The following kitchen hazards may cause electric shock:
• Damaged or worn electrical cords.
• Equipment and appliances with improper or faulty wiring.
• Using damp cloths or water for cooking or cleaning near sources of electricity.
The following tips may help prevent injury or fire in your home:
• Never leave cooking equipment unattended, and always remember to turn off burners if you have to leave the room.
• Supervise the little ones closely in the kitchen. Make sure children stay at least three feet away from all cooking appliances.
• Prevent potential fires by making sure your stovetop and oven are clean and free of grease, dust, and spilled food.
• Remember to clean the exhaust hood and duct over your stove regularly.
• Keep the cooking area around the stove and oven clear of combustibles, such as towels, napkins, and potholders.
• Always wear short or close-fitting sleeves when cooking. Loose clothing can catch fire.
• To protect from spills and burns, use the back burners and turn the pot handles in, away from reaching hands.
• Locate all appliances away from the sink.
• Plug countertop appliances into ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI)-protected outlets.
• Keep appliance cords away from hot surfaces like the range or toaster.
• Unplug the toaster and other countertop appliances when not in use.
• Be sure to turn off all appliances when cooking is completed.
• Always read and follow an appliance’s operating instructions.
• Always dry your hands before handling cords or plugs.
• If an unplugged appliance cord gets wet or damp, do not plug it in until it is thoroughly dry.
• Do not handle electrical cords or appliances when standing in water.
• Pull on the plug, not the cord, to disconnect an appliance from an outlet.
• To avoid damaging cords, don’t run them across walkways or underneath rugs. Draping them over walkways is also a tripping hazard.
• Regularly inspect electrical cords and plugs for damaged insulation and exposed wiring; immediately discard any damaged item. Avoid using any cord or plug that is frayed, cracked, taped or otherwise questionable.
• Only handle the insulated part of a plug or cord when disposing of it.
• Do not overload extension cords, multi-pack “power strips” or surge protectors with too many appliances or other items or plug them into each other. Use them only as a temporary solution, and not a permanent one.
• Ensure extension cords, power strips and surge protectors are in good condition and the appropriate gauge for the job (the lower the number, the bigger the gauge and the greater the amperage and wattage).
• Never remove the third (round or U-shaped) prong from a plug, which is a grounding/safety feature designed to reduce the risk of shock and electrocution.
• If you have doubts about your home’s electrical system, have a licensed electrician evaluate wiring, outlets, and switches to verify they are in working order.
• Educate yourself and everyone in your household on how to properly turn off your home’s power in case of an emergency.
The kitchen can be a busy place during the holiday season: prepping and preparing favorite recipes (or sampling those favorite recipes). While this year’s holiday festivities may look different for many of us due to COVID-19, people are spending more time in their own homes and kitchens than ever before.
Whether you are a seasoned cook or a novice baker, it’s important to keep electrical safety in mind. According to the National Institutes of Health, in the United States alone, approximately 1,000 deaths occur each year as a result of electrical injuries. An additional 30,000 non-fatal shock incidents occur each year.
For more important safety tips to keep you and your family safe this holiday season and throughout the year, visit www.esfi.org or www.safeelectricity.com.