermometer to monitor the temperature of the oil. If you notice too much smoking, reduce the temperature. To put out a grease fire, turn off the heat. Do not remove the pan from the heat. Cover the pot with a lid and pour baking soda on the fire. If you have a portable fire extinguisher in your kitchen, use the extinguisher if baking soda does not work or if the fire is too big. Call 911 and evacuate if the fire becomes out of control.
Another lesser known danger is simply what you wear when you cook. Loose fitting clothing can catch fire. Roll up your sleeves and avoid flowy or baggy fabrics when cooking.
Did you know that how you store kitchen appliances and how you use them can also be a kitchen danger? Overloading outlets is an example. If several appliances share an extension cord, this is a fire danger. Extension cords are actually not intended for permanent usage like you would have in a kitchen setting. The cords can also be a problem if they touch the sides of appliances or other sources of heat. Additionally, frequent inspections of cooking tools and appliances is important. You may miss a frayed cord, for example, until you go to use it. Set up your kitchen in a way that offers a lot of space between heat producing appliances. Don’t set decorative and flammable items on counter tops. And frequently check how things are plugged in and arranged to avoid electrical fires.