Kitchen Safety

1.Keep a fire extinguisher handy and in the kitchen and know how to use it. PASS rule: Pull the pin located on the handle (like a hand grenade); Aim the hose at the BASE of the fire, not the top where the flames are leaping; While holding the hose, Squeeze the handle of the extinguisher; and, move the hose in a Sweeping motion to get access to the BASE of the flame, NOT the top.

2. Tie long hair back into a bun especially if its so long that a ponytail can easily reach a burner. Human hair burns fast and the flames climb up quickly.

3. Roll-up your sleeves when cooking. It’s a fire hazard.

4. Cover pots if they flame with a lid.

5. Never add water to an oil fire, it will spread. Salt or baking soda are better choices.

6. Nothing is more dangerous than a dull knife. You will more likely cut your hands with a dull knife than a sharp one since you need more force to cut when the knife is dull. Plus, it’ll slow you down when you do food prep. Sharpen knives before cutting or as frequently as possible. Hand-wash knives to help keep them sharp. Never place sharp knives in the dishwasher, they will dull. Store knives in a butcher block or a drawer organizer. There are magnetic strips that will hold knives as well. The point is (pun intended) don’t abuse the blade and the blade won’t abuse you.

7. When carrying a sharp knife from one place to the other, place it on a plate or cutting board to avoid hurting someone accidentally. Never carry it point side out.

8. When frying, make sure the pan is stable on the burner so that you don’t get hot food spilled on yourself. For woks with rounded bottoms, purchase a support ring to keep them stable. It happened to my mother when I was 7 years old and I tried to catch the pan as hot oil spilled over both my forearms and my skin blistered off. It didn’t help that my first reaction was to rub the wounded area vigorously, making matters worse. I’m OK now;0

9. Don’t talk on the phone when frying or removing things from the oven.

10. Move pot handles away from burners and point the handles over the countertop and away from the aisles. Someone can bump into them and get hurt.

11. Keep chemicals in a locked cabinet, away from easy reach of children.

12. Change cabinet pulls if they have sharp angles to more rounded pulls. They’ll tear clothing and hurt children.

13. Keep kids and animals out of the kitchen when cooking. They like to run, are unpredictable, and can easily get hurt.

14. Don’t walk away from a stove if the gas is on to do something in another room. You’ll forget about the food. I’ve lost a tea kettle that way.

15. When using a pressure cooker be sure to let it cool to release pressure by either waiting for 30 minutes or by running the top and bottom under cold running water.

16. Use long pot holders that cover most of your forearm when removing items from the oven or when grilling. Do not use towels or small square potholders. Also, throw out any potholders with holes and buy new ones.

17. Ensure the oven door is completely open before removing food. Again, I have the burn marks to show why.

18. Set timers for baking and cooking. It’s a good practice. Life gets busy.

19. Keep face away from the oven door to let the steam out. The same rule applies when uncovering pots and pans. I have sauce splatters on my apron to help prove my point.

20. Never put utensils of any kind in a blender or food processor while it’s running.

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