During the holidays, many people spend much more time cooking in their kitchens than normal. Some of these people are people that love to cook while others are people that try to avoid cooking at all costs. For whatever reason, a lot of non-cooks decide to give baking or cooking for a crowd a shot during the holidays. The problem is that sometimes they forget how dangerous the kitchen can be if you’re not careful in there! Whether you are a wanna be chef or one of those people who prefer never to cook, there are some tips to help keep your kitchen safe this holiday season.
Did you know that cooking is the cause of almost half of residential fires? Unattended cooking is the single leading factor contributing to cooking fires, while many other cooking fires begin because combustibles (like kitchen towels and oven mitts) are too close to cooking heat sources. And of course frying is the cooking method that poses the highest risk.
So how do you keep safe? Pay Attention! Be more cautious about what you are doing and your surroundings. Some of these tips may seem pretty straight forward, but it’s always nice to be reminded of them.
Since frying poses the highest safety risk,stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, have your spouse come in and keep an eye on things or turn off the stove.
Keep The Oven and Stove Clear
Things that can catch fire (think potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels) away from the stovetop, especially when the burners are on! You also need to keep the stovetop, burners, and oven clean and free of bits of food that has made it’s way onto those surfaces because they can catch fire.
And don’t forget to set the timer if you are cooking! If you are like me and have mom-brain, you could walk out and forget all about whatever it is you were making.
Consider What You Are Wearing
That cute, long-bell-sleeved top might be the perfect outfit to wear for holiday entertaining, but it’s probably not the best thing to wear when cooking near a flame!
Wear short, close-fitting shirts or rolled up long sleeves when cooking. Loose clothing can dangle onto stove burners and catch fire if it comes into contact a flame or electric burner. Why take the chance?
Keep The Kids Out
I try to keep the kids out of the kitchen when I’m cooking meals anyways, but during the holidays when things are even more chaotic than normal? It’s a must. Little ones love reaching up onto counters and pulling down whatever they can find. My girls always want to help me open the oven and to look on the stove to see what I’m cooking. To be on the safe side, make sure the kids steer clear of the kitchen when you’ve got several things going on at once.
What tips can you share to keep our families safe while cooking this holidays season?
photo source: flickr/stefo