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KITCHEN SAFETY TIPS

Home fires usually (67%) start in the kitchen. It is essential, especially for parents, to provide special safety measures, ensuring the kitchen provides safe surroundings.

Sharp Objects, Matches etc.  

It almost goes without saying that any potentially dangerous implements or items, e.g. knives and other sharp kitchen utensils, along with matches, lighters and the like, should be locked safely out of harm's way. 

It is amazing how many parents go to this trouble, then leave the keys hanging on a hook, within easy reach of the kids.

Smoke Alarms

Ideally, smoke alarms should be fitted in every room, and close to, but not in, the kitchen. 

Alarms should be tested regularly, and the batteries changed twice a year, or more frequently if the `battery low` light comes on. 

For those with hearing difficulties there are devices available that make use of a vibrating pad or flashing light instead of the high-pitched auditory signal.

Electrical Outlets

All electrical sockets and equipment should be checked regularly (yearly is appropriate) by a professional electrician. Any worn wiring should be replaced and any loose socket or switch plates tightened. 

Childproof plastic plates are available for unused sockets, keeping them safe from prying little fingers. *****

***** Amanda Taylor has contacted us with a word of warning about the use of socket covers:-

"I noticed that in the nursery safety section you advise putting covers on electrical sockets. In the UK these are not necessary due to the built-in safety features of our sockets. In fact the Institute of Engineering and Technology are campaigning against them (please see http://www.fatallyflawed.org.uk/ for details) and from personal experience I have found them to be dangerous as my 18 month-old daughter managed to pull one out of the socket, snapping off the top prong and effectively disabling the safety shutter in the socket. Luckily I saw her do it and stopped her before she could be hurt, needless to say we don't have them any more!"

Cookers

Cookers must be fitted with childproof doors, anti-topple brackets and safety guards. 

Keep a fire blanket in the cooker area and know how to use it. 

Get a fire extinguisher; small extinguishers are readily available in local shops, or online. Foam type extinguishers are best, particularly for electrical fires.

Most fires start with an unattended cooker. If answering the front door, for example, turn off the heat. Never leave oil unattended on the stove. Leaving cooking oil on the range while you are not in the kitchen is a leading cause of kitchen fires. It only takes a few seconds for the oil to boil out and start a fire.

If a fire develops in a pot or pan, turn off the heat; cover it with a fire blanket or damp tea towel, and leave to cool. 

Don't ever be tempted to throw water on it (the same applies to any electrical fire). Keeping your oven, grill and stovetop clean are vital aspects in fire prevention. Grease and food build-up can cause a fire. Clean your cooker regularly. 

The kitchen is not a playroom. Never leave children unattended, even for short periods. 

Explain to your child(ren) how dangerous fire can be.

If a Fire Starts

If you have a fire, especially on a range cooker, do not attempt to extinguish it, unless you consider if safe. 

Leave the building, closing all doors, and do not re-enter until told it is safe. 

If you are trapped in a building that is on fire, and cannot leave safely, don't panic! The fire control operator will stay on the line with you. Operators have been specially trained to offer fire survival guidance until the fire engine arrives.

Dialling 999 (this applies to the UK)

If you require the Fire Brigade, always dial 999. You can call free from any phone.

Don't be afraid to dial the Fire Brigade even if you are uncertain if there is actually a fire.

Don't think, `I better not dial it's probably nothing.` It is better to be safe than sorry.

Don't assume that someone else must have rung for the Fire Brigade. They we would rather receive numerous calls than none.


More information and tips on the very important subject of safety in the kitchen can be found on the following pages -

Kitchen safety tips.

Safety in the Kitchen

Kitchen Safety

Design a kitchen with safety in mind

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