Quick Tips for Injury Prevention

Kitchen safety is more than preventing foodborne illness. Keep your kitchen safe from injury:

  • Wipe up spills immediately. Someone who enters the kitchen may not notice water or grease on the floor before he or she slips.
  • Avoid teetering on a chair or a bar stool to reach a high cabinet. Invest in a stable stool.
  • Keep cabinets, drawers, and doors closed so you don't bump into them. Put safety catches on drawers so they won't fall out when they're opened too far.
  • Keep pot holders handy—and use them. Be careful if they get wet; water conducts heat.
  • Turn the handles on pots and pans inward and away from the edge of the stove where they may be knocked . . . or where children can grab them.
  • Avoid overfilling pots and pans. Too much hot soup, stew, or pasta can quickly burn if it spills on you.
  • Be careful with the hot-water tap, especially if you have small children.
  • Allow enough time for the pressure to release if you use a pressure cooker.
  • Avoid dropping water into hot oil. The splatters may burn you. Remember: Water and oil don't mix!
  • Douse grease fires with baking soda—not water! Or "put a lid on it" to control the flame.
  • Keep electrical cords away from stove burners.
  • Use a safety latch on cabinets with household chemicals, alcoholic beverages, matches, plastic bags, and sharp utensils (knives, toothpicks) so they're out of reach of children.
  • Handle knives for safety. Store them carefully, perhaps in a knife holder. Avoid leaving them in the dish-pan where you can't see them. Use sharp knives; dull knives are harder to use and promote injury. Always cut away from you, using a cutting board.
  • Watch out for broken glass. Remove it immediately. If glass breaks in the sink, empty the water so you find all the pieces before you cut yourself.
  • Watch your fingers near your garbage disposal! Teach children to use it safely.
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